Review: Night of Fire

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been three years since Tom left Rosa, running out of town in the middle of the night on a stolen horse. After her parents threatened him, he felt like he couldn’t have a future with her, so he made a new life for himself in the Army. He never forgot her though, and now that he has finally been granted leave, the only thing he can think of doing, is getting back to her.

When he arrives back home, Rosa is a changed woman.  She’s the new sheriff of Thornville and she’s tough as nails.  It’s obvious she has been holding her own, but Tom couldn’t have picked a better time to come back. Outlaws are targeting her, and even worse, they seem to be simply paving the way for an even bigger threat to both Rosa and the town.

They have to work with one another to fight off the danger.  But together, their old sparks fly again. Can she ever forgive him for leaving her the way he did? And will they survive long enough to find out?

The story is a combination of steampunk, old west, and romance.  And it is set in the same world as Skies of Fire, though they are each completely stand-alone stories.  There is a similar thread, though, in that both books feature a couple reunited three years after one lover deserted the other.

It’s hard to sympathize with a hero who unceremoniously dumped his heroine.  He’s got a lot to atone for and despite his heroism in fighting off the bad guys, I felt like Rosa forgave him awfully fast.  The whole story takes place over just a couple of days.  The romance is at the center, but there is a lot of action as well. Maybe a little too much. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by all the descriptions of the equipment and choreography of the fight scenes.

But I found myself interested in the setting.  The world building is clear and easy to understand –and the plot is pretty straightforward.  I liked that the authors changed things up so much from the last book.  I think steampunk fans looking for an action-packed ride will enjoy it.

Rating: C

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Nights of Fire
by Nico Rosso
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Avon Impulse

Review: The Last Night

Reviewed by Jen

This is one of those books that sounded great in the blurb. But when I sat down to read it, I had to force myself to finish.

Basically, it’s a new take on zombies (which I love.) After a cataclysmic earth event, some microbe or whatnot was uncovered, infecting most of the population. They grew a stone-like skin and hungered for the ashy remains of burned human flesh. In the meantime, earthquakes are plaguing the landscape, tearing down the remains of civilization.

Erica is hiding out with a small band of survivors. They are under attack by the zombies dubbed “ashers” when Jake sweeps in on his motorcycle. He begins killing the ashers –an amazing feat since no weapon has ever affected them before. He offers to share his knowledge on how to kill the zombies in exchange for supplies from Erica’s people. In a nutshell, Erica and Jake hook up, and then take off together in search of greener pastures.

I like post-apocalyptic zombie stories; and love-among-the-ruins stories are generally great. But there are so many things I didn’t like about this book. First of all, everything is extremely dramatic and over the top. Yes, it’s the end of times, but that’s where subtlety really works best. On top of that, the relationship at the core of the story is laughable. Basically, Jack and Erica want to hook up because each is the only attractive person the other has seen in months. They are naked in hours. Horizontal not long after that. And then filled with deep emotions, eliciting dialogue like:

“Where you are, I’ll be there. Fuck paradise.”

and

“Don’t know what we would have called it before the destruction. Don’t know if it had a name. But this, what I feel for you now, Erica. This is love.”

It’s been one freaking day!!! –And did I mention the full-body orgasm? What the hell is that?

There is essentially no character development. And I hated the ending. I don’t know what else to say. 2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Last Night
by Nico Rosso
Release Date: February 13, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press