Games of Fire
by Airicka Phoenix
Published: February 14, 2013
Formats Available: eBook ~475 pages
Format Reviewed: eARC
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Buy Link: Amazon
Sophie has enough problems in her life without Spencer turning her blood to fire, without his eyes freezing and burning her, without his hatred of her. Since his migration into the house next to hers, Sophia Valdez isn’t sure whether she wants to toss him under a bus or kiss that smirking mouth of his. But even as the temperature rises around them, leaping flames of passion, want and desire,everything either has ever known will be shattered by the lurking shadow hounding their every step, wanting revenge.
Spencer Rowth moves to the sleepy town of River Port with his mother and twelve year old sister, Suzy, to escape a deceitful father, an unfaithful girlfriend and a life crumbling much too fast for him to grapple onto only to be smacked upside the head by the last thing he wanted again. Sophie was everything he refused to want. Her temper, her wit, her laugh, her smile, the way her entire body goes up in flames under his hands are things he would rather slam a lid on and forget. Instead, he finds himself falling for the smart-mouth next door. But how long will he have before the evil chasing them catches up? How long before the very thing he never wanted becomes his only thread to sanity? And who is after them? What do they want and why do they want Spencer and Sophie dead?
This is my first book by Airicka Phoenix and I have to say I am impressed. When I started Games of Fire I thought it was going to be a paranormal romance type book, but it wasn't and that was a good thing because it was different, but no less exciting. The beginning, while it hooked me was very similar to Twilight and I'll tell you why. Girl meets boy, boy is a jerk. Girl is almost killed by a car, boy saves her. Girl tells boy, "You regret saving me, don't you?" But thankfully, this is where the similarities with Edward and Bella end and Spencer and Sophie's story begins. This is a love story with kick. Sparks fly every time Spencer and Sophie are together, no matter if they are arguing or kissing. Then add in a psycho stalker who wants to possess Sophie for himself and will stop at nothing to get her. Definitely a book I didn't want to put down!
The characters are well drawn and dynamic. Even creepy little Suzy who gives me the heebie-jeebies every time she was around. Can you say Children of the Corn? Actually, Spencer's whole family is broken in one way or another. Spencer is complex and has so many layers to get through to see the real boy hiding underneath. What I love is that nothing happens instantly and Sophie takes her time getting to know Spencer. My favorite statement by Sophie is, "You can have all of me or none of me," meaning that if they are going to be together it is mind and body and nothing in between. No insta-love here, only a real mature relationship that takes time and effort for it to work. Sophie is great and realistic character too. She has friends who are hilarious (the point system!) and does not ditch them at the first sight of a boyfriend. She has real parents and a regular family dynamic; meaning parents are in charge and not the other way around.
Ms. Phoenix's writing style is perfect for the Young Adult/New Adult genre. This is for those over 16/17 due to some seriously hot scenes. She is witty, funny, and can make a scene pop off the page. She also has a knack for creating suspense. The way the book is written is genius. Not only do we get to see the aftermath of the stalker's threats and attacks, but we get cut-aways into the head of the stalker, and the workings of the mind of the stalker gave me serious chills. And while I kinda thought I knew who the stalker was, I had to keep reading to find out if I was right!
The copy-editing was near flawless and I read an ARC. I was very impressed with the story that she wove. Each character had a story and everything happened for a reason - even the smallest of conversations or glances. My only pet peeve was the ending, it was so abrupt. With the book being almost 500 pages, the ending was condensed into about 7% of the book. I wanted more explanations and more 'what happens nexts' but, overall I was extremely happy with Games of Fire. I shall be reading all her books as soon as my TBR pile allows!
|Smoking hot read! Almost breathless.|
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
“I won’t bite,” he said, probably meaning it as a joke.
“Oh if only that were my only problem,” she sighed under her breath.
She shook her head. “Nothing.”
She took his hand, slipping her icy fingers through his. The electric sparks tore a fiery path down the length of her arms, nearly melting the ice beneath their feet. She shivered involuntarily and felt his fingers flex.
“All right?” Had his voice always been so husky?
She dampened her lips. “Yeah…” The single word died in her throat as she was pulled towards him. Her heart tripped. Her lungs stilled. The heat of his body rushed over her with the subtle scent peppermint, leather, spices and smoke.
A soft mist blew around them. Raindrops glistened in his hair, shimmering under the pale glow of the light post. His eyes were shadowed beneath wispy fringes, but the silver in them glinted like pools of liquid mercury. Her breath caught. It must have made a sound because his fingers tightened. His shaky exhale caressed her flushed face.
“This,” he whispered so quietly she almost didn’t hear him. “Is why you are so bad for me.”
Airicka Phoenix is the best-selling author of the Touch Series with short stories in Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and Midnight Surrender Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books.
For more about Airicka, also on how to win giveaways, read author interviews and reviews, visit her on all her sites.
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