Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur
I was a little hesitant to pick this book up at first even though it sounded interesting. I'm glad I did. It was a good book and I enjoyed it. Despite my enjoyment, I had a hard time rating this. I went back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars. The concept is great but some of the things in the story bothered me enough to knock it down to 3.5. I would still recommend it though. Overall it's a good story with a good plot line despite some of the things I did not particularly like.
It's quite obvious from the first time Jon and Maddie meet that there is going to be a love story between them. Jon appears in an astral form in Maddie's bedroom. Maddie has been living alone ever since her husband died in a fire. She is afraid of hurting anyone with her power because she has no control. Jon is dying and something is forcing him to appear before her. Maddie thinks she's going crazy until Jon warns her about missing teenagers from the area her sister and her nephew, Ethan, visited two weeks prior. Jon begs her to find him and save him. When Ethan disappears like the other teenagers who visited AREA, Maddie decides to set out to save Jon and then find Ethan.
Along with Maddie's pyrokinesis, she is also clairvoyant. Ethan has inherited that power as well. Maddie's power helps her with trying to locate Ethan but since she doesn't have much control, the visions are confusing and unclear. Jon can't help her focus her powers because he is a shapeshifter, a hawk to be exact, and he doesn't know the finer arts of the craft. He does help her calm down when she sets the inn on fire by accident.
Maddie stays at an inn where there is a creepy owner named Hank. This guy is so well written that when you are reading it, you get that creepy vibe. He's nasty and you know that he is evil. He has a fascination with Maddie and it scares her. I would be scared too. We find out pretty early who is behind the kidnappings and murders. It was quite obvious from the beginning so I was a little annoyed by that. There really wasn't a sense of mystery. I'm not sure is this is what Arthur was aiming for but it was extremely predictable.
I was also a little annoyed by the hot and cold vibes Jon sent towards Maddie. I understand the reasoning behind it but it was a constant thing so I found it tiring.
I was a little surprised by the ending. I wasn't expecting the time difference, something you will understand when you read the last chapter. It did have a HEA which I am grateful for. Overall it was a good book. The next book in the Damask Circle series focuses on two different characters. It's one of those series that have different main characters for each book. I will be reading the next book in the series.