Of Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson #Review

Of Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson #ReviewOf Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson

Series: #6 Weird Girls
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Love Swept on January 12, 2016
Pages: 141
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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I have enjoyed my journey with the Wird sisters like few other series of books.  There is heart and intrigue, action, unrequited love, and the costs are deadly.  Up until now, the series arc has placed the oldest sister, Celia, in the limelight, but now it has turned to Taran, the second Wird sister.  She’s a firecracker and even without the known dangers they all face, she can find trouble of the hell on heels sort.  Couldn’t wait to start her story and got a bit of a shock when it began in a different spot than I was anticipating.  But yes, I was anticipating so I dove in and didn’t come up for air until I closed the book on the last page.  As usual, I am badly in need of the next installment.

This is a series that must be read in order.  Even though it is switching focus to a new sister with book six, here, the ongoing story, worldbuilding, and characters would be confusing to jump in at this point.  I didn’t realize that this book would actually take a step back in time to parallel the events of Celia’s stories.  I’m guessing it goes back to the third book?  Not sure, but regardless, now it is all those events from Taran’s perspective.  There is a bit of re-hash going on, but also a lot of new ground covering Taran and Gemini’s story.

So, the story begins with Taran getting an unpleasant surprise when Gemini asks her to meet his parents.  Up until now, Taran could fool herself that things were good and they were just having a good time.  Oh sure, Gemini has made it clear that he cares deeply for her, that he loves her, and that he considers her his mate, but she could deny the mate stuff while assuring him that she does love him.  But meet the parents?  That’s hitting the relationship big time stuff.  Her panic over commit hurts Gemini and sends her running to Celia.

Naturally, Celia looks at her like she’s an idiot- a very selfish idiot.  Celia would kill to be in Taran’s shoes since she has a mate that is destined for another.  But this is just it.  Taran sees what love is doing for Celia and they share a dark past after their parents were gone and they had to survive on their own.  Taran is terrified of being stuck in a mate bond with someone who will regret being with her.  As much as she loves Gem, she isn’t ready.  But maybe she can at least meet his parents.

And from there the bad luck just piles on- Mrs. Mancuso, unintended reveals, traditional Japanese parents and their rituals, pushing mom off a mountain, demon babies, witchy women, trouble at the liquor store, kidnapping, loads of bad guys, Gemini shot- if it could go wrong it did in the meet the parents gig.  But Taran is a survivor even if she worries if what she has with Gemini can survive it all, too.

I had lots of different reactions as I read this one.  I chuckled at Taran’s in your face irreverent snark and machismo.  I felt sorry for her being so damaged that she couldn’t just accept a really wonderful good thing with Gemini and for her guilt that wouldn’t allow her to be happy when her sister is suffering.  I found it touching about her vulnerability in the face of Gem’s folks.  And then there was her blazing courage when faced with peril.

Taran is the sole narrator so this is definitely her story.  This story felt like an introduction because it’s the first with her as the lead, but yet I was already very familiar with the situation and characters since this is the sixth book.  I look forward to more background on Taran after the hints to her ugly past and it would be great to get a better feel for Gemini, too.  If I had a niggle, it was that I needed a bit more on him.

Taran is a flawed character and I think those are the best kind.  She comes across as a tough gal, but she feels things so very deeply.  She has a lot of fear and self-esteem issues under her bravado.  She puts on a face for everyone though her oldest sister, Cecila, sees her clearly.  So far, she hasn’t opened up to Gemini and I look forward to what happens when she does.  Gemini is a strong, confident guy.  He loves Taran and he is passionate when with her, but he won’t let her deflect and use sex to avoid deeper issues.  That being said, he doesn’t push her where she is unwilling or able to go further.  He loves her enough to step back when she is scared.

The action delivers on the gritty fight scenes.  The author is good at this.  Taran and the other allies are combating a force of paranormals that work to take over the world.  The latest scheme is demon babies that will grow and decimate the allies’ forces.  While working on Operation Meet the Parents, Taran has more than one go around with the baddies and the baby demons.  She mishandles it when she tries to go it alone, but doesn’t let that stop her from working to save Gemini and his parents’ lives at different times.

And speaking of the parents, Mio Dio!  That was a cringe-worthy bust up when Taran encounters Gem’s folks for the first time.  Mrs. Mancuso sets her up and then it all goes down hill from there (literally downhill when she accidentally knocks Gem’s mom over a cliff.  Thank goodness she’s a shifter).

So, looking forward to what comes next in this exciting, passionate, gritty series that I heartily recommend to Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy fans, alike.

My thanks to Loveswept for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #4  PNR
Literary Pickers #4 Sink
Books N Tunes #1 Wynona Judd’s Burning Love

About Cecy Robson

Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is the new adult and contemporary romance author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels, and the Carolina Beach series, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA® finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I do wonder where the story takes them

    • Yes, me, too. It wasn’t looking good for them at the end of book five.

  • I plan to start the first book tonight, so wish me luck! I’ve read so many great things about the series and wasn’t expecting to actually win the first 3 books, but I’m happy that I did. Great review!

    • Oh cool! Good thing you got all three because if you like book one, you will start bingeing. 🙂 Look forward to your thoughts.

  • I really wish Taran would be a star like how Celia was. Alas she still feels like a secondary character even in her own book. Like I wanted some of her armor to be chipped and really see the girl inside. There were glimpses like with Celia and with Gemini, but even that still circles back to Celia. Oh vey

    • You know, I didn’t think of that, but you’re right. With this hugging so tightly to Celia’s story, I did feel more for her plight than Taran’s and I didn’t get a sense of a separate backstory and I really didn’t get a sense of Gemini’s story. Hopefully, there will be a divergence with the next book now that this one has introduced things.

      • huh, I agree with that but probably because of the timeline. Hopefully that will change in the next book.

        • Yes, I would like that. But you know what? I think I would be happy either way b/c I love the series. Though definitely happier to get some good Taran and Gem action. 🙂

  • This sounds like an good series, hadn’t heard of it before. That’s interesting that this book takes a step back and starts around book 3, that must’ve been a bit confusing for the first few chapters. Sounds like a lot goes wrong in this book after that meeting the parents thing. Ouch, that sounds like qutie the eventful parent meeting when she pushes Gem’s mom off a cliff. Taran sounds like a great character, I agree that flawed characetrs are the best kind. I hope you’ll get to know more about Gemini in the next book. Great review!

    • Yes, this has been an enjoyable series for me. Books 1-5 have had the oldest sister, Celia, as the narrator and main heroine with the others in the background. Now, Taran, the second oldest, is getting her turn. I was surprised at the choice to start her story when it did after getting her side story all along and wanting to see what came next for her after the events of book five. She sure is a fiery, quirky heroine and I laughed at what happened after Gem’s parents arrived.

  • Hmmm, a series that must be read in order. Perhaps one to binge-read? I like the sound of the action!

    Wonderful review, Sophia. 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • I did indeed binge the first three books which were the only ones out at the time. I loved the humor and action and the world at first and then the romance grew on me. Hope you get the chance, Alyssa!

  • This book almost killed me.. again. I hate seeing Celia in pain. =(

    • No kidding. These books are exciting, but they gut me.

  • Baby demons? That just sounds adorable even if they are bad. lol

    • I know. It’s like they should be these cute little monsters, but in this universe, they are not. Oh boy are they not, whew!

  • I read the first novella of this series awhile back and started the first book and put it down because of other book obligations and never went back and I loved the novella. I don’t know why I did that but I do plan to go back and read it-someday.

    • I know how that goes. I’ve been distracted more than once from finishing a series and come back to it much later. Hope you get the chance soon!