by Keri Arthur

August 2001
ISBN: 1-893896-70-6
Reviewer Graphic Button ImaJinn Books
Mass Market Paperback

Keri Arthur, known by paranormal romance fans for her excellent Nikki James and Michael Kelly series, has come up with a new one involving the members of the Damask Circle, an organization that sees its members, all of them extraordinary in one way or another, fight supernatural evil.

Madeline Smith and Jon Barnett are two characters with extraordinary talents. The one a shapeshifter and a loner out of necessity, the other a clairvoyant and a recluse out of choice. Brought together to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of teenagers in the small town of Taurin Bay, they not only have to face their own insecurities but also have to deal with their sizzling attraction and the search for the victims and their perpetrators. Circle Of Fireis the first in a new paranormal romance adventure series. It concentrates heavily on Madeline's inner growth - the process of understanding and coming to terms with her talents, while learning that she is not alone. Letting her grow from a needy recluse and freak into a strong woman able to fight her own and her loved one's battles. Far stranger beings can be found when coming in touch with the Damask Circle.

Circle Of Fire does leave a couple questions open, as in once mentioned and then ignored second talents and the likelihood of the initial contact. And for some readers that tend to take their chosen books too seriously it might deter from a compelling story. Still, I enjoyed reading it. The book touches upon subjects that are painful and uncomfortable, making the story sometimes a rather angst-y and dark read, only to switch over to beautiful and even poetic prose when Keri Arthur describes her hurting characters' soul connection and the magic of their link. Don't worry though; it doesn't get flowery and suffocating. I liked the characters, although I never felt I got close enough to actually care about them. They don't linger, not like Nikki James and Michael Kelly.

Circle Of Fireis light entertainment. Perfect to while away a few spare hours. It's not demanding but fun. It's a lot like going on one of those big fun-fair rides. It has its slow build up but then it goes fast, fast, fast. You are sure to be screaming and laughing. And when it's over you won't remember much of the ride; only the rush and the excitement will linger. So take it for what it is - great entertainment!

Reviewed in May 2002 by Kris Alice.

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