Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review & Excerpt: Fire in the Blood - Lily Freeman

Title : Fire In The Blood 

Author : Lily Freeman

Genre: Contemporary Erotic, BDSM novel.

Eight weeks ago, Polly Jayne Lester vanished.
With no explanation, no goodbyes; she walked away from one life, to start another.
Now based in London, she has a home: new friends, a new dog and – a Master. Luke Monroe is everything she never knew she wanted: dominant, sexy, passionate, and a sadist.
As their relationship develops, with her giving a little and him taking a lot, PJ is forced to explore the side of Luke she’s always found disconcerting, all under the watchful eyes of her neighbors Mika and Elliot, the other two men who have come to mean so much to her.

But at what price? 

When tensions mount between the three unquestionably alpha males, PJ’s caught in the middle. With Luke’s demands intensifying, Elliot’s possessive behaviour becoming more and more evident, and Mika, always her soft place to fall, claiming a little more of her heart each day, she’s torn. She’s already learnt the hard way that love can hurt, and she thought she knew how much, but nothing could have prepared her for this.

‘Fire in the Blood’ is the second book in ‘The Red Series.’ It is not a stand-alone novel, and I would highly recommend that if you intend to read it, you read ‘A Little Band of Red’ first.

Although both are part of a larger series, the first three novels have been written as a complete trilogy, concluding with ‘To Catch a Flame’, due out in December 2016.

With that in mind, not all of your questions will be answered or all hearts mended. But I promise, in the end they will.

Warning: ‘Fire in the Blood’ includes m/f, m/m and m/m/f scenes as well as a darker event containing violence and elements of non-consent.

4.25 Stars
Fire in the Blood is the second novel in The Red Series, an erotic, plot driven series with plenty of angst and BDSM for your reading pleasure. Told from several alternating POV's, Fire in the Blood picks up where Little Band of Red ended, with PJ trying so hard to be the submissive Luke needs, while he finds himself convinced that she really can be the masochist he so desires. PJ finds herself turning to her neighbors, an incredibly handsome gay couple who she holds secret desires for her. The three men vie for her attention and the stakes are raised when Luke's desperation spins out of control. 

"He chanted those words again and again until they calmed him. She loved him, loved him ... loved him. And she would prove it."

I laughed after reading Fire in the Blood and checking out some of the reviews, because it seems we all feel the same way...this book is one heck of a roller coaster ride. Lily Freeman has created such a unique set of characters, each having such a different personality that the dynamics of each relationship flows like one would in real life. I liked PJ previously, but I love her now, I felt like she really came into her own in this novel. While she continues to be timid in several ways, her drive to take ownership of her life was such a good thing to read. Then there's Luke, the man you like, but know is so wrong for you. I couldn't have predicted the twists he would bring into this book. Elliot and Mika, those two are absolutely now book boyfriend material. Their relationship together and with PJ is so well written that I cannot pinpoint when I went from thinking of them as friendly neighbors to sexy neighbors. Of course, my lust is directed towards the hardened Elliot, who we get to really know when we read from his POV. Lily really allows the reader to get into the mind of each character, from the downfall of Luke to the emotional uncovering of Elliot. I think the alternating POVs were really what made this book a complete success for me, they are so well done.

"You've got that fire in the blood, all that strength and passion. You're not like other people and that's why we adore you."

Fire in the Blood is a suspenseful, angst-filled journey and this time the smut takes a turn for the dark. This one was so much more of an emotional read for me and I loved the twists that the story took. The erotic scenes were incredible (especially the fantasy scene), the dark scenes were brutal, and the moments in between created a story line out of a movie. If you are looking for a darker romance novel with BDSM, The Red Series is one I cannot recommend enough. It's unpredictable, it's attention grabbing, and it's incredibly well done. I am counting down the days to December for To Catch a Flame.

Twenty minutes later PJ was a wreck, actually shaking as she walked back down the hall, this time to let Luke in. With sweaty palms she opened the door. Her breathtakingly gorgeous boyfriend was standing right there under the security light, looking like an avenging angel with his sandy brown hair slightly dishevelled and beautiful eyes sparkling. He smiled at her, but straight away PJ could see the tension in Luke’s face, and when she took him in from head to toe, his body too. 
“Hello, Darling. Did you miss me?” 
She nodded, words refusing to come, her mouth suddenly so dry. With one step, Luke had her wrapped in his arms. Dropping his head, he sucked in a breath, right by her ear before he kissed her. 
“Say it.” 
    “I missed you, Luke.” 
    Somehow they made it back to her apartment, though all PJ could remember was his kiss. Her lips still tingled while she stood debating whether she should ask him what was wrong. With a finger he tilted her chin before moving lower, still only one little touch, down her neck, over her sternum. The buttons on her coat popped, one, two, three, before her coat fell, leaving her standing in nothing but her tiny excuse of a dress. 
    Taking his time, Luke prowled around her. Her pulse surged, her arms fidgeted at her sides, but it was the quietness which surrounded them that made her apprehensive. 
“I think we need to talk.” 
They did but PJ had absolutely no idea how to start the conversation which had been spinning around her head all day. “We do.” 
He took her hands, bringing her fingertips up to his lips then he kissed each one, all the while his eyes never left her face. 
“Are you scared of me, PJ? Not of what I’ve done, but of who I am?” 
All she could see as she glanced up at him were his soft blue eyes. He looked so sad, so lost and hurt, yet she wouldn’t lie to him. 
“I’m scared of … what you could do.” 
“I promised you, I’d never give you more than you can handle and I haven’t. I know I’ve taken you close, very close, but I’ve kept you safe. So why don’t you trust me?” 
He looked away, his broad shoulders heaving as he fought to remain calm and PJ looked away too. She felt like she was at a crossroads. If she turned left, she’d break Luke's heart and end it all. If she turned right, and gave him what he wanted, she honestly didn’t know what the outcome would be. What she did know was there was only one way to find out.

I didn't discover writing like most authors do. There was no childhood dream, no undeniable urge to put pen to paper. My story started off with an unexpected life changing event : a sizeable tax refund and a water-taxi ride caught from the wrong side of the Thames. I've always been an avid reader and a daydreamer, so when an idea for a novel was born from those three seemingly unrelated events, I ran with it.
That idea became an obsession and also a passion. My characters are big and bold, the men are dominant to a fault and the women are strong and sassy. I'm fascinated by the concept of fate. One decision causing another and another, all of them having consequences which ultimately draw my characters together only to tear them apart. There will always be a happy ending, because there's no denying, I'm a romantic at heart - but a little pain woven amongst all that pleasure makes for a very explosive plot.
When I'm not writing or meticulously plotting my next novel, I am a wife and a mother. I have a healthy appetite for physically challenging sports and I love coffee. If all else fails you'll find me reading a book which was how my journey began and will no doubt be how it will end.

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