This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

SHE'S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD…

"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

◊ You can find my 4.5-star review of the first installment, The Promise of Fire, here. ◊

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 4 stars! Holy angst adventures await, Batman! This exhilarating sequel sure knew how to keep me on my toes (literally, I was pacing the floors while clutching my kindle quite a few times) or had my heart thudding to a stop in my chest.

With heady swoons, epic battles, and other exciting/terrifying confrontations that will leave you both panicked and desperate, Breath of Fire will dominate all your senses and keep you spellbound as you read along helplessly while our dynamic duo and their Beta (turned Alpha) team face down all the formidable foes that cross their path. In a sense, this book will leave you breathless.

♥ Review: I’m just going to get this part of the way: I didn’t love this one as much as I did the first, but I still really enjoyed the hell out of it. The readability of these books is stunning. It’s almost compulsive the way I hated to set it aside when real life called and the way my fingers happily twitched when I had time to pick it up again. That’s something that Bouchet has down solidly as a writer: the story she creates is easy to get immersed in, and terribly difficult to leave. As a reader, I only grow more invested with each book, eager to see what breath-taking adventure we’re up for next, and still ready for more when I’ve barely recovered from the last conflict in the book. She’s also crafted some really amazing characters, and the dynamics and complexity between them as friends, comrades, families, lovers, and more only allows you connect with them as individuals and rally behind them as a group. I loved watching that bond between Cat and Griffin, as well as Cat and the Beta/Alpha team and Cat and Griffin’s family, strengthen even further in this sequel. Watching the evolution of her relationships/friendships has also taught her a lot about herself, and this aid in her character development has further propelled the plot arc in new way, too. Because, for Cat to really know herself, to come into what fate and the god’s have decided for her, means she’s meeting her destiny fully, head-on, and the storyline is subject to follow suit. And so far? Yeah, that journey has been an incredible one to experience. Battling mystical, magical creatures and people, receiving gifts and divinations from the gods, competing for thrones and power. . . all of it has made my heart race or plummet, had me flailing wildly, and maybe even caused me to shed a tear or two. Again, Bouchet can craft the hell out of a story.

I did have a few issues with this book, same as I did with the last. The first was how this novel started. To be honest, it was such an a startling, abrupt beginning that I was left a little stunned and kind of confused if I’m being perfectly honest. I didn’t know if it was going to be a dream or maybe a future premonition because there was little in the way of a warm-up before Bouchet was literally throwing tables and swords at us. Beside the quick dive into the story, there was also the question of why it was even happening. Yes, Griffin has always had a temper, but it was sort of a quiet rage and for his love to be so evident in the last book, it was hard for me to believe that he would ever lash out like this at Cat. It was just a little off-putting, and though he quickly realized he was in the wrong and walked away, it still took me numerous pages for me to shake the feeling of wrongness that hung around afterwards. It simply felt out of character to me. (I get his frustration and anger over her lying and him finding out the way he did, but I just didn’t like how he exploded. To me, it felt untrue to his character. But that’s just my opinion.) My next little problem was the repetition of the plot. I think what I liked so much about the first book was that I felt like I constantly had to be on guard because the story felt unpredictable. That wasn’t so much the case with this installment. The storyline seemed to fall into a pattern: sex, epic battle, near-death experience from Cat or someone else, extended periods of sleeping and healing, declarations of love or friendship/family, more sex, and repeat. It wasn’t necessarily the end the world as I’ve already established that I enjoy Bouchet’s storytelling abilities and overall plot, but the repetitive flow of the plot left a little more to be desired. Lastly there’s is same issue I had with A Promise of Fire and that is the overuse of certain words and phrases. I realize with close to 500 pages you’re bond to repeat some words on occasion, but if I had to read about Griffin’s storm gray eyes or his hawk nose another time, I was going to scream. I try not to get to nick-picky about it because I know it’s a personal pet peeve of my own in literature, but I can’t not say anything since it definitely affected my overall rating.

My little problems with the book aside, I still can’t sit here and say that I didn’t love this book because I absolutely did. I love being along with this cast of characters as they face down near-death experience after cataclysmic near-death experience. I won’t ever not champion them even when they almost give me a heart-attack or make me cry a little, nor will I ever not champion Ms. Bouchet for giving us such a magnificent and terrifying world to escape into for a while. There were some pretty excellent developments in this book and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the next.

♥ Teaser Quote: Cat and Griffin might be fighting on the same side, but they still banter like crazy. Then there’s Beta/Alpha team, and they way they tease one another. Or better yet, how they all love Cat in their own way. Picking a teaser from these novels is always hard because Ms. Bouchet can write the hell out of some dialogue . . . so that’s why I’m picking two. (I’m an adult, I make my own choices.)

     “…And I also had a burning desire to kiss my amazing wife.”
     My flush spreads. “You’re right, I am amazing. And terrifying. And smart. And fierce. And–”
     “Extremely modest, as usual.”
     I grin. “I know! That is one of my better qualities.”

–quote taken from the e-ARC of Breath of Fire at 79%

◊♦◊♦◊

     “Do you know what happens to anyone who tries to hurt my wife?” Griffin’s voice is both iron and thunder as he flips his sword around then delivers a punishing backhanded blow with the base of the hilt to the man’s ribs. He hits the same place where the Magoi kicked me. “Either she kills that person.” Griffin flips his sword back around. “Or I do.”
     He runs the Magoi through and then brutally lifts his blade, cutting a foot-long gash straight to the man’s chin before drawing his sword back out.
     I blink. Mercy is off the table. Clearly.
     Gingerly, I touch my aching side.
     “He called me stupid.”
     Griffin’s eyes blaze anew. “Then it’s a bloody shame I can’t kill him twice.”

–quote taken from the e-ARC of Breath of Fire at 89%  

Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
Writing
Characters
Plot
Pacing
Swoons
General Book Feels
Smut Hotness
Overall:

♥ Rec It? Yes! My minor issues with the writing style, pacing, and questionable character choices aside, I still can’t deny how riveted I was by what has happened in this series so far. With each new installment, I only find myself eager for more of what this author has to offer in this cutthroat world filled with characters I’ve grown to love. I need Heart of Fire as soon as possible!

His strength amazes me. Honors me. I’m not sickened by his state. I’m impressed. The man I love endures. He is me, and I am him. We are forged of the same passion and violence, and we have hearts of iron.

–quote taken from the e-ARC of Breath of Fire at 84%

♥ A very special thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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