Firebird by Jennifer Loring
My rating: 5 Stars
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Publish Date: Oct 10, 2015
Paperback, 444 pages
When I was contacted by the author to review the second book in this series that came out Tuesday 7/26, What’s Left of Me, once I read the blurb I knew I had to read the first book. So I did and I’m glad I did. Firebird is a wonderful love story. It is definitely not all hearts, flowers and romance. Ms. Loring keeps it real. Very real. And that’s what I love. Both Aleksandr and Stephanie are flawed in their own ways and they have to deal with their stuff before they can work things out.
Firebird is the first book in a trilogy built around Aleksandr and Stephanie (at least I know the first two books are, so I assume the third is). And they are also centered around hockey. I am a sucker for a sports romance, even a sport I have little-to-no-interest in. I’m from the south, most of us don’t have much interest in hockey. I’m a football girl. But I’ll read and enjoy a hockey romance in a heartbeat and it wasn’t any different for Firebird. Knowledge of the sport was not needed to enjoy the book. The sport is important to the book but the book does not get technical about the sport. But I loved the little bits I learned about hockey from the sport.
The characters are great. It is mainly centered around Aleksandr and Stephanie but the few side characters that stood out were great as well. I like that there weren’t a lot of characters for me to remember. I like that I really felt like I was able to get to know what made both Aleksandr and Stephanie tick. And I liked that I was able to get glimpses into their past to see who they were before together. I think Ms. Loring does an excellent job letting the reader get to know the characters, the good and the bad and letting the reader really connect to the characters. I was cheering for Aleksandr and Stephanie through the whole book. At times, yes I wanted to smack them upside the head but I understood the hows and whys of what was going on and knew they had to grow. It really worked and Ms. Loring does an excellent job with this.
The plot was well done as well. The character-driven romance was great and then the rest of the plot driven by the surprises that Ms. Loring throws in from time-to-time was amazing. She always had me on my toes, crossing my fingers that things would work out. The book reads quickly and even though I was on vacation and wanted to do other things I found it was extremely hard to put this book down. And when I did put it down, I could not wait to pick it back up.
If you like your romance mixed with some angst. If you like your romance books keeping it real. If you like your romance books hot (just like this summer). If you like characters you feel like you get to know and you can cheer for. If you enjoy romance books that you don’t want to put down then this book is for you. Firebird is amazing. I loved the characters, enjoyed the plot and didn’t want to put it down. And as soon as I finished, I started the second book because I could not get enough of Stephanie and Aleksandr. Try it, I bet you won’t get enough of the either.
About the book:
Stephanie Hartwell is a journalist chasing the story of her career…
When superstar hockey player and notorious bad boy Aleksandr Volynsky is traded to the Seattle Earthquakes in a blockbuster deal, Stephanie demands the opportunity to prove herself by scoring an exclusive interview with a man with no love for the media…the same man she once thought, as a naïve teenager, she’d someday marry.
An Olympian and Stanley Cup Champion, Aleksandr has achieved every goal he’s ever set…
Now expected to carry a failing team on his shoulders, Aleksandr’s troubles deepen when he encounters Stephanie after a season-opening loss. His lifestyle of drinking and random hookups has been a futile attempt to forget the beautiful tomboy who stole his heart nine years ago. And worse, fame and fortune have made it impossible for him to trust anyone—especially Stephanie, who is engaged to another man.
Romance rekindles, but tragedy reveals Aleksandr’s dark side…
Being with Aleksandr in the first place jeopardizes Stephanie’s journalistic integrity and threatens her career, and when he spirals out of control, it reawakens fears from her own history, making her unable to commit to a future with him.
When Aleksandr discovers the truth behind his self-destructive behavior, will his newfound self-awareness be enough to convince Stephanie to give him one last chance…
Or will his revelation drive her away for good?
About the Author:
Jennifer received her MFA from Seton Hill University’s program in Writing Popular Fiction, with a concentration in horror. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Mercyhurst University. She received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for her short story “The Bombay Trash Service”, and in 2013 she won first place in Crystal Lake Publishing’s inaugural Tales from the Lake horror writing competition. Jenn, a devoted fan of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, lives in Philly with her husband, a turtle, and two basset hounds. Keep up with her latest work by signing up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bxNcV1 (less)