Monday, May 4, 2015

Smoke Rising (Kindling Flames #3) by Julie Wetzel Review

Hey readers! Ethan here yet again with another review for you guys. I'm like a machine tonight and am hoping to this whole series finished tonight. Let's keep this party going! What am I raving about now? Smoke Rising, the third novel in the acclaimed Kindling Flames series by Julie Wetzel! Here's a bit about the book and the author before we get to my thoughts:

Is there such a thing as a normal life when you live with an ancient vampire and a temperamental hellhound? 

Victoria Westernly was just starting to think so. With Samhain just around the corner and the promise of a Halloween Ball, her life was looking good. Even the addition of a new master vampire couldn’t bring her down.

When Victoria and Darien become the victims of a series of unfortunate accidents, they know something’s up. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But, the question is… who is burning what?

Julie Wetzel

Originally from Ohio, Julie always dreamed of a job in science. Either shooting for the stars or delving into the mysteries of volcanoes. But, life never leads where you expect. In 2007, she moved to Mississippi to be with her significant other. 

Now a mother of a hyperactive red headed boy, what time she’s not chasing down dirty socks and unsticking toys from the ceiling is spent crafting worlds readers can get lost it. Julie is a self-proclaimed bibliophile and lover of big words. She likes hiking, frogs, interesting earrings, and a plethora of other fun things. 


My Thoughts:

You guys have probably read my other two reviews from this series already enough to know that I am in absolute bookish love with this one. It's been a long time since I read a paranormal series that has stuck with me like this one has. I've read lots of vampire novels in my day, but this one nearly takes the cake. I haven't been this excited about a paranormal series since Sookie Stackhouse solved her last mystery. The love is deep people. If you haven't taken the plunge yet, I don't know why you're waiting. This series just gets better with each passing installment!

Smoke Rising may be my favorite in the series thus far. So much is happening. Coming down off the high of the Hunt where the gang defeated 

This installment starts on a much lighter note than the previous installment. Things are settled down for the time being and Vicky has finally acclimated to her new life as the assistance to Vampire Master Darien Ritter. Living in a penthouse suite with her boss and lover Darien, along with an extremely protective hellhound, Zak, Vicky is enjoying life for the first time in a while. With Halloween right around the corner, could Vicky actually have a normal holiday on her hands?

Little does Vicky know that the legends of Halloween are true. It's the one night of the year where paranormal creatures roam free and the veil between worlds is the thinnest. One heck of a combination. With both Vicky's best friend and Darien planning huge Halloween festivities, it's going to take Vicky and the gang firing on all synapses to ensure they go off without a hitch.

With a new vampire Master in town, can the gang discover the secrets the newcomer hides before the Halloween season overtakes them?

On top of all of this craziness, Darien is getting weaker, craving human food, and acting more human than ever before. With Darien weakening, the supernatural community must come to Darien's aid and ensure the eldest Master is returned to his former glory, by any means necessary.

This installment isn't quite as dark as the previous one which was a nice break. It's a more lighthearted and human read where we learn a lot more about our characters, especially Darien and his kind. While previous installments of the series have touched on the life and times of Darien Ritter, it's in Smoke Rising that we really begin to learn the truth about Darien's past. Also, the complexities of Darien and Vicky's relationship are beginning to cause some issue so we really see a lot of awesome things happen here.

Now even though this novel was a bit more human than the past two, this does not mean we don't get to see some incredible action and paranormally awesome. Some of the coolest magic scenes are present in this novel and, while I won't spoil them, I think the readers will be pleasantly surprised. The cultures and traditions of Wetzel's world are more thoroughly explored and I think fans of Wetzels will love what she has done with this installment. 

This novel also deals with the growing romance between Darien and Vicky. While they've more or less been together for awhile now, this is the first time we hear talk of a definitive future together. One of my favorite things about this series is how safe it is. While there are themes of love and sex, it's all 'off-screen' so you don't have to worry about any explicit content messing up the mood of the story. 

The plotline was perfect. The ending was a bit less cliffhangery than the other two giving this story a much more 'complete' feel, while also leaving me watering at the mouth for book four. I only hope Mrs. Julie Wetzel realizes how special a series she has written. Fans of all vamps from Anne Rice to Stephenie Meyer to Charlaine Harris will be thrilled with this read. Paranormal lovers everywhere should go ahead and clear a spot on your bookshelves, Julie Wetzel is here to stay!

Following the tradition of its' predecessors, I am honored to grant Smoke Rising an awesome 5-star review! I've said it before and I'll say it again, Wetzel is a true talent, one we are lucky to have! Don't hesitate to pick up your copy of this ASAP! 

Click the covers below to read my 5-star reviews of 
Gathering Tinder (Kindling Flames #1) and Flying Sparks (Kindling Flames #2)

Alright folks, that's all I have for you on the topic of Smoke Rising by Julie Wetzel. I absolutely love this series and it just keeps getting better and better!. Head over and pick up your copy now. Also, head over to Julie's social media pages and give her a shout out, tell her Ethan sent ya! Be careful though, apparently, like her characters, she does bite. Watch out! Until next time, Happy Reading!



  1. Ah, Ethan... Making me blush! Thanks for such a heart warming review.

  2. I have seen the reviews coming through for these books and all three of them sound so good. And what appeals to me about them is that it seems like they are only getting better as you pass through each one. So glad to know you are loving them!