Title: Bonfire (Hours of the Night: Book 1.5)
Authors: Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt
Length: 122 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Holiday, Paranormal
At a Glance: The mystery of the feu follet adds a great touch to Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt’s holiday offering in the Hours of the Night series.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Silent night, holy hell.
Thaddeus and Sarasija are spending the holidays on the bayou, and while the vampire’s idea of Christmas cheer doesn’t quite match his assistant’s, they’re working on a compromise. Before they can get the tree trimmed, they’re interrupted by the appearance of the feu follet. The ghostly lights appear in the swamp at random and lead even the locals astray.
When the townsfolk link the phenomenon to the return of their most reclusive neighbor, suspicion falls on Thaddeus. These lights aren’t bringing glad tidings, and if Thad and Sara can’t find their source, the feu follet might herald a holiday tragedy for the whole town.
This holiday novella can be enjoyed alone or as part of the Hours of the Night Series.
Review: If you read and loved Vespers, book one in the Hours of the Night series, you ought to be pretty excited to grab Bonfire. Thaddeus and Sara are spending their first holiday together on the bayou, something Sara aims to make a special occasion of, considering his future with Thad is only as secure as the contract that guarantees his employment until next summer. And with Thad being a vampire and virtually immortal, time itself is a conflict that the mortal Sara means to use as the motivation to help Thad live life to the fullest while he can.
And then, strange things begin to happen, of course. What else would we expect when a demon hunting vampire is involved? Not to mention the fact that the story’s set in Louisiana, an epicenter for the strange and unusual. The folks who are mistrustful of the mysterious Thaddeus Dupont aren’t willing to embrace him in the warmth of the holiday spirit, not when strange lights recall local legends. When a little girl disappears, the pull of the lights and their appearance coinciding with Thad and Sara’s arrival at the Dupont’s ancestral home leads a few neighbors to jump to the obvious conclusion.
The mystery the authors introduce in Bonfire is a great touch. I love holiday romances as much as the next reader, but with the added layer of suspense to go along with Thad’s reticence in the face of Sara’s Christmas spirit, the story’s sweet is benefitted by the substance of these other elements. While the eternal battle for Thad’s lost soul is still an issue, and his deep seated guilt over his sexuality evidently isn’t going away any time soon, we do get a lovely glimpse of a Thaddeus Dupont who’s attempting to emerge from the ennui and beginning to reach for Sara’s love and warmth. The conflict of Thad and Sara’s relationship is also furthered in this novella—the contract and Thad’s vampirism are just a couple of the greater issues that hang over their heads. There is a lot of conversation being avoided at the moment, and these things alone are a great tease to make me anxious for the next book.
Preston’s and Rancourt’s writing styles complement each other beautifully. The contrast in these characters is a great way for them each to show off some versatility in their narrative voices. It all flows together so seamlessly. Finally, while I know the blurb says Bonfire can be read as a standalone, my personal recommendation would be to read Vespers first. It’s well worth it and you’ll have the benefit of knowing Thad and Sara so much better.
You can buy Bonfire here:
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