Sunday, October 1, 2017

Book Review: 'Fired Up' by Anna Durand

Author Anna Durand pens romances – and not just flavored with the usual ingredients. Anna adds various locales, but also concepts of the reborn, psychic tales, and paranormal fantasies. And for her diversity as well as her gift as a writer she has won many awards for the fourteen books she has published to date. She knows how to make her hunks and heroines sizzle with erotica and combining a stylish prose with steamy romance is gaining her a wide audience of committed followers. Of note, Anna earned master's in library science and helps her fellow indie authors and publisher with her cataloging services company.

Anna is not only a writer of words, she is a painter of atmospheres and character descriptions that make her books as visual as they are romantic and erotic. An example of her honed craft opens this novel – ‘Mel Thompson wandered down the darkened hallway, clutching the hand of her best friend, Kaya Makino. The bass-heavy music pulsed louder with each step she took toward their destination — Dance Ardor, Chicago's newest and hottest underground club. Her two best friends had conspired to drag her into this mysterious place, hidden inside an abandoned warehouse, to cheer her up on her birthday. She loved them for it, but this kind of venue wasn't her thing. Kaya tugged her hand and Mel realized she'd stopped moving. A few yards ahead, the cramped entryway opened into the club. Mel took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and trailed her friend out into the unknown. The beat of the sensual, electronic music throbbed into her body. The club existed in a deep twilight, penetrated by strobe lights of such intense purple and red they provoked thoughts of jewels — amethyst and garnet — melted into mist. The colors stroked across the dance floor, merging and dividing, sliding over the polished black floor and the writhing shapes of couples. Straight ahead, steps descended to the dance floor, but Kaya led her down the platform that ringed the space. Men and women, in couples and in groups, gathered around high tables, seated on stool chairs upholstered in plum velvet. Kaya located an empty table and hauled Mel toward it. They hopped up onto the high seats. Mel hooked the heels of her shoes on a rung of the stool, rather than let her feet dangle six inches above the floor. The plum-colored tabletop glistened in the strobing light.’

For steamy romances that have true substance as stories, Anna Durand stands tall I that category. As her synopsis suggests, – ‘He sets women ablaze, but the only one he needs may be fireproof. Humiliated by her cheating ex, control freak Mel Thompson has resolved to avoid sex and romance. But her plans skid off the rails on her birthday, when she overindulges in champagne and tries to seduce her best friend, Adam Caras, exposing her long-repressed attraction to him. Like all the firefighters she'd met, Adam worked out to stay in condition for the job.
She's determined to remain just friends, but her erotic fantasies have other ideas...Firefighter Adam Caras has seduced more women than he'd ever admit to, earning the nickname the Arsonist, thanks to his explosive sensuality. Unfortunately, he realized he's in love with his best friend Mel five minutes after she hooked up with her sleazebag ex. For two years, he's kept his true feelings a secret. His libido, on the other hand...not so easy to rein in. Now that she's free, he has a plan of his own. He'll win her heart the only way he knows how--in bed--by employing every weapon in his lady-killer arsenal. As best friends become lovers, they must risk everything for a chance at happiness. If they can overcome their past mistakes before it tears them apart...’

Anna uses contemporary devices to perk up this romance – texting, IT gadgets and more add to the realism of this erotic relationship exploration. A story that touches on many aspects of the incredible nature comes together so well in this well crafted novel. Grady Harp, September 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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