I wasn’t too far into Flamebound by Tessa Adams before I realized that I would be better off reading the first book, Soulbound, beforehand. I’m not sure quite how to characterize this book. There is a central romance between the MC and her love interest, but throughout the book, the romance seems to come in second to the action and overall plotline of the novel.
If you’ve read book 1, you know that there was some hocus pocus going on with making Xandra and Declan bound to one another. Xandra has lived her life with dormant magical powers her whole life and when Declan reappears in her life, they come alive with a vengeance. I’m not a huge fan of the “fated mates” trope, and this book didn’t do that particular trope any real favors. Xandra is taken aback by Declan’s thirst for revenge against the Council for attempting to kill her, but then again, she’s only been with him for 8 days. I’ll use a quote to demonstrate why I’ll never be sold on Declan.
“Besides, I’m alive. I’m whole.” -Xandra
“But that’s it. You’ll never be whole again, at least not in the way you were.” - Declan
Doesn’t he sound like a prize ladies? Part of Xandra’s powers is the ability to relive the last moments of someone’s death. In Soulbound, a handful of women were raped and murdered because they had the misfortune to resemble Xandra , and then Xandra got to relive those last horrid moments in addition to being physically beaten by a man who worked for the Arcadian Council of Witches, Wizards and Warlocks. So she’s stuck with someone that thinks she’s damaged goods. Or tainted. Or you know, not whole. Anyways, that right there kind of sunk the book for me.
Moving on, Xandra has been asked to trace the whereabouts of a missing girl by her policeman friend, Nate. Against her better judgment, Xandra decides to see if she can find out where Shelby is being held. Before she can delve further into the girl’s disappearance, her magic kicks in and takes her to the dead body of a former councilor of the ACW. Xandra is still coming to terms with her magical abilities, and she and Declan often bump heads about how she should use her powers. When they’re not fighting each other, they’re either having sex or dropping dead of exhaustion trying to figure out who’s behind the murders. This doesn’t bode well for character development and I was so turned off by Declan that I honestly didn’t give a damn.
If you read the copy from Amazon or Goodreads, it states that Tsura’s is Declan’s ex, but she’s not. Tsura is Xandra’s aunt, her mother’s sister. Irya is Declan’s ex and has a bit moment in the book, but it’s not even remotely close to being related to the plotline whatsoever. When the bad guy is revealed, I wasn’t surprised in the slightest. The book is action packed and moves quickly, but at that point, I just wanted the novel to be done. The magical system employed in the book is interesting and the world around it has the potential to be as well, but the characters I could not care less about