Friday, January 5, 2018

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet


Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form.

I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.
The only thing ever stopping me has been me.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I was eagerly awaiting this third book in the series after really enjoying the previous two. I am fussy about this genre generally, so when I find one that I like it is an extra treat. This series has definitely not let me down. In fact, my husband is even reading them now and it's not often we both like the same thing.

In this third installment, we come full circle with the transformation of Cat and her life. She has come a long way and learned so much, but the true test is coming, and she isn't sure she has changed and learned enough to survive it and protect all of those who have slowly crept into and thawed her terrified heart.

I really enjoyed the little surprises the author had popping up along the way in this one. It kept me sucked right into the storyline not wanting to put it down. Of course, there was plenty of action and angst along the way with the perfect mix of love and romance. I liked that the author brought even more emotional depth this time, making the impact of every little twist even stronger. It was definitely a full package book. Explosive, action packed, fast paced, sexy, and emotional, all in one! I am left with a few little questions and curiosities, but I believe the author left some things open intentionally.

Overall, I devoured this book. I loved the series and am sad to see the story come to an end even after being satisfied with it. That is the mark of a good author for me. I will definitely be keeping an eye on Amanda Bouchet's further works and will definitely recommend this book. I already did with my husband.

Amanda Bouchet’s third installment in The Kingmaker Chronicles, Heart on Fire, is just as addictive as the first two and I had no problem getting sucked into Cat’s adventures all over again! I easily devoured the first two books and the third did not disappoint. There were times I had wished I had maybe reread the first two books prior to starting the third, but I managed to find my rhythm eventually. Heart on Fire picks up shortly after where Breath of Fire ends and you’re immediately right in the middle of the action again.

I can’t get enough of Bouchet’s stellar world building and kick-ass heroine, Cat. Her characters are well developed, and you can’t help but fall in love with Griffin and his Beta Team! I’m just saying I wouldn’t be mad about a novella on some of these guys. Also, I love the way Bouchet is able to effortlessly blend Greek mythology and magic into her book. The Kingmaker Chronicles are the perfect combination of action, adventure, and romance! All In all, Heart on Fire was another fantastic addition to the series and I can’t wait to see what Bouchet has in store for these characters in the future.


Heart on Fire is the third, and possibly but hopefully not, the final installment in the Kingmaker Chronicles. This is most definitely not a standalone novel – I strongly suggest starting with the first in the series.

I need to preface this review with how it had been a year and 200+ books since I read the second installment. I wish I had reread parts of the first two books as a catch-up, because, with the complexity of the world-building, even having read and loved the books, I was confused and lost several times over.

Heart on Fire starts off right in the middle of the action. This comes out of nowhere – while it adds drama, I felt it was irrational and out of character (I won't go into who or what happens, but why?). Nearly a quarter of the book took place in the first scene and its aftermath. This is the setup of the novel, yet it doesn't impact the course they were going to take in the first place. It really, truly had nothing to do with the story, rather used to reveal the true nature of two of Cat's nearest and dearest. Chaotic and confusing, as I tried to play catch-up and remember what had happened and who the characters were and their alliances, this opener, encompassing nearly a quarter of the book, felt out of place. There were thrilling, heart-pounding moments during this scene, but also humorous and emotional ones as well, mixed with betrayal and the injustice of being seen in a way you don't see yourself. Powerlessness for the most powerful in the universe the author has created.

With this series, it's not unexpected to have huge, uncontrollable powers revealed exactly when they are needed, or gods dropping in and altering the course of the action, lending an over-the-top feel to the novels.

As a big fan of video games featuring 'adventuring,' A Promise of Fire is in the top 10 of my favorite fantasy novels, having a similar feel, with destiny and quests and magics. But the sequels' plots didn't seem as tight, a bit chaotic and all over the place, to be honest. Cat, with her unique powers, and her take-charge attitude, she will forever be one of my favorite heroine, role models. Griffin is a solid character, with realistic actions and reactions – the perfect hero. The side cast is a mix of anything you could imagine, a full spectrum of personalities, emotions, and abilities, lending a humorous or heart-squeezing bent to the storyline. The best of times are when Cat is emotionally connecting to the side characters, her friends, and family.

One of the biggest surprises, in the series as a whole, is how the author added heat with the romance. Not often do I find that, without it turning into a paranormal romance, where the story focuses on the romance instead of the plot. Bouchet has created a fantasy series, with a strong romantic thread, that also has spicy between-the-sheets action, without overpowering or overshadowing the 'destiny' plot.

However, I'm a romantic tension reader, so once I know a couple is 'together,' I'm good. I needed the romantic focus to shift to another couple after book one, because their longevity solidified, with them just 'together' for two-thirds of the series. With the tension gone, it switched to affirmation. But that's just my reading tastes.

I don't want to go too deeply into the plot, as it's an arc that's been building over three books, driving straight toward Cat's mother. The pacing is quick in some places, fast-forwarding, while sluggish in others due to dialogue and inner monologue. The action is thrilling and heart-pounding, with witty quips. Cat and Griffin are tight, with their Little Bean, and I felt satisfied in this knowledge, to the point I was more curious about the life and love of several of the side characters as they quested beside their King and Queen.

The conclusion is in juxtaposition with the long beginning and rambling middle, rushed and felt incomplete. Is there another book? It just cut off, feeling as if it was missing an epilogue to tie it all together, after three books propelling to this very showdown.

Overall, I applaud the author on the world-building and the characterization. Innovated and intriguing, the addition of mythology mixed with magics was the perfect hook to have readers begging for more. I was entertained across the board, but felt the plot needed some tightening in the execution.

I definitely recommend. In the future, I think I'd get maximum payoff if I reread all three books back-to-back, versus a year apart. The intricacies would be in my head, erasing all confusion – the feverish need for the next would turn into instant gratification, while it was still fresh in my mind, because I'd have the next locked and loaded onto my Kindle. There would be no down-period where disinterest dwells, because I'd have the next immediately. The momentum would carry over. So, I seriously suggest reading all three back-to-back.

Also Available in the Kingmaker Chronicles

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our A Promise of Fire post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Breath of Fire post.

Award-winning author Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. A Promise of Fire won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the Paranormal Category of the prestigious Golden Pen. Amanda moved to Paris, France, in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

Connect with Amanda

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3) by Amanda Bouchet to read and review.

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