All Fired Up by Kristen Painter
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Fantasy
Length: Full (201 pages)
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Lavender
Desire can heal the coldest heart—or burn it to ashes.
Alrik Gunn knows from bitter experience that change isn’t always for the better. From the woman who annihilated his Viking clan to the goddess who tricked him into centuries of slavery, betrayal has dogged his existence. The Goddess of Love is going to let him avenge his family, but for a price. As a Phoenix—a merchant of change—he must grant a human woman three chances to change her life.
When former Irish dancer Calleigh McCarthy tosses a carved-bird statue that belonged to her ex into a roaring bonfire, she unwittingly summons an honest-to-god Phoenix. A sexy, irresistible Viking who offers her an unbelievable bonus—three get-out-of-her-crappy-life-free cards. She’ll take it, even if it means guarding her cautious heart against the dark pain behind Alrik’s eyes.
Alrik has vowed never to let love sway him again, but Calleigh’s innocence and kindness throw him off balance. Yet even as his need for revenge fades and his love for her grows, he is bound to let her make her choices without interfering.
One wrongly chosen word, and any chance for happiness—for either of them—will go up in flames.
All Fired Up is a fantastic story written by Kristen Painter. She has a new fan, and I will keep a look out for more of her work.
The hero, Alrik Gunn, is a 9th century Viking, betrayed by his wife. She and her people slaughtered his family and murdered him viciously. Things get worse. The Goddess of Love tricks him into slavery, for centuries. During this time, his sense of betrayal sizzles. The Goddess promises him he can have his vengeance to those who wronged him, but there is a cost. He becomes a Phoenix, a being with the power to offer a mortal three life changes.
The utterly charming, Irish Calleigh McCarthy comes onto the scene. The man she was supposed to marry has betrayed her, and both of her parents have died. Calleigh is sweet, kind, and sad. She accidentally calls the Phoenix into her life, summoning him with a talisman. When these two get together, magic truly happens.
As events unfolded, I was sucked in and had to keep reading. Their adventures were highly entertaining, and I found my heart breaking for both of them. When the first change (wish) was granted, I thought, “Oh no!” Then the second tugged at my heart, but the third change had the biggest emotional pull of all. Calleigh’s unselfishness is inspiring.
The story is well written, and memorable. I will think about these characters and their love story for a long time to come. This book has my recommendation.