November 4, 2008
The death of her only daughter left Cenda a broken shell of a woman. Her heart was
torn apart when that precious toddler was ripped from her life. But the illness
that killed her baby left the fledgling witch with a new ability – the power to
call and master fire. It is something she never wanted, certainly not at the
expense of losing her child, but now Cenda must learn to master this power
before it destroys her.
There are those who seek the power of the Fire Witch for their own questionable
purposes. To this end, they have sent bounty hunters after Cenda to kidnap
her. But one is more insidious than the rest – Grayson of Concordia, aka The
Duke of Ombra. With his seductive ways and disarming charm, he proves more
dangerous than the most heinous of henchman, for he steals her heart
Grayson’s last hope to rid himself of the demon who has plagued him his entire
life rests in this one mission. Yet when he meets Cenda, things don’t seem
quite so cut and dry any longer. He may have stolen her heart, but the Fire
Witch causes emotions to flare inside this lonely man as surely as she can set
any blaze. Can Grayson really betray her for his own needs?
If you are looking for a gritty, dark paranormal romance, then look no further.
THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW by Denise Rossetti fits that bill
perfectly. Both Gray and Cenda are two damaged people. Gray has sustained a
lifetime of trauma, and Cenda has suffered more recently, but with no less pain
In each other, they find the means to heal themselves, through love and
understanding. Oh, they may not realize at first it is love, but the passion is
undeniable from the moment they meet. Neither Gray nor Cenda has ever really
experienced true love before, so the emotion is at first hard to recognize.
I was gratified to find that although they are slow to realize they are in love,
they are certainly quick to recognize how much they genuinely like each other.
That instant connection makes it easy to understand why Cenda would fall into
the arms of a literal stranger so quickly. Then again, her deep despair and the
need to feel something, some kind of human comfort helps with that as well.
Cenda goes through quite a few trials during this book, from the ache she feels
from missing her daughter, to the frightening run for her life when she learns
she has become a target of some nasty people, and finally to learning of Gray’s
intent to betray her. Beginning the story somewhat meek and unassuming, these
trials build her character into a true heroine, resourceful and strong,
determined to protect those she cares about while doing no harm.
Gray’s hurdles are huge – he has to overcome both the external protagonists in
the story and his own internal demons. Not only that, he must also win Cenda’s
trust not once, but twice. Through it all, Gray proves himself a hero worthy of
Cenda, and is an inspiration to all as he finds a way to resolve his personal
issues, which are undoubtedly even harder for him to overcome than their foes.
THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW is a story that is simultaneously
heart-breaking and heart-warming. With people who inspire through their own
growth a compelling plot, and passion as incendiary as the Fire Witch’s power,
Denise Rossetti offers readers a novel that is hard to put down until the last
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