Circle of Fire (Damask Circle #1)
by Keri Arthur
published by Dell
genre: Adult, Fantasy, PNR
Summary (Goodreads): Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.
Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore.
My Thoughts: I had already read book 2 when I started Circle of Fire. I was expecting certain things, like more info on The Damask Circle, that did not happen. These definitely feel like stand alone books. While one of the leads happens to be part of the Circle, I have not seen any crossover of characters or even mention of others besides the Head of the Circle.
This felt more like being told it is a paranormal book than actually feeling like one. There were parts, like Jon being a shifter and Maddie having some sort of sight, that were used when convenient to the story but really played a backseat. I liked both characters but didn't find myself caring about their HEA as much as I should have.
Luckily there was the story of the missing kids and the evil that has taken them. I found the hotel guy creepier than the actual bad guy. He may have been the evil sidekick but he seemed to play a bigger part in the story.
Overall, I was glad I had read book 2 already. I would still have wanted to read more but would not have been as quick to search it out.