Title: Fire Baptized (Habitat #1)
Author: Kenya Wright
Publisher: Dragonfairy Press
Pages: Paperback; 276
Release Date: January 28, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love gritty, dark stories with a romantic twist.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.
While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?
Diving into Fire Baptized actually marked only the third series I've started in the Urban Fantasy genre. I have to say that the more that I read, the more I get hooked! It's nice to see some strong characters out there, both female and male, who don't go around worrying about romance all the time. They have other, more pressing (and often bloody) things to deal with. It's a nice change of pace.
We meet Lanore Vesta as she witnesses a rather brutal murder, completely by accident. What follows is her battle to figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim herself. I really liked Lanore a lot. Her stubborn and witty attitude drew me in, but it was her compassion for others that really kept me there. She doesn't need a man to save her, Lanore can handle her own and she makes the story. Featuring basic human (or in this case mixbreed) rights, a steamy set of guys to drool over, a sadistic killer, and a dark mystery, Fire Baptized has a little bit of everything. It's hard not to fall in love.
Speaking of falling in love, Lenore has two gorgeous men to choose from in this book. Plus they just so happen to be kick ass shape shifters that can rip your face off in a moment. Each delicious in their own way, MeShack and Zulu are just too steamy for words. I couldn't really decide which of them I liked more, and so I totally understood why Lanore would have the same dilemma. Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle. Still, it doesn't overload the book at all. In my opinion all it does is add a wonderful contrast to the bloody mystery that surrounds it.
Fire Baptized does contain a fair amount of graphic violence, and graphic sexual situations. If you are a reader who is uncomfortable with this subject matter then this probably isn't for you. However if you enjoy a female protagonist who is strong, supporting characters who are seductive and dark in equal parts, and a story line that moves at a lightning pace, then this is a book for you! My only issue was that the climax of the book was so short! I'm sure there is more coming though, and that excites me. I'm ready for more of these characters. Bring on the steam.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.