When I was contacted by the author to review the second book in this series that came out Tuesday 7/26, What's Left of Me, once I read the blurb I kneWhen I was contacted by the author to review the second book in this series that came out Tuesday 7/26, What's Left of Me, once I read the blurb I knew I had to read the first book. So I did and I'm glad I did. Firebird is a wonderful love story. It is definitely not all hearts, flowers and romance. Ms. Loring keeps it real. Very real. And that's what I love. Both Aleksandr and Stephanie are flawed in their own ways and they have to deal with their stuff before they can work things out.
Firebird is the first book in a trilogy built around Aleksandr and Stephanie (at least I know the first two books are, so I assume the third is). And they are also centered around hockey. I am a sucker for a sports romance, even a sport I have little-to-no-interest in. I'm from the south, most of us don't have much interest in hockey. I'm a football girl. But I'll read and enjoy a hockey romance in a heartbeat and it wasn't any different for Firebird. Knowledge of the sport was not needed to enjoy the book. The sport is important to the book but the book does not get technical about the sport. But I loved the little bits I learned about hockey from the sport.
The characters are great. It is mainly centered around Aleksandr and Stephanie but the few side characters that stood out were great as well. I like that there weren't a lot of characters for me to remember. I like that I really felt like I was able to get to know what made both Aleksandr and Stephanie tick. And I liked that I was able to get glimpses into their past to see who they were before together. I think Ms. Loring does an excellent job letting the reader get to know the characters, the good and the bad and letting the reader really connect to the characters. I was cheering for Aleksandr and Stephanie through the whole book. At times, yes I wanted to smack them upside the head but I understood the hows and whys of what was going on and knew they had to grow. It really worked and Ms. Loring does an excellent job with this.
The plot was well done as well. The character-driven romance was great and then the rest of the plot driven by the surprises that Ms. Loring throws in from time-to-time was amazing. She always had me on my toes, crossing my fingers that things would work out. The book reads quickly and even though I was on vacation and wanted to do other things I found it was extremely hard to put this book down. And when I did put it down, I could not wait to pick it back up.
If you like your romance mixed with some angst. If you like your romance books keeping it real. If you like your romance books hot (just like this summer). If you like characters you feel like you get to know and you can cheer for. If you enjoy romance books that you don't want to put down then this book is for you. Firebird is amazing. I loved the characters, enjoyed the plot and didn't want to put it down. And as soon as I finished, I started the second book because I could not get enough of Stephanie and Aleksandr. Try it, I bet you won't get enough of the either....more