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Imdalind #1

Kiss of Fire

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Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.
The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

354 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 30, 2012

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About the author

Rebecca Ethington

60 books1,444 followers
Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then on stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 884 reviews
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
November 7, 2016
This book is absolutely amazing!
Its an extremely well loved indie paranormal novel with over 7,000 ratings on goodreads and I can SEE why its so good!

I loved this introduction to a new magical world within a modern day world. I loved the characters, I can already see myself falling in love and shipping characters together.
if you go to the goodreads page you can enter to win a paperback, its worth it!
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
660 reviews3,882 followers
November 18, 2016
"You have very pretty eyes" he said softly. "They look like diamonds"

This book .... THIS BOOK. I truly, truly don't know how I feel about it. Do I love it, do I hate it? I just do not know (Which, btw is a pretty shit opener for a review. Hello, today I will be reviewing a book I both loved and hated)

I just ... I just don't know. THERE WERE BITS AND PIECES I REALLY LOVED and then there were bits that literally made my eyes roll into the back of my goddam skull due to how cliche they were.

This book is definitely one for fans of The Mortal Instruments ! It follows much the same premise. A young girl is thrown into a magical world hidden from the eyes of regular people, whilst finding out she is unknowingly one of these magical people.


it was free on amazon. Yeah, whatever. I'm a cheapskate, and I'm broke. Free books are good books

✦ The set up of the magical world. I liked that the centre/origin of the world was in The Czech Republic and that the characters traditionally spoke Czech. It just felt like it was something new and refreshing in an area that has been really overdone and explored.

✦ Ilyan. I loved his characters, he was my favourite. However, I do think he could have used some further development tbh

✦ I liked that bad shit happened because I feel it raised the stakes and generally made the story more intense

✦ I also really liked Wyn as a character - and Ovailia

✦ I feel like it set up the series well, and I am genuinely excited about where this goes even if the first book by itself wasn't my favourite, I feel the series as a whole has great potential


✦ I'm sorryyy but I just hated the main character so much. She was so whiny, and just ... urgh! she was so frustrating. 1: Has intense guilt about something that obviously isn't her fault. 2: Is a beautiful girl but thinks she's ugly 3: She's such an amateur but acts like she's a master and I'm like GIRL pls respect your elders

✦ There is a lowkey love triangle and I am NOT DOWN

✦ It was really tropey and cliche. I didn't like the romance much, it was just too much at times and idk how to feel about it. I went from really liking Ryland to literally cringing about him every few minutes and it was frankly exhuasting


✦ The baddies were too much. They were just too over the top evil for me to take seriously. I didn't feel like they were complex villians, they were more the insane, murderous, sterotypical hitler style villians. They were just too over the top for me to engage with u know?

✦ Found the writing style a tad too simplistic sometimes

TRULY this book is a conundrum. Maybe it's because I went in with low expectations that were definitely surpassed - but I don't know how to feel.
I think it's one of those books you just can't take too seriously, it's sort of fun and fluffy but not really well developed in any aspect. It felt like characters, world building, plot were all good and yet they needed something to make them better

I think I will continue with this series, because it seems to be set up really well to have good potential. I'm hoping that there will be lots of character development, since I think that was lacking lots in this book.

Overall, I give this a 3.5*. It was much better then I expected going in, and for a debut novel I really enjoyed it. I will be continuing this series !
132 reviews2 followers
October 10, 2013
DNF at 75 %. This review contains spoilers.

Ever ate too much candy? Ya know, when you eat so much you get sick from it but can't make yourself stop from eating more? Yea, this book = that.

Interesting paranormal concept. Somewhat original and I applaud the author for that. Sadly, not strong enough to make me wanna stick around.

The 'heroine' is beyond annoying - whiny, weak, immature, pathetic, TSTL. I don't need my heroines to be kickass right away, they can grow into that role, but there is only so much lack of strength I can take. Who the fuck wants to read about a girl that hides in a corner when she's about to die? Honestly, I get that some go defensive instead of offensive, but there's still a difference between fish in a barrel and a cornered tiger. FYI, giving heroines superpowers just because they lack even the smallest survival instinct, is ridiculous.
Not only is she TSTL, but also TSTD, because then I wouldn't have to read on and on and on about her never ending helplessness and pain and blablablablabla.

The plot is draaaaaawwwwwn out. The first 1/3 of the book creeps along and nothing interesting ever happens.
I can't even be bothered to list all the things that made me wanna headbang the wall over and over again.

Further treats:
- Her best friend Ryland gifts her with presents worth several thousand dollars, because you know he can. She has NO problem taking them. Not one thought is wasted.
- She FIGURES OUT NOTHING by herself. She gets hid over the head with a gazillion clues. But instead of using a few braincells on finding out what the fuck is going in she's more like: 'Nah, why leave the easy road of complete and utter ignorance and stupidity.'
- Again, she questions NOTHING. Hint: Jumping on Rylands back scene. TSTL.
- Ryland is super uber overprotective; starts carrying her around when she has a small scratch. AND SHE LET'S HIM.
- She meets Ilyan. Thinks he's somewhat hot but knows he's about 10 years older than her and she thinks that's gross. Then she gets to know he's centuries older. Book 2 (blurb): He becomes her love interest. Duh.
- Love triangle. Nough said.

YA doesn't mean maturity is a taboo topic. But this book almost feels like it.
Teens might like this book. I might have a few years back. But I am adult enough now not to squeal over somewhat not unattractive males and/or anything potentially romantic.
Profile Image for Lenore Kosinski.
2,316 reviews52 followers
August 23, 2019

4.5 stars — It’s been a LONG time since I’ve read this one, and I’m finally coming back to finish the series!! Hopefully. I will admit that it didn’t suck me in quite as much as it did the first time. I’m not sure if it’s the mood I’m in, b/c it seems to be a common theme with books the last few weeks. Or even maybe that I’ve read book 2 now, and so I’m more reserved about some things. But either way, I still totally enjoyed myself, I just wasn’t epic-ized I guess.

Part of the problem is that I’ve met a lot of heroines like Jos at this point in my reading career, and when the book starts, she doesn’t stand out. I forgot about her penchant for hiding, and I forgot about the high school bullies. I had a harder time with that this time. It felt…cliche? I think I needed more sass from her…something to make me want to root for her.

On the other hand, the world building is wonderful! I still absolutely loved the little elements we’re introduced to, the way magic is presented, the mythos of the world if you will. That is really well done. I also felt like the action/suspense parts of the plot go freaking apeballs crazy, and more than once! That initial mini-middle-climax was crazy, and I was so along for that ride! I loved that we were learning so many things through her hearing/seeing, b/c she was kind of incapacitated. It was an intriguing way to go about introducing stuff. And the end climax was also pretty epic, though it dragged a teeny bit for me this time around.

I was also still super sucked into Joclyn’s relationship with Ryland…well, sucked in with reservations. Their connection was seriously palpable, and I loved the sweetness of their friendship — I believed it. I believed how much they meant to one another. Which is what made it so hard. I will say that having read book 2, but still having no answers, I was more anxious about it this time around. I can’t wait to see how things actually work out.

So yeah. Definitely still really enjoyed it, just perhaps not as much as the first (or second) time through.

if you’re one of those readers that can’t stand bad editing (typos, etc), this one is a medium — typical self-published novel. IT wasn’t remotely enough for *me* NOT to get totally wrapped up in the plot, but I did notice them.

5 stars — Oh dear lord that was epic…. I haven’t been sucked into a world so much since Reckless Magic, etc. Ms Ethington did a fabulous job of introducing a unique universe that had so many intriguing elements, but wasn’t too confusing to get wrapped up in. Though dear me, I do want to learn some Czech now so perhaps I could have a hope in hell of pronouncing some of those words in my head. I spent the first half wishing the heroine knew she was in an epic novel b/c then she would have seen some things coming. I spent a lot of time going back and forth with theories, and ideas of what would happen, how things would end, who was who, who wanted what, etc etc….and sometimes I was right and sometimes I was wrong. I had so many questions, and the author achieved a perfect balance of satiating my curiosity with some answers, while leaving some unanswered for now with an implied promise that more would be revealed in future books. The main characters and secondary characters were all ones that were tailor made for my tastes….I can’t even really describe it, but I loved them all…. Oh Jos and Ryland….I don’t know how I will survive not knowing what is going to happen, if it’s really the end, if there will be a twist, if my suspicions about Ilyan will be confirmed. OK, I don’t even know why I’m writing anymore…I LOVED it. I laughed, I bawled huge gasping sobs, I was absorbed. And the ending was near perfect….felt like the closing of a chapter, just waiting to feed me more….
Profile Image for Serena (The Book Comedian).
124 reviews167 followers
December 4, 2013

OMGOMGOMG, FINALLY, A GOOD BOOK; I was beginning to lose hope in authors' with all the crappy books I've been reading, BUT THIS, THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED.

P.S. I really didn't expect this book to be good because the cover was so cheesy


P.S.S. So do you think Ryland and I should have a wedding in the Spring or Fall cause I can't really decide...

Profile Image for Andrea.
1,691 reviews1 follower
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 30, 2023
DNF 53%

Interesting premise, but I think I'm a bit over some YA tropes and plot elements in general that this book had going on, so it really wasn't up my alley. For example, the blonde bitchy cheerleader, the slut shaming, the absolute obsession with her not dressing "like a girl", the pushy friend insisting the h get with the H, the no agency.. ect ect


I honestly dropped this a while ago and couldn't remember to much of what is going on in the plot...but looking at my notes I don't think I'll go back to finish.

Darn my girl emotions!

“You know, Jos, you’re more of a girl than you let on. I’m just glad I am the one who gets to see it.” With that, Ryland kissed my forehead.

“Seeing as it’s my first day, I need a friend, and I like you the best out of all the irritating cheerleaders and pompous nerds I have met today.”

“Well, if it isn’t Smelly MyHoodie,” Cynthia McFadden’s voice echoed around the room

“Prostitute, stripper; it’s all the same.” She walked up to me, her high-heeled foot swinging wide in a poor attempt at a kick.

I mean. Yeah.
Profile Image for Ari Reavis.
Author 17 books145 followers
July 24, 2016
I didn't know what to expect going into this book and was presently surprised by the plot. You know something weird is going on, but don't really get the full scope of things until the action picks up..... a lot. The romance was high schoolish (lots of not quite kisses and mixed signals), but very cute and genuine. Ryland and Jos were willing to sacrifice so much for each other. There is a lot to comprehend when the truth comes out, but the author did a good job of not bombarding you with too much information at once. A mean cliffhanger though, but you, of course, knew it was coming.
Profile Image for Bittersweet.
50 reviews
August 1, 2014
After reading all these 4 and 5 star reviews I was expecting this book to be good since so many people said it was EPIC! Maybe it's just me but I couldn't find anything "epic" about this book. It all seemed convoluted and sloppy. Nothing really happened. At. All. Definitely nothing epic worthy. Anyways I'll start with what I did like: no insta love! The author actually had a solid foundation in which the two MCs grew into loving each other. Joclyn and Ryland new each other since they were children and had been best friends since they were 5. I liked how they went from best friends to more than that. In a way it was very cute but after while it sort of became annoyingly sweet. Or just annoying. either way it got boring fast! It was just too much repetition. One thing that's always bothered me is when guys call girls they like sweetheart. It just sounds really weird to me. It just seems like such an elderly word for some reason. I've never once heard any of my guy friends call a girl sweetheart. After a while Ryland started to get whiny and almost too perfect he didn't seem real which is why I just never attached to him as a love interest. I got to the point where I didn't care about their relationship anymore and wanted to get more of the actual plot. Speaking of which was very thin layered. A lot of words were in Czech with no explanation so I had no idea what they were trying to convey. A glossary would do this book good. What were they exactly? Fae? Wizards? Dragons? I have no idea. Nothing was solidly explained. Once again we get the "we can't tell you yet" or "we don't trust you with our super special secrets" even though the MC is supposed to be some super special "something" Silny (which they can't even tell her what that means even though she is IT!) it was very exhausting trying to know what's going on with out knowing anything. She came into her powers extremely easily (of course) she only had to think about lover boy and bam! Magical powers. Things happened and were solved all with just a little bit of thought (usually on Ilyans part) it was too easy. Problem with a magic necklace that's weakening her powers? Give her a magic bath. Need to center her powers without affecting Ryland? Hey a magic bath will work! Ugh! All of the secondary characters all seemed so one dimensional. Wyn doesn't seem like a very good friend. i couldn't see the friendship between her and joclyn. She was the cutout bubbly friend that instantly becomes the MCs bff with a secret. she seemed more interested in her husband which I get but this is Jocelyn's story. Wyn should have been there for her more than she was. Ilyan was supposed to be a king of... I don't know.. I'm going to go with fairies. Him and his close friends didn't take him being king seriously, they joked about all the formalities and how it was a stupid out dated tradition. He told Jocelyn to call him My Lord in front of other... Fairies? But that he didn't care if they weren't in public. If he's not serious about being a King how am I supposed to take him or anything about the world building seriously If they say it's a joke? It just all seemed too wispy. Like eh I'm a king but whatever. Also if he's a king can't he summon all those under him to fight in the battle to get Ryland back if he's that important? But nope only like 20 fairies went. The final battle was lackluster I skimmed most of it just trying to get to the end (which I saw coming) and when Ryland got his memory wiped it all just seemed like a horrible messy nightmare. One second he's Ryland saying he loves her always (which was very cheesy) then next he's possessed by his father saying "villainous" lines then the next he's Ryland then he's Edmund. God it was just too much. Don't know if I'm going to read the rest. This book seriously needs a good editor and some serious coherent thought. 1.solid.star. Sorry just not for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sandra "Jeanz".
1,164 reviews162 followers
November 20, 2012
Can I give extra stars out of 5 like 8/5??
I was gifted this arc by the Author, Rebecca Ethington in exchange for my honest review. This is the first book in the Imdalind Series. I have to admit upon first looking at the cover, I really didn't like it at all. After reading the book, I realise that the female on the cover is Joclyn who at one point in the book falls from a window, but I still think the cover could do so much more for this well written action packed book. The cover could just simply show the necklace that Ryland gives Joclyn, or the "bead" that Joclyn's father sent to her on her birthday, or even a picture of the "scar" below her ear with what looks like a dragon on it. The cover could and should do so much more for the book! I hope this doesn't offend the cover designer or author but I promise to be honest and my opinion the girl on the cover looks unnatural and awkward and really doesn't do the book total justice. The cover would not pass my "Would I pick it up from the shelf to learn more about it" test. So I guess at this moment in time you are probably saying well "Why did you agree to read the book?" The answer is simply the blurb, the blurb sold me the book and made me want to know more. As for the plot of the book and how it is written.....well fantastic, brilliant, addictive...and marvelous are the words that come to mind. The book tells the story of Joclyn, who has a scar below her ear, that has what looks like a dragon shape within it. Of course Joclyn is shy and hides behind her overly large hoodies, she doesn't make friend easily at all, in fact she is soemwhat of a loner. Other than her one best friend in the wole world, Ryland. Ryland just seems to understand her, she can relax with Ryland. The problem is that Ryland's father doesn't like the close friendship and uses the excuse that Joclyn's mother is his employee to try and keep the two friends apart.
Rylands father Edmund, is a strong, but strange man, he has to control all those around him. Edmund is an evil, cruel man who seems to care only for business.
As Ryland and Joclyn become closer their feelings for each other change from just friendship to something much stronger and deeper. As they come together for their first kiss, Ryland notices the scar on Joclyn's neck and everything changes, drastically. Ryland knows what the scar is and knows it means danger for Joclyn, people will hunt her down for the rest of her life until they manage to kill her. Ryland vows to protect Joclyn, but can he really protect from his evil father? Joclyn meets others like her who have "powers" and "magic" that are hunted because of it. They try to help her, she meet Wyn whom she becomes friends with, and the guy she thinks is Wyn's brother Ilyan. Ilyan seems drawn to her and she feels their is something really familiar about him, but what can it be? Everyone and everything is not necesarily what or who they seem to be.
The book is so well written by Rebecca, the plot grabs you, slowly reels you in and holds you on the edge of your seat right until the very end of the book. In fact speaking of the end of the book....What a Cliffhanger! I am seriously looking forward to the next book as soon as it's available......
So did I enjoy the book?Yes, Loved it! Would I recommend the book? Yes I have recommended to my daughter to read it already! Would I read Bk#2 in the Imdalind Series? Yes please as soon as possible! Would I read more books written by Rebecca Ethington? Definitely yes!
Profile Image for Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews.
651 reviews128 followers
June 27, 2017
(Note: Downloaded free copy via Smashwords.com)
Stars: 3.5/5
Characters– Let’s start with favorite-

Ilyan- Amazing, smart, handsome, mature, royal attitude, kind. Just love him. ❤ Wyn- sweet, girly, fierce, adorable. Talon- loyal and good. Ryland (Ry)- second main character- Good, protective, perfect friend and boyfriend. Ovailia- mean, insolent, but love her sibling. I’m not judging her right now knowing what she has gone through and I’m sure there will be more to this character in next books of the series that may make her nature reasonable. But in this book surely unlikable. And PROTAGONIST- Joclyn- Agghh! I did’t like her. I will explain it why in ‘didn’t like section’ below.

What I liked? First of all the story and concept was really good. Interesting and touching opening of the book with receiving mark and tragedy of Joclyn’s family. Joclyn and Ry’s friendship, their emotions for each other felt so raw, real, and heartwarming. Their Forbidden love kept me glued to book. Czech words in the book were interesting, it gave book a different touch. Theories / stories behind mark, about Ilyan and his family, about magical world was so amazing and different that it made this story stand out from other paranormal romance.

First half of the book was little slow, it made book suspenseful, I was looking for all the secrets to unrevealed, wanted to know what that magic and mark is all about. Yup, I didn’t get it till around 45% of the book. Only hints. All interesting thing came in the second half. I have mixed feeling for this first part because of this reason. I liked the suspense but at the same time it made me impatient and irritable.

Second half of the book captures all the speed magically possible. You that feeling you get when your plane taxiing on the runway and suddenly accelerate fully to take off. That’s how it felt at this point. It made first half worth reading. Actions, magic, fight, stories, all was there. It was exciting. Antagonist was such an evil, I haven’t met such antagonist yet.

End- Expected yet interesting. First chapter of the next book was really interesting and I’m curious to see what happens next.

Read full review on my blog
Profile Image for Gloria Green.
321 reviews
November 20, 2012
At the age of five Joclyn was bitten by something that sent her into a coma after experiencing tremendous pain. After almost six months she woke with only one side effect of the bite. A small raised red scar like a brand with a black mark in the middle. Since then she has wanted to do nothing but to disappear. Instead she did the best she could to hide the mark behind her ear on her neck by wearing baggy clothes and long hair hanging over it. She blames the mark for her fathers disappearance. Her parents argued about the significance of the mark. Then one night the arguements stopped and Joclyn woke to find her father had left.

Now she's almost sixteen and her mom works for the scrooge from hell. Fortunately the Devil's son is little piece of heaven named Ryland. He's her best friend but in 3 months he's supposed to leave for college. With time running out their hearts start feel the pressure. But their love and friendship is forbidden by Ryland's father. Ryland realizes what he wants most is to love Jos. Then he discovers her mark. Joclyn biggest fears become a reality as she loses Ryland because of the mark. She feels like everything leaves her because it. But the mystery of the Mark is now revealed. Her absent father returns, friends from school aren't who they appear to be, and Ryland's father is a bigger threat than she ever imagined. She's a Chosen Child, marked by the Kiss of a creature that resembles a small, winged dinasaur with a human like face. My heart breaks reading about the torture Ryland has had to endure at the hands of his father.

I loved this story. I wanted a different ending which means my heart is totally invested in the characters and reading the next book. You will love the mix of magic and romance and action. Your heart will swell and break as you read Kiss of Fire.
Profile Image for Marsha.
2,970 reviews52 followers
May 10, 2013
Before I get started, let me say that I did not finish this book. After reading all of the 4 and 5 star reviews, I was really looking forward to reading "Kiss of Fire." The writing was good, it grabbed my attention from the start; so, what went wrong?

First and foremost, I quickly grew tired of all of the Czech words and sentences without any translations. Then, the dialogue became quite repetitive until at one point, I went back to the previous page to make sure that I was actually reading the same sentences for a second time. Then after the main character repeatedly stating that she and her "friend" could only be friends, and after she turned away from him numerous times, I had a problem with the sappy proclamations of love between them. I just did not buy it. I don't know, maybe the problem is I just did not feel the chemistry between them. Most importantly, the main reason I could not finish this book is that the plot was convoluted and I never saw the true reasoning behind all of the murderous attacks. The explanation just did not sit well with me.

Let me say, I seem to be in the minority in terms of people who did not especially enjoy this book. With that said, I always tell people to read a book for yourself and discover if this is something you would like. This author has a wonderful writing style; but, I just did not care too much for this story. Sorry, Ms. Ethington.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,051 reviews589 followers
March 23, 2015
Kiss of Fire is the first in the Imalind triology. It has been awhile since I’ve read a YA fantasy book and I thought Kiss of Fire was a fun way to get back into the genre. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book, since it was free and self published (I could be wrong on that) I didn’t have the highest expectations. I liked our main characters Jocelyn, Ryland, Ilyan and Wyn.

I thought the book was well written and flowed pretty well, for the most part. I liked the beginning and was excited when towards the middle things started to pick up. The last half went back and forth for me, at times I got a tad bored. The end was good though and left me wanting to read the next book. I think it will be a fun series. Oh, I also liked that it was clean!

I just have to say it. I am not a fan of love triangles. It’s not super present in this book, but I have a feeling it will be in the next one. I just think it is WAY over done. It seems like every YA series out there has a love triangle now, maybe that is why I have been avoiding the genre. Let’s be original and not use love triangles as plot devices anymore, okay?

Content: Clean!

Similar Reads:
The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson
Profile Image for Amber Hetchler.
179 reviews52 followers
October 4, 2016
It took so long to pick up the pace and get interesting, but once it did it was actually pretty good. I'm strangely hooked now and I think I might need to read the next book.
I'm glad I gave it a second chance.


Dnf at 15%
I actually had to create a 'did not finish' shelf just for this book. I couldn't take the cliche romance and plot anymore. Maybe I'll try to finish it at a time I'm less irritated.
Profile Image for ♦♣ queen of faerie ♠♥.
264 reviews180 followers
August 7, 2020
Me waiting for something exciting to happen:


Wasn't my cup of tea. For me the romance and the whole plot was weak and lacked in excitement and depth. Despite not liking the book, I also felt betrayed by the romance somehow.

→ 2 stars
Profile Image for Tracey.
642 reviews469 followers
July 2, 2013
Once again, the mark had destroyed everything, everything I needed and wanted within my life.

Wow!! Just wow!!! What an amazing start to the Imdalind series. Kiss of Fire was a book that contained everything. Bursting with suspense, action, romance, passion, heartbreak and excitement. This was a book that I had a really hard time putting down because I was desperate to find out where the story was going to take me.

Joclyn Despain has had a mark on her neck since the age of five. Sensing that the mark has something to do with her father leaving she hides it from everyone by hiding under her hair and big, baggy hoodies. Even her best friend Ryland knows nothing of the mark. Constantly taunted and bullied at school, Jocyln appears quite timid and lonely and she really only has Ryland to lean on. And he is there for her. Always making her feel better and calming and supporting her. But things are changing with Ryland. Despite him telling her that they can only be friends he keeps trying to kiss her, and she really wants to kiss him, but she has promised her mum that they will be nothing more than friends.

Then for her sixteenth birthday her father sends her a weird letter and a crazy colour changing stone, she finally has a friend at school when the new girl Wyn takes a liking to her, she has a strange blonde man stalking her and just as she is about to get that kiss from Ryland he sees her mark and her whole world explodes around her. Could the weird things her father talked about in the letter actually be true?

Did I want him, Ryland LaRue, my best friend, to kiss me? I pictured myself kissing him, his hands against my face, his soft lips pressed against mine. I slid to the floor as my legs forgot how to support me. Obviously, I did; I really, really did. This was bad.

Joclyn and Ryland were amazing characters. Ryland has my heart!!! The things that he is put through throughout the book broke my heart. He does it all with such love and strength and determination. And he fights so hard!!! He is the one that is always there for Joclyn, always trying to keep her safe, but as the story progresses we get to see Joclyn grow and begin to change into this amazing and strong girl. And by the end of the book I don't think we've even seen a portion of the girl that she will become. A good chunk of the book was spent in a build up to seeing if their relationship would progress beyond the beautiful friendship that they have and then even longer until we actually got the first kiss. And can I say what a kiss it was. Talk about fireworks!!! Boy oh boy!!!

Two other charcters that I really liked were Wyn and Ilian. I loved that Joclyn found friendship with Wyn. I loved Wyn's vibrancy and zest. Ilian left me with a lot of questions. I loved his caring nature towards Joclyn. I loved that he wanted to comfort her but I'm also really intrigued about what his intentions are where Jos in concerned. I have some suspicions about his feelings but I'm really interested to see where they've come from.

And there are plenty of evil baddies we get to meet throughout the story and that allows for some really epic battle scenes. Some real edge of your seat stuff.

And then that heartbreaking ending. As the direction of the story progressed with Ryland my heart got heavier and heavier. That ending pretty much broke it. I have lots of questions still needing answers and am in desperate need to start book two to see if I get the outcome that I want and then ready myself for the release of book three later this month.

If you're looking for something original and wonderfully written, then you definitely need to pick yourself up a copy of Kiss of Fire.

5/5 Ryland LaRue owns my heart stars!!
Profile Image for Farrah.
1,249 reviews207 followers
March 19, 2013
This review also appears on my blog at http://www.thegoldenruleof666.blogspo...

Loved it! Kiss of Fire was such a brilliant book-just perfect.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. I liked the idea, but I felt it could easily have ended up being a dull, predictable book. Turns out I didn't have to worry because this book was amazing. The twists, the turns, the surprises-they had me on the edge of my seat.

Joclyn was a wonderful heroine. She deals with everything thrown at her with remarkable strength. And I thought her devotion to Ryland was very sweet and admirable. There was nothing she would do to save her best friend turned boyfriend (which, is my favorite romance story arc). She is very powerful, though she doesn't find out until later in the book. But, when she did, she definitely proved her power and took up the mantle it entailed with grace. Honestly, there wasn't anything less than lovely about her. She was a lovely lead.

Ryland was so amazing! I swear, it only took a couple of chapters in before I totally fell for him. He was so sweet! His strength in the face of all the horrible things he endured was way beyond remarkable. And his devotion to Joclyn and determination to ensure her safety was so sweet. He was so perfect.

I loved how much depth Joclyn and Ryland's relationship had. Honestly, they didn't even kiss until the last few chapters and it was only that once. But their relationship didn't need that. It was clear, whenever they were together, how in love they were-even if they refused to admit it for quite a while. However, from what happens in this book, it appears there may be a rival for Joclyn's affections. We'll have to see how that goes.

The plot was steadily paced. It was about halfway through before the magic was actually introduced. But it never felt like the plot was dragging. It felt like realistic world building. That first half got me invested in the characters on an emotional level. And once things really started up, I was absolutely hooked and kept of the edge of my seat. The twists and secrets and surprises kept Kiss of Fire from being predictable in any way. And the ending was epic-I almost cried. So much happened-part of it absolutely devastating. I'm so glad that I have an ARC of the next book or else I might have had an anxiety attack from the need to find out what happens next.

Kiss of Fire is a brilliant YA paranormal romance. Lovers of the genre, you need to read this book!

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for CARLA.
983 reviews40 followers
January 20, 2016

I think I found a new author to squee over. I’m already in love with this book, I’m already in love this series. I think there are about 5 books in this series and I will read every single one. This book was very steadily paced. It had a really good flow. I just couldn’t get enough of it honestly. I’m a little infatuated with this author. It’s very suspenseful. It builds and it builds, but it’s not building so slow that you get bored, it keeps you engaged as you read. I don’t even have to tell you how many times I have read a book that is suspenseful but it just seems like it’s the same thing, but with this one I enjoyed it.
The character of Joclyn herself, I’m not really sure that I like her. I like her story, but I’m not so sure that I like her as a character. She comes of a bit as whiny to me, a bit too insecure for my tastes. I like to have a strong heroine in a book, which she is not very strong at all. I expect that to change, you know, world building, character growth and whatnot.
Ryland! (I love the name Ryland, it’s very original) He has this charisma about him that people seem to flock to in this book. But he seems to not notice it at all, it’s almost like, he’s got like blinders on when it comes to himself. He only sees Joclyn and the things he sees in her are things I do not see. It’s curious to me as a reader because I wanna know what he knows, what makes her so special. There’s a lot of secrets in this book. It’s one of those books that the reader finds out things as the main character. Sometimes I like that and sometimes I don’t, in this book I do. You can’t really predict how the plot is gonna go, Kudos to the author on that. I had no idea honestly. The ending is kinda of a cliffy. I expect that with a long series like this.
Just…. go get the book, you’ll be hooked as I am.
Sidenote: Bonus points for the Firefly reference.
Favorite Quote:
Ovailia’s features were refined, her high cheek bones and cat-like eyes giving her the look of aristocratic beauty. Still, somehow, her attitude ruined it and turned some of her striking elegance to rubbish.
Profile Image for Mikky.
764 reviews172 followers
July 25, 2013
Originally posted at:
Nocturnal Predators Reviews

It's official, I hate this author for creating such a compelling and out-of-this-world novel. I mean that in an endearing and loving way. Half the year is gone and this is the first novel that I've read this year that was actually original and kept you guessing all though the ending, which is a cliff hanger (BOO!). Thank god I didn't pick this up when it released in November of last year.

The plot is so original and freeing that it's actually hard to express what I'm feeling at the moment. It starts out slow so we can get to know the characters and the why's of them being so close to each other. Then you get the rug swept from under you as you're introduced to this new world where magic is possible and of course Joclyn turns out to be special. That wasn't really a surprise yet amazingly it doesn't become the main focus of the story. Sure the magic does come all too easily to her, but what the heck it's a story, some things need to be like that for the story to move on.

Don't even get me started on describing Ryland. He's my new stalkee, for starters. He's, of course, gorgeous in every way imaginable, has cute dark brown curly hair and an AMAZING body. He's also caring, sweet and protective, though not to the point where it's smothering.

I can't really say much or I'll give the whole concept of the story away and spoilers of such a fantastic novel would be a waste. One last thought (this goes to the author), please don't make a love triangle out of this storyline! Pretty, pretty please! Unless an author knows how to articulate one it usually ends up ruining the plot and with me hating most of the characters.

Favorite Quotes:

"'How'd you get it?', Wyn asked, coming up behind me, leaning on the dresser.'Accidental maiming, fell of a stage, helicopter rescue gone wrong?".

"You wouldn't own me anything if you would stop ripping my clothes off, Ryland".

"I had hoped to keep you in bed for longer, but it seems I need to make things like that an order ".
Profile Image for Margaret Alexander.
Author 2 books37 followers
November 5, 2012
Oh, where to begin with this book? The writing and storytelling was superb, as were the characters. It definitely had me thinking about the story even when I wasn't reading. It's just a fun YA read with a very lovable romance. The story revolves around the introverted Joclyn, who hides her face from even her best friend due to a gruesome mark she receives as a child. She eventually discovers that the mark makes her rather special, but also the target of a villain. I'm really edging around this so as not to give away any spoilers, and those are just the bare bones. There is much, much more to the story and it really is an entertaining read. The characters are very vivid and fun to follow, all with secrets of their own. My one issue was with the background of one character, which seemed a stark difference to his personality due to how grave his background was versus his carefree nature. Still, I guess it's possible. I admire people who keep up a good attitude despite their troubles and certainly know a few. If you're a fan of City of Bones, this is definitely up your alley. Be warned, it's much better written.
Profile Image for Sara.
941 reviews18 followers
June 24, 2019
I love this book!

This story was full of love, action, despair, and heartbreak. Joclyn was marked when she was five, but doesn't find out what it means until she is 16. But she keeps the mark hidden. Ryland is her best friend since childhood that she has slowly fallen in love with. They both have secrets hidden from each other. A big secret will tear them apart.

My heart breaks for Ryland, and Joclyn's broken heart. But I am so excited to continue this series and see what other heart wrenching plot twists Rebecca Ethington has come up with. I recommend this to everyone.

Edit: Read again a year later. Loved it just as much the second time.
Third read. Just as good. On to the next one again.
Profile Image for Tia.
Author 6 books130 followers
December 1, 2012
I loved this novel but the emotions at the end got to me so much. I fricken cried. I think the novel got into things a bit too fast and the whole Ryland being the enemy thing totally broke my heart. I can only hope early spring 2013 comes fast because I definitely want to read the second installment ASAP!
Profile Image for Joy.
554 reviews
April 13, 2017
Excellent! 5 enthusiastic stars!! Terrific story-telling. I've read a lot of paranormal YA and this is right up there with the best. So grateful I have book two already downloaded. The only thing to slow me down is to complete this review.
Now on to Eyes of Ember.....!
Profile Image for Stacey Frederes.
76 reviews
June 23, 2013
4.5 stars. I was totally not expecting this great of a book! Wow! Could not put this down! The story had great world building, suspense, action, and best of all wonderful characters. What a great debut novel! Cannot wait to continue reading this series.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,179 reviews315 followers
January 25, 2015
Joclyn Despain doesn't want anyone to notice her. After receiving a mysterious brand when she was a child, which led to the breakup of her parent's marriage and childhood ridicule, Joclyn has been working hard to blend into the background. She does everything she can to keep the mark - and herself - hidden from sight. She hides behind long hair, large clothing and hooded sweatshirts. The only person besides her mother who truly sees her is her best friend Ryland LaRue.

Joclyn and Ryland have known each other practically their whole lives, ever since Joclyn's mother began working as a chef for Ryland's wealthy father. They have grown up together and are each other's best friends. It was refreshing to read about a love interest that is not a mysterious new boy that pops into Joclyn's life, but someone with whom she shares a strong emotional bond, born of their years spent playing, growing, and knowing each other. Not surprisingly, both have started to look at each other in a different light and there is the possibility of something more developing between them.

However, everything is complicated by Ryland's father Edmund who doesn't seem to think that Joclyn is good enough for his privileged son. Although I never questioned whether or not I could trust Ryland, it is clear from the beginning that he is under a lot of pressure from his father and that he keeps much of that part of his life from Joclyn. Ryland is also going overseas to college in the fall, and Joclyn does not know how much time she has left with him. I really liked that this story appeared to start off with two kids with normal teenage worries, but then morphed quickly into something different and much bigger.

When I started Kiss of Fire, I had no idea where it was going, or how intense it would be by the end. The story started off slowly. Joclyn is painfully shy, introverted and bullied at school, but a few things happen that begin to bring her out of her shell. She starts to to realize the strength of her feelings for Ryland (and that he reciprocates them). She makes her first girl friend at school. And most importantly, she receives a mysterious letter from her absent father that results in a series of strange events that she she doesn't understand. Although I was a bit frustrated with Joclyn at first over her constant worry about someone seeing her mark, as the story progressed, I really enjoyed watching her begin to stand up for herself and become comfortable with who she is. Instead of letting everyone protect and save her, she starts to realize that she is strong too, especially in the second half of the book. Although Joclyn still has a lot of growing to do, I have high hopes that she will be something to behold in the books to come.

The second half of Kiss of Fire really picks up in exciting and surprising ways. There are several intense battle scenes, and the content of the story gets much darker as it progresses. I was impressed with how far the author took her story, though a lot of the information also broke my heart (she doesn't hesitate to punch you in the gut). Although there were some stereotypical characters - a mean girl and a super villain - many of the others became much more complex as the story went along. I am excited to spend more time with them in the future. This is still an approachable, very readable book, but these characters have dealt with a lot of deep issues, and the have some big obstacles ahead of them.

I did have some trouble with a few elements in the book, however. Although the story is strong, it could use another round of editing. Nothing major, but a lot of little details that added up over time (Its possible I read an earlier version). Also, though I enjoyed discovering a completely new paranormal society, and the world the author created definitely intrigued me, I still have a lot of questions about it. I'm a tad confused about the origin and nature of these beings and what exactly they're trying to accomplish (besides defeating the bad guy). This series is planned to be several books, so I'm hoping that we will learn more as it progresses.

Finally, let's talk a little more about the love story. I discussed Joclyn and Ryland above, and I really love the strength of their bond and how far they're willing to go to protect each other. But this book also hints at a possible love triangle (Please note that I am projecting my personal worries here. I do not know what is going to happen next. Joclyn also does not strike me as the heroine to go back and forth between two people.). If you read this book, you will know who this new potential love interest is. Although I find him to be a very interesting character, he is still so much of a mystery that I'm not sure what I think of him yet. I don't distrust him, but I'm not certain of his endgame either. I also found some of his behavior and general level of physical comfort around Joclyn (him for her - not her for him) to be a tad off-putting. Thankfully, she felt the same way as I did. If he does not become a love interest, I am very intrigued about him and what his motives are. This story has surprised me thus far, and I'm eager for it to continue to do just that.

Kiss of Fire goes out with a bang, with a huge scene that is exciting, shocking and highly emotional. I am eager to get my hands on book 2 to find out what happens next. If you are love triangle wary, I will be reading and reviewing Eyes of Ember soon.

Love Triangle Factor: None at present
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium+
6,156 reviews69 followers
July 31, 2018
1,5/5. I try recently to explore more YA, but the more I try the more I ask myself why go through that. Too teeny, too much high school day to day (that one was strong on that), slow pace, clichés and so on. I really go with and open mind, and I know I'm not the targeted public here, but I just can't find positive stuff or reason to want to read that. The paranormal/magic stuff look interesting, but just didn't get enough place. Anyway, not for me... sorry!
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