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When you play with fire, you get burned.

At the same time as mysterious fires commence to rage through Clelia d’Ambois’ home village in Brittany, France, she starts sleepwalking. Daughter of a Japanese orphan, Clelia’s heritage is riddled with dark secrets that threaten anyone she loves. In a recurring nightmare she sees Josselin, the haunted man who abandoned their village nine years earlier, come for her, but she doesn’t know why. All she knows is that she has to run. As fast as she can.

Leader of a paranormal crime taskforce, Josselin de Arradon is called back to his hometown with a mission–find and kill the firestarter responsible for Larmor-Baden’s blazing destruction. Sensing that Clelia is the key to solving the crime, Josselin kidnaps her to use her as bait. The battle doesn’t turn out quite as he expected. Nothing could have prepared him for the truth, or the depth of his desire for his prisoner.

This is Book 1 of the Seven Forbidden Arts series, but reads as a stand-alone. It contains adult content with explicit language and consummated love scenes. Suited for an adult audience.

311 pages, Paperback

First published March 19, 2015

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About the author

Charmaine Pauls

104 books1,659 followers
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communication, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write full-time. Charmaine has published several novels and short stories since 2011. Two of her short stories have been selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the African continent.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel and read. Charmaine currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 141 reviews
Profile Image for Mg ♥ The Bookishmedialite.
1,167 reviews306 followers
October 13, 2020
Plot: ★★★★
Writing: ★★★★
Romance: ★★★★
Hero: ★★★★
Heroine: ★★★★
Steam: ★★★★★
Angst: ★★★

Pyromancist is the first book in the 7 Forbidden Arts series by Charmaine Pauls. I love Charmaine storytelling—her dark romances are one of my favorite books, but this is the first time I'm diving into her paranormal writing, and let me tell you this book is on fire!

Let's talk a little bit about the story.

At the same time that mysterious fires start breaking out around town, Cleia, who lives as an outcast, finds herself waking up in random places—this ring some alarm bells in her grandfather, who decides to confess her a family secret, and encourage her to run away. But when she tries to escape, she is kidnapped by Joss, her childhood crush, who's back after nine years to investigate the unexplained fires. And as a part of a secret paranormal taskforce, Joss is determined to find out who is behind the arsons.

As much as Cleia didn't want to be at the mercy of Joss, their chemistry was insanely hot like you could feel the steam coming off the pages kinda hot, so that's why I think Charmaine was the original Pyromancist.

Overall, Charmaine has created a world that is full of potential, an all-consuming story that will have your head spinning. And anyone that enjoys paranormal romances, with an alpha male to the core, wolfdogs, and smoking hot scenes, should give this book a try. So sign me up for the next one.
Profile Image for Bex (Beckie Bookworm).
2,015 reviews1,311 followers
October 21, 2020
Untitled design-High-Quality
My Review

This was great I really enjoyed myself.
This authors writing always hits home with me and this had a whole different vibe to what I’m used to when it comes to there style, That’s all meant in a good way.
I do like paranormal but if you don’t that shouldn’t be an issue as this was mostly romantic suspense with some slight paranormal elements included and It definitely felt more contemporary than paranormal.

The story takes place in France with a small detour to South Africa.
It involves childhood acquaintances Clelia D’Ambois and Josselin de Arradon who grew up in the same Brittany community together.

Cle’s mother has a mysterious past raised by her adoptive parents she died giving birth to her.
Clelia now grown lives a simple life with her grandfather working on the mainland and taking care of her animals that is until a spate of fires in the wider community bring the spotlight down on her.

Joss now works for a clandestine group of individuals sworn to protect mankind from the forbidden arts and the recent fires point to a new emerging fire-starter and its Joss’s job to eliminate the threat.

Kidnapped and used as bait Cle’s softer feelings towards Joss are definitely put to the test and there’s a fine line between love and hate and once Joss has Cle firmly in his sights he will stop at nothing to possess and claim her for his own.

Joss is definitely all alpha obsessed male one with a tormented past.
Cle struggles to accept the whole of Joss constantly holding it up to the ideal she has carried around of him, one that doesn’t quite fit.
That idea was an illusion and the real Joss is so much more intense, savage and ruthless and he will do whatever’s necessary to achieve his end goals.
He is super possessive and holds on to whatever he’s claimed whether they like it or not.

This was a definite page-turner a slightly different style than we are used to from this author and got to say she did romantic suspense so very well, I’m impressed.
This series wasn’t even on my personal radar before but now I’m definitely adding them all to my TBR pile now.

This was very well written full of suspenseful intrigue with a slow burn romance at its centre.
This was mostly plot led but with just the correct amount of romance to balance it out.
I Would definitely recommend this it was a great read and I’m looking forward to learning more about this fascinating world in future.
I voluntary reviewed a copy of Pyromancist (7 Forbidden Arts #1).

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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,401 reviews448 followers
October 9, 2020

I really enjoyed this one. It’s been a while since I read a good paranormal romance.

Clelia lives in Brittany with her grandfather. She’s happy and content with her life. That is until mysterious fires start breaking out. As the fires start so do the nightmares. It’s the same one every night. Featuring her old school crush Joss.

Joss left nine years ago and lives in New York.
But now he’s back.

Joss is dark and troubled. The asshole gene is strong at times. But I loved him anyway. This author knows how to write complex male characters.

Clelia and I had a bit of a love/not so sure relationship going. But Joss made up for that.

Who’s causing the fires?
Where does Clelia fit into all this?

A fabulous read full of mystery and romance. Plus a sexy storm of a man.

I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by the author.
Profile Image for Talia (Red Hot Ink).
538 reviews125 followers
October 10, 2016
ARC kindly offered by the author in exchange for an honest review

Another great book of a series I'm quickly becoming addicted to.

I believe the true star of this book to be Josselin. His character is complex, endearing and impulsive. He's a tortured soul who doesn't think he's worthy of Clelia's love. Clelia herself is a nice character, but in the end I got a little tired of her. I was expecting a bit more growth on her part, for her to show her claws so to speak. Anyway, those two have real chemistry and their scenes were either super tender or super-hot. Clelia is Josselin's angel, his means for redemption. And Josselin... he's been the love of her life since she can remember. It was sweet how they both idealized the other. It sprinkled ad aura of epicness to their love. Also, the fact that they had a past (not in a second chance way, but in a pure, I've watched you from afar one) helped with the sweetness of it all.

The plot was slower to unfurl than "Loving the Enemy"'s and not so action-packed. With other characters, it wouldn't have turned out so good, but with Josselin and Clelia the focus on the romance was a winning choice. Also, we get to finally meet Lupien. The plot twist in the end wasn't that surprising like it had been in the first book, but I repeat, the focus here was on the two MC's.

At first I got worried because it started rather slowly, not really in medias res. But then it captivated me and I loved every second of it. Their first meeting was exeptionally powerful. It showed Clelia's compassion and Josselin's desperation. It already bound them together in an unbreakable connection.

Also, I loved how Josselin accepted his feelings for her, how vulnerable she made him. Anyway, he was also very possessive. Maybe a little too much? I don't know. It suited his character perfectly. Sometimes his protectiveness, possessiveness and temper reminded me of Ward's BDB vampires. But with a little less gruesome and a whole lot more class.

The only flaw is perhaps the last part, a little too cheesy. Probably because of Clelia's meek personality. With her always being so polite, at times it felt like Josselin was the only one making decision for the couple while she just tagged along.

In conclusion, this book was a great first installment to an equally outstanding prequel. The romance was well-constructed and had all the elements to keep the book fast-paced while still sporting good balance. Josselin's character will bewitch you with its raw intensity and tender care. And Paul's style will give you the coup the grace. There's something poetic about the way she composes her sentences, about her metaphores and thoughts. Sometimes, dialogues seemed to come from an ancient past, speaking words of pure love, of redeeming angels, of burning passion.

Now I can't wait to get my hands on Lann. Err... Lann's book, I meant. ;)

Where to find me:

Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,699 reviews657 followers
October 3, 2020
If you are looking for something a little different from the norm, this is it. I think that added to the overall mysteriousness to the story. I never really knew what side of good or evil most characters were on. The hero is more of an anti-hero who becomes obsessed with the heroine. I was also never sure how far he would go to make things happen. The heroine is sweet and innocent with hints of a darkness of her own. Everyone believed she teetered on the edge. The vibe of the story has you thinking back to the Salem witch trials.
Profile Image for Buffyanna.
838 reviews30 followers
January 24, 2021
I am thrilled by the relaunch of this highly entertaining paranormal romance series! The 7 Forbidden Arts refer to rare inherited elemental magic that is banned from practice. Charmaine Pauls delivers characters with moral and experiential depth, draws them to life with the most evocative and poetic prose, and places them into amazing locales. First up is Larmor-Baden, a small village commune on the tip of Brittany in northwestern France. What a gorgeous, ancient, and spiritual place! A plague of arsons is destroying the town, where Clelia d’Ambois and her grandfather live a quiet lifestyle. The fires attract the attention of Josselin “Joss” de Arradon and his secret governmental paranormal task force. This was Joss’s hometown before he left under a dark cloud nine years ago, and he was also Clelia’s deep and not so secret childhood crush.

Clelia is marvellous! A real franchise starter: innocent yet strong, tiny yet courageous, born of darkness but powered by pure love. I loved how her every move was motivated by her love. Love for her grandfather, love for her animals, and most of all, love for Joss.

Joss, for his part, is a stunning powerhouse of possessiveness and determination. He has to be, in order to maintain authority over his team of government-sanctioned Arts practitioners. His mission goes beyond finding an arsonist, to preventing an emerging evil force from threatening the world. Once Clelia’s past gets tangled up in his investigation, how can he reconcile his duty with his feelings for Clelia?

Joss holds Clelia up on a pedestal in his mind, but bullies her with his words. Their romance burns hot and cold in rapidly alternating succession. I was mesmerized! The story experience of Pyromancist is magical and enriching because of all the extra detail that Charmaine Pauls puts into her work. Reading it has left a mark on me like a lingering burn.

(ARC review - second edition)
Profile Image for Cécile Smits .
1,102 reviews142 followers
October 12, 2020
Charmaine is doing a reboot of the Forbidden Arts series,and i was the lucky girl to get the ARC of the first book,Pyromancist.
It’s been years since i first heard of the series,and i couldn’t wait to find out what she’d done with it.
I have to say,after reading Pyromancist,i like it. I like it,a lot!
Fair warning,it isn’t filled to the brim with hot shenanigans,not like you might be used to with Charmaine.....but there’s enough exploring to keep you happy until the real stuff happens,lol.
No,this series is all about the paranormal,and....duh....the forbidden arts.

Pyromancist paints the world it all happens in as we get to know Clelia and Joss.
She leads a simple life with the man that took her mother in as a kid.
Once an adult,she died giving birth to Clelia.
Clelia has always felt an outsider in the village,but Erwan was all she needed.
Him,and her animals. The crush she had on the 4 years older Joss didn’t count.
Because nothing would ever happen,right?
And anyway,he left for New York when he was 18......

Lately,there had been a lot of houses that burnt down,and Clelia was worried.
Because of what Erwan had told her about her and her mother.
Even worse,Joss was back.....and he saw her,really saw her.
Why was he back,and what did he want from her?
That night he was drunk and she followed him,led to something regrettable...and irreversible.

Finding out little bits and pieces of the truth,makes her realise she needs to get away.
Because he’s not the man she thought he was,and the organization he works for has devastating plans.
But running only works for a while and not only does Joss find her and take her back,evil is closing in.....

Can she trust the man that Joss has become,even after he forces her into a situation she didn’t want?
Will he,and his organization be able to rescue her in time?
And can she control the art that she seems to possess?

I loved this second edition of Pyromancist and i can’t wait to get the next story,Aeromacist,the beginning!

Profile Image for Donna Sweeney.
661 reviews15 followers
November 17, 2015
5 "Baby light my fire stars" from me !

Gah, I am LOVING this series.....this is Clelia and Josselin's book. They grew up in the same town, Josselin being 4 years older had his eye's (and other anatomy parts) on other females in the area, but Clelia always crushed on him.

Fast forward 9 years and some weird stuff is happening in the town they live. Josselin has many years prior left and joined a specialist task force charged with investigating and managing paranormal events....we good so far ?.

Well, all fingers point to Clelia and her grandfather. So in a bid to stay safe her grandfather hustles her away. Why you ask ?.....because Clelia has a paranormal ability....enough said there. But not before she meets up with Josselin again. Ah, l'amour ! Be still my beating heart for these two.

Clelia at first I thought was SUPA naive, always blushing etc....but yes, she is naive but she is just really sweet and has led a lonely life so that is why she is shy and reserved.....your forgiven for the multiple blushes !!. In contrast Josselin experienced a rather horrifying event that marred his childhood. He's not a blusher....his a trained killer. Nice combination.

Our two leads are forced together and let's say plans and attitudes change. I grinned like a mad women over this romance......ah Josselin you ole romantic organising the chapel !!. Clelia for all her innocence at the end of the book really grew a backbone and "Women-ed up" to Lupien (baddie).

I still found the thread of the series fabulous. Its filled with suspense, drama, LOTS of HOT lovin' and gentle romance.....yup, had it all. The fact that it still has the main crew from the prequel made me exceptionally happy.

So I am off now for Lann's book....gonna get me some tall, blonde bit of Russian....rarr !!

Well done Charmaine...another rockin' book !

Defiantly give these books a try peeps if you are needing something a smidge different.

Later peeps xx
Profile Image for Izzie d.
4,096 reviews288 followers
September 30, 2020
It's okay.
There is an intimate scene of the Hero with another woman, it's not sex but it is interrupted as it was leading that way. It was years ago.
As an adult he isn't a man-whore.
The heroine of course is a virgin.

There are 9 books in the series. Each book reads as a standalone, but there is also a series arc, so at the end of this book there will be unanswered questions.

I imagine each couple will appear in the following books in the series.

Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,098 reviews747 followers
October 3, 2020
Five sizzling stars for this slow burn that threatens to ignite into a total firestorm with every turn of the page.

This is a unique paranormal read with a bit of first love, second chance, and enemies to lovers tropes all wrapped up in one. Clelia was an ideal sweet and innocent heroine while Joss was the bad boy she has crushed on all of her life. And then things changed.

Zombie fires: Underground fires spark wildfires in Arctic Circle

Everything about this story has an edge of uncertainty about it. Is Clelia more than she appears? Are Joss’ co-workers to be trusted? And the one question that strung me along throughout the story...what is Joss’ goal and how will he fulfill it?

Blood Drop On Finger For Insulin Or Sugar Test Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 18562901.

While I enjoyed Clelia and her loyalty to her grandfather, her animals and her home, it was Joss that completely stole my heart. He carries a bit of darkness with him even as he gives off waves of being a bad guy but promising to keep Clelia safe. And through it all, he is determined to claim Clelia, to keep her, and to provide for her. There were times that his fierce possessiveness led to a protectiveness that made my breath catch. His thoughts of death to men who might have looked upon her with lust absolutely fed my alpha loving heart.

❥❥Shut Up & Kiss Me❥❥

This has a lot of romance with enough suspense, drama and action to keep the story constantly moving forward and amping the angst up towards the end. The secondary characters were definitely created to make me want more from them and as this is the first of a series, I’m very excited about that!

Dual POV
Profile Image for Andrea Huntke.
20 reviews
October 3, 2020
Clelia and Joss is a highly enflamable mix!

The explosive set starts in france travels over South Africa and get back to its roots. Let's start at the beginning of theire journey. Clelia is an outsider in her small village due to her upbringing and her own forced introvert behavior. She tries to protect herself and other from potential harm she is capable of. Or she thinks she is capable of doing.
She did use her powers twice as Kid, but harming others isn't in her blood, it's not her, simply said. She is a healer personality with strong but good kept sass on the inside.

Joss the hero on the other hand is nothing less than a tormented soul seeking just one night of sleeping without the nightmares. The once young boy Clelia fell in love with, the shy and insecure guy who hid his true self came back to his hometown to get what was his all along.

The Villain they have to face, the arts exposed and the secrets enveloping em are big and have huge impression on the story and the book. As well as the relationship they have and they develop through each chapter.

I can't go into detail without spoiler you but if you are into deep and swallowing, dark Lovestories, into paranormal and as well thrilling elements this is your book.

For me, I loved the characters dearly but the paranormal part wasn't for me to be honest. But! I am very picky with this trope and as well not easy to be pleased that have to be said. Magic is not quite mine with this dark gothic theme. The book is really well written, the story thought through and the characters really good developed with nice round up.

I can recommend this book whole heatedly without regrets, even if it wasn't entirely for me.

********** I was given an arc for an honest review *********
Profile Image for So, I Read This Book Today.
723 reviews90 followers
August 17, 2015
Want to blame a bad translation for the staccato delivery,

I want to blame a bad translation . . . ? Pyromancist by Charmaine Pauls is one of those odd-birds that I find it very difficult to review. While there are many 5-star reviews out there for the book, I find it difficult to agree. Ms. Pauls is an interesting woman, without a doubt, who has enjoyed wide-ranging travels and homes, from her birthplace in Bloemfontein, South Africa to university in Potchestroom, then life in France. Today, she lives and writes in Chile. As her author description says, “Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.” And here, I believe, is where my difficulty with the book lies. Others may not agree, but I found the language very stilted and over-descriptive. In my experience, this is common in books that were written in one language and translated to another – especially when books are written in a Germanic based language and translated to a Romantic Language, or vice versa. It requires a deft hand to translate the text in such a ways as to assure smooth flow. I found the staccato delivery distracting, and often found myself “skimming” the text, moving through the book and catching sentences here and there. I couldn’t really ‘lock-in’ to the storyline.

Then, there are the names. I actually thought, when I picked up the book, that this was a lesbian-oriented book. “Josselin” is a very odd, very rare name (ranked on the 38,782nd position of the most used names) and is, according to my research, given almost solely to female children. Clelia, from the Greek Kleio, is nearly as rare, and I have no idea how it is pronounced (Klee-leeah?). These issues were very distracting as was the consistent use of French. Now that I cleared that up, what I gathered from the story was hit-and-miss for me. The main characters seemed very childish – especially when Clelia kept calling Josselin by a ‘pet name’ he found absolutely irritating. The story itself, as a paranormal romance, was fairly standard. Boy and girl grow up together, boy leaves, boy comes home, girl discovers powers, etc. The characters had rather unique abilities, and Clelia did grow as a character, which is something many female characters in paranormal romance often don’t do. I hate weak, whiny females in my reading, and though Clelia starts out weak, she does show growth.

Overall? Three stars. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review back in April. I kept picking it up, reading a few pages, and putting it back down again, so it didn’t get finished until today, when I made myself pick it up and read all the way through. The book is too ‘hot’ for a young audience, but the writing was young, so I wasn’t really sure what market the writer was going for. You may love it – if so, good for you! I do feel like many of the five-star reviews are because the book came from Reading Alley, and they are running a contest. One or two line "Reviews" are quite useless, but that is my opinion, and opinions are like backbones - everyone has one!

I received this book from Reading Alley in exchange for a realistic review.
Profile Image for Johanna Bixby.
118 reviews9 followers
October 27, 2020
3.5 Stars. This was a great story with a lot of background for the rest of the series. I enjoyed getting to know Joss, Clelia and the team a lot! And while this book is a slow burn it looks like the rest of the series will move at much quicker pace. Definitely a good mixture of paranormal, adventure and romance! I was kindly given an ARC of this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Nicole.
312 reviews40 followers
August 3, 2017

ARC kindly provided by the author

4,5 "hot as fire" stars from me

What a great story, i really enjoyed this book! That's the second book i read from the
author and i must say The seven forbidden arts series are a very interesting and unique
paranormal-romance world. Pyromancist is the first one of the series (Loving the enemy is the prequel)
Clelia d’Ambois is an orphan with Japanese heritage she lives in a village in Brittany, France,
she starts sleepwalking when the same time fires commerce in the village and secrets about her past reveal
which forces her to run. But Leader of a paranormal crime task force, Josselin de Arradon arrives in order to
find the responsible for the fires, then in his worst emotional moment Clelia like a Dark Angel helps him.
Did i mention that she love him from young age??? (i can't say more, you have to read it...)

Now lets talk about the characters..Clelia is a young beautiful woman with a Japanese heritage she is sweet, shy,
naive with a secret strong personality. I liked the way Clelia's personality involves in the story from naive she becomes
and strong woman with power not only only physically but mentally as well (and by mentally i mean the way she pursuits her passion
for Josselin). Josselin from the other side is an ALPHA ,sexy, with strong, fierce and dark personality. Ohh my
what can i say about Josselin i love him, the way he speaks to her its so hot (i was like..Clelia grab him and kiss him
ceaselessly.....THE AIR JUST BECAME TOO HOT). The only thing that i was frustrated was with Josselin's resistance
ggrrr my love Josselin she wants you so much stop being such a honorable man be a bad boy for a while, just a bit. But i can't
keep him a grudge, in the end he shows his romantic side...(oops i can't tell, but you'll adore it)

When i was reading, i got into the scenery and it was perfect. It had suspense (particularly in the end i couldn't
stop eating my nails...there are not words to express how i fell), action, romance (beautifully delivered). Besides the main characters,
the secondary ones where the author introduce us into the next forbidden arts (aeromancist, hydromancist) are a nice touch in the story.
An overall great book from the author, i definitely recommend it and i'm looking forward for the next book of the series.

Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book142 followers
January 4, 2016
This is the second book i have read by Charmaine Paul and I have to say this was another enjoyable read. She has a unique style which is addictive.

This is a paranormal romance book with an original idea. Clelia is from a village in France and already knows there is something mysterious surrounding her and her family. She finds herself sleepwalking and with the mystery fires starting around the area she begins to think is it her starting them or not. She is haunted by Josselin who has returned to the village after many years.

Joss is part of a paranormal taskforce with the duty to find out who is starting the fires. He is drawn to Clelia. This book has a similar themes to Loving the enemy (the other book I have read by Charmaine Paul) however it is a completely different story. Both are recommended. I would recommend this book for someone that is looking for something different.

This book is part of a series of books however can be read as a standalone novel.

*An advanced copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Izzie d.
4,096 reviews288 followers
September 30, 2020
It's okay.
There is an intimate scene of the Hero with another woman, it's not sex but it is interrupted as it was leading that way. It was years ago.
As an adult he isn't a man-whore.
The heroine of course is a virgin.

There are 9 books in the series. Each book reads as a standalone, but there is also a series arc, so at the end of this book there will be unanswered questions.

I imagine each couple will appear in the following books in the series.

Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,515 reviews816 followers
October 4, 2020
I'm not a pnr reader and this was written so well, but just not my Genre.
Love Charmaine and trust her writing completely
Profile Image for Hanan (Bookstagramer).
1,490 reviews15 followers
October 12, 2020
Holy Smokes!
I loved this book.
I thought it was unique and original.
I loved the characters.
And the plot is gripping.
Clelia is a shy reserved young lady.
With a big heart.
She lives with her grandfather and her dogs.
The island they live on is quite most of the year.
Except during the summer months,when the tourists arrive.
Suddenly her quite quaint island starts experiencing unexplained fires.
When her childhood crush comes back demanding answers.
Her world is about to implode!
Joss left the island he grew up on to escape the tragedy his life was known for.
He is now part of an elite team.
Finding and eliminating evil.
Joss is a imposing figure.
Not just physically.
But also his personality.
He’s possessive and domineering.
He’s a man of few words.
But big actions.
Coming back to the island to try and figure out who/what is causing the unexplained fires.
Brings back many memories.
Some unwanted and some not.
Joss has never forgotten Clelia.
Not only because of her beauty.
But because she was always there in his life,hiding in the background.
I loved both these characters.
I liked even though Clelia is shy.
She’s not a pushover.
She demands to be heard and acknowledged.
She’s kind and sweet.
And loves wholeheartedly.
But she doesn’t let love blindly lead her.
I loved her unassuming strength and determination.
It just gave her character more depth and more nature.
Joss was incredible!
I loved him.
For the struggles he went through and survived.
For his beliefs.
And for his need to protect
His good looks and dominance enhances his overall persona.
Joss and Clelia even though are opposite each other in the way they present themselves.
They individually are self reliant and persevere.
But together they are a force to be reckoned with.
The dynamics of their relationship is sexy and tension swirls around it.
But their chemistry is always right there front and center.
It’s steamy and hot.
And also filled with such an intensity it comes to life off the pages.
I loved how Ms. Pauls describes the different places and atmospheres.
I could see them come to life in my minds eye.
I also loved the secondary characters and most especially the dogs.
I’m looking forward to reading more of this captivating series!
Profile Image for Diana~ (Kiss Me Books).
389 reviews141 followers
November 7, 2020
I've been a fan of Charmaine Pauls ever since I read her Diamonds Are Forever series and the Loan Shark duet. There is something very magical about her writing and it somehow always manages to tug at my heartstrings. Pyromancist was no different. This is the new and updated version with additional scenes. I've actually never read the original but this one is a bit darker. I really enjoyed this book. It's a very interesting take on paranormal romance. Clelia and Joss are both unique characters and they have a past connection with each other.
"He was more than a dream. He was the very thread with which she'd woven her soul. Cutting it would mean letting everything she was unravel."

Pyromancist was written in third person, which was surprising but it was done extremely well. I could feel what Clelia and Joss were both going through. I loved angst and this book definitely had plenty! Clelia has been in love with Joss since young but when tragedy struck Joss' family, he left and didn't come back until later. I was moved by how she was still in love with him and felt disillusioned by it because of how much he had changed. Clelia made a shocking decision that would forever connect her with Joss and that is how their romance begins.
"You belong to me. You're mine. I am keeping you forever... It'll be easier if you hold onto that love you've harbored for me for so long."

Joss made some decisions that were questionable and made me want slap him. He often took things a little bit too far. His possessiveness and obsession with Clelia was exhilarating but also frustrating. He kept going back and forth between right and wrong, black and white. Joss was so fixated on taking responsibility and protecting Clelia but he also wanted to own her as well. The romance was exceptional and I really did loved the dynamic tension between Clelia and Joss.

Overall, there was action, romance, mystery, angst, and sexy; all of the elements that I love in a book. I highly recommend this to those who are looking for a unique spin on paranormal romance with a cast of interesting characters and a romance that will break your heart and keep you thinking about them long after it's finished.

*This ARC was generously provided by Charmaine Pauls for an honest review*
Profile Image for Ally.
258 reviews21 followers
October 4, 2020
I was given an eArc by Charmaine Pauls in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to get my hands on this one early, Charmaine!

This book follows Clelia d'Ambois who lives as an outcast on the outskirts of the Island of Berder with her grandfather, Erwan. Fires have begun to break out around town just as Clelia begins waking up in random locations both inside and outside of her home. Clelia is also having the same recurrent dream of our leading man, Joss, who she has been in love with since she was as young as 14 years old. Now that Joss has returned to town things are about to get really complicated. Joss tells her he is trying to protect her from a larger evil at work but can she truly trust this man who has stolen her heart?

Charmaine Pauls writes alpha men like no other! Joss literally stole my heart from the very beginning of this book and I don't think I ever want it back. Joss is possessive, protective, and everything we love about the men Charmaine always writes! Clelia is the character that definitely has the most character growth. She starts out a meek, timid young woman and grows slowly into someone more sure of herself and what she wants. Honestly, what I loved most about Clelia was her trusty pack of wolfdogs. I would have loved for them to have a larger role throughout the book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book but not as much as I enjoyed Charmaine's other dark romances. This book has a lot of instalove which I personally am iffy about. I'm a reader that likes a bit more angst and buildup in my book relationships. I also would have liked to see more of the paranormal aspects of the book. Charmaine did make it clear this book was more romance based than paranormal based but the concepts were so intriguing I would have liked her to delve a little deeper into it! In typical Charmaine fashion though the romance scenes were PERFECTION! If you're a fan of paranormal romance you'll want to give this one a read!
Profile Image for Tra Le Braccia Di Un Libro.
971 reviews36 followers
October 30, 2020


Cari amici lettori, oggi ho il piacere di parlarvi di Pyromancist, il primo libro della serie “7 arti proibite” scritta da Charmaine Pauls, in Italia conosciuta per la dilogia del “Lo strozzino” e “La bellezza nella devastazione”.

Questa serie di libri autoconclusivi è stata creata dall’autrice nel 2015, ma quest’anno ha deciso di deliziarci con una rivisitazione e una nuova edizione. Non conosco i libri usciti allora, ma questo primo capitolo mi ha totalmente catturata.
Questo romance è sicuramente dark, ma è l’aspetto “paranormal” a renderlo incredibilmente intrigante.

Ci troviamo in un paesino di mare francese, la classica località turistica in cui si conosce tutto di tutti.
Clelia, la nostra protagonista, preferisce tenersi lontana da gossip vari ed eventuali: vive infatti in periferia con Erwan e i suoi amatissimi animali, tra cui quattro cani che ama e la amano alla follia.
Erwan aveva adottato anni prima la madre di Clelia, abbandonata all’età di sei anni su quel porticciolo da una nave merci proveniente dal Giappone. Nonostante i marinai avessero raccontato delle storie alquanto inverosimili e a tratti terrificanti su quella bimba dagli occhi a mandorla, Erwan e sua moglie avevano deciso di prendersene cura comunque.
La madre di Clelia era stata trovata in mezzo all’oceano alla deriva su uno yacht, totalmente sola e indifesa; cosa poteva aver portato i suoi salvatori ad abbandonarla a sangue freddo in una terra straniera? I racconti di alcuni marinai di quel mercantile avrebbero segnato per sempre quella bambina, che sarebbe stata additata negli anni a venire come una strega, una “Piromantica” che aveva mandato quasi a fuoco l’intera nave durante la traversata.

Nonostante tutto, e grazie all’amore della sua nuova famiglia, era cresciuta in serenità e soprattutto protetta dalla discrezione di quei genitori adottivi, che in lei non avevano mai visto la strega pericolosa temuta da tutti. Anni dopo, ormai donna, era morta dando alla luce Clelia e lasciandola alle cure di un Erwan ormai vedovo, ma capace di donare ancora tanto sentimento a quella nipotina, che avrebbe difeso fino alla morte.
Ma cosa c’era di vero sulle voci riguardanti l’arte della madre? La sua famiglia adottiva non era mai stata spettatrice di fatti eccezionali o fuori dal comune; in un paese piccolo ancora attaccato alle vecchie tradizioni e leggende era però facile credere a certi racconti. Quando anche Erwan ormai stava dimenticando certe voci, ecco che la piccolissima Cleila in un momento di ira sprigiona due intense palle di fuoco dalle mani e dal nulla. Il caso si era ripetuto una sola volta ancora, e poi mai più. Ma il desiderio di proteggere la piccola aveva reso il vecchio pescatore estremamente prudente e riservato.

Ecco però che, di punto in bianco, quando la nostra eroina è ormai una giovane donna bellissima e ha conquistato il suo posto in quella piccola comunità, avvengono strani incendi nei dintorni, tutti apparentemente dolosi, ma di cui nessuno riesce a trovare la causa. Clelia ricorda bene cosa fu capace di fare da bambina e, anche se quegli episodi non si erano mai più ripetuti, lei non riesce a fare a meno di sentirsi responsabile, visto che ogni volta che una casa brucia lei si risveglia in mezzo al bosco dopo una notte da sonnambula.
Sarà stata veramente lei, anche se inconsapevolmente? Si tratta di un'altra coincidenza che il tutto sia iniziato con un incubo, successivamente ricorrente, riguardante la sua prima cotta, Joss, ormai lontano dal paese da più di nove anni?

Fatto sta che quell’incubo non resterà per molto tale, ma si trasformerà presto in realtà: infatti Joss riappare e lo fa per rapirla.
Il tenebroso e affascinante giovane fa parte di un’organizzazione segreta al servizio dell’Intelligence, una squadra di uomini e donne dotati di “doni” sovrannaturali, costretti a lavorare sotto copertura e in grande segreto affinché l’umanità non possa scoprire l’esistenza delle “arti proibite”.
Il paragone con gli Xmen è il primo che mi è venuto in mente, sarò sincera. (LOL)
Come reagirà Clelia quando scoprirà di essere al centro di un disegno più grande e pericoloso di quanto avrebbe potuto immaginare? Cosa si nasconde dietro quel potere che in cuor suo sa di avere, ma che non ha mai veramente e volontariamente usato?

Rivedere Joss è per lei tanto terrificante quanto intenso, infatti il sentimento adolescenziale che aveva provato in segreto nei suoi confronti per anni si riaccende in un attimo, portandola ad avere pensieri contrastanti.
Joss è un uomo di poche parole, i suoi valori sono saldi e atti a servire il bene, ma l’intensa attrazione fisica che prova verso la sua “streghetta” (come la chiama lui) lo rende spesso vulnerabile e estremamente oscuro; Clelia proverà continuamente paura mista ad attrazione nei suoi confronti, insomma un vero maschio Alpha.
“How did you find me?” She whispered.
Anger roiled through him, only buffered by his relief.
“Does it matter?” Moving to bed, he said, “I told you to never run from me.”
When she stared at him with those huge eyes, he wanted to strip her and fuck her just to be sure she was real.
He controlled himself with much effort, doing no more than reaching out to touch her face, but she winced and flattened herself against the wall.
Her reaction was expected, by all means normal, but it grated on him. This was going to take some patience.
He dropped his hand.
“I told you I’m not here to hurt you.”

"Come mi hai trovato?" Sussurrò.
La rabbia lo travolgeva, tamponata solo dal suo sollievo.
"Ha importanza?"
Andando a letto, disse: "Ti avevo detto di non scappare mai da me".
Quando lei lo fissò con quegli occhi enormi, lui voleva spogliarla e scoparla solo per essere sicuro che fosse reale.
Si era controllato con molta fatica, non facendo altro che allungarsi per toccarle il viso, ma lei ha sussultato e si è appiattita contro il muro.
La sua reazione era prevedibile, del tutto normale, ma gli si ritorse contro. Ci sarebbe voluta un po' di pazienza.
Abbassò la mano.
"Ti ho detto che non sono qui per farti del male".
Ma cosa si nasconde dietro quest’uomo e l’associazione di cui fa parte? È anche lui detentore di un’arte proibita? Vi posso dire che il suo dono non è contemplato nell’elenco di tali arti, ma allo stesso tempo lo rende unico e veramente speciale.
Un altro aspetto veramente interessante e accattivante è il modo in cui l’autrice ha deciso di proporre l’eros tra i protagonisti: infatti dopo un incontro veramente hot e intenso, avvenuto in una situazione surreale e impulsiva, di cui Joss non serba che pochi, anche se intensi, e astratti ricordi, ci sarà in seguito tra i due un crescendo di tensione sessuale inappagata che riesce a coinvolgere il lettore molto più della descrizione di un rapporto completo.
Per quanto riguarda le arti del resto della squadra, ci verranno accennate e in pochissimi casi mostrate, cosa che rende difficile fermarsi a questo singolo libro.

Che dire di questa storia? Vi avverto che è permeata di suspense dalla prima all’ultima pagina, una botta di adrenalina continua affiancata da quella nota dark che la Pauls sa utilizzare con maestria.
Spero che questa serie arrivi presto in Italia, perché sono certa che gli amanti del genere ne rimarranno entusiasti, come è successo a me.
Dal canto mio ora non resta che aspettare il prossimo protagonista, che a quanto ho capito sarà “Aeromancist” (L’Aeromantico) con protagonista l’affascinante e taciturno Lann, da cui mi aspetto grandi cose, grazie all’estratto proposto alla fine di Pyromancist.

Come anticipato dall’autrice, questa serie è composta da libri autoconclusivi, ma scritta in maniera tale da far venir voglia di averli tutti sotto mano subito.
Come sempre la Pauls non delude e sono felice di aver potuto leggere questa appassionante storia in anteprima.
Profile Image for Favourite Book Corner.
709 reviews4 followers
October 4, 2020
5* Flaming Stars

I am a huge fan of Charmaine Pauls storytelling and this was my first time reading her paranormal writing.

It did not disappoint and was highly addictive. This is book one of the Seven Forbidden Arts Series and is Clelia’s story. Clelia lost her mother during childbirth and has grown up with her adopted Grandfather in a small village in France. When numerous and strange fires start occurring in their small village all eyes are pointed in Clelia’s direction as she is known as the outcast and is disliked because of who her mother was.

When she tries to escape the village, she is kidnapped by her childhood crush Joss who has returned to the village after nine years. Unbeknown to Clelia, Joss is part of a paranormal taskforce who investigates paranormal crimes and he is back to investigate these unexplained and anonymous fires. Although he does not believe that Clelia is responsible for them, he does need her as the bait to draw out the Pyromancist.

As much as Clelia did not want to be at the mercy of Joss and his demands, her attraction for him was still very strong and all consuming. He was very possessive and dominant towards Clelia and together their chemistry was off the charts sexy and scorching!

I enjoyed how the story unfolded and was light on the Paranormal elements, making it feel realistic. This was an addictive and suspenseful paranormal romance. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and their forbidden sins.

An ARC was received, and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for MsMoxy.
402 reviews16 followers
October 14, 2020
The Pyromancist is a paranormal treat! Set in France a young woman fears that she could be at the heart of what’s causing the fires in her small little fishing village. The village holds so much mystery and somehow Cle is related to these unexplained/ unsolved fires.

Cle wants to turn herself in to the authorities as a helpful “witness” with hopes of getting to the bottom of these fires. However, her adoptive grandfather warns her against it fearing she will be the scapegoat of these unsolved arson cases. In the meantime Cle also has received news that the young boy - now man - she pined for has returned and one wonders of the exact time of this return with the fires that are taking place throughout town.

A surprise encounter and the mysterious arson cases brings Cle face to face with her unrequited love.

The steam between Cle and Joss is thick and a future for these two seems impossible as Cle stalks the man who is now her predator. Both are drawn to the other and yet their purpose has them pitted as enemies.

This was such a delicious read right to the very last page. I really enjoyed the detail to the setting and how mysterious it all felt.

And in particular, I love the heat that comes with this paranormal romance.

This is Charmaine Paul’s relaunch of the 7 Forbidden Arts series. All the books are revised with new additional material!
Profile Image for BP34.
5,684 reviews32 followers
October 6, 2020
This is the first book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series but is read as a standalone. This dark romance is full of suspense, arson and danger. Well-written and unique as only Charmaine Paul's can do. Beware, once you start reading you'll find this book hard to put down. This is part of the Forbidden Arts Series but is read as a standalone. This book features Clelia and Joss. She is an outcast who lives with her grandfather in a small fishing village. She has special powers and tends to sleepwalk a lot. She really develops as a character as the book progresses. Joss is all alpha male, that's for sure. I really enjoyed the book but I usually don't care for paranormal's. This was an exception is was quite a page-turner. I read an arc copy via the author and voluntarily chose to review it.
Profile Image for DebbieReadsBooks.
2,440 reviews41 followers
April 19, 2015
Independent Reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock.

OH MY WORD! A slow burn, in every sense of the word!!

Clelia was bought up by her grandfather in a little village in France. Someone, or something, is burning that village, house by house. Clelia has dreams, nightmares and one of those dreams steps off a helicopter and drugs her. Josselin returns to his home village to chase his own ghosts, and those of Clelia's.

Together they must stop a monster.

Taking a while to get going, this book simmers and smoulders, as do the ruins of the village. As does Clelia's passion for Josselin (never Joss!) As does Josselin's love for Clelia, that was sparked so long ago.

You get hints, snippets, clues and you get slaps up-side the head! You get love and hate, life and death and oh! so much more!

Clelia is a Pyromancist, she can make fire. But her power isn't really her own, til much later in the book. Josselin, we know not what he is, exactly, but he IS NOT a vampire. His power comes from tasting blood, yes, but he only needs a drop to tell what you are, and whether you are lying.

Its a different take on the paranormal theme, and a welcome one. There are seven forbidden arts, long forgotten and hidden. We learn about three here, fire, air and water manipulation. Four more to come. I do hope we don't have to wait too long for book 2!

I have one teeny niggle, but it doesn't affect my star rating. There are alot of French words here, mostly places, but I have no idea if I was saying them correctly in my head. I know I wasn't saying Clelia right, because she was Celia the whole way through!

Hurry, please, Ms Pauls, with book two. I need more of this group of people in my life.

5 full and shiny stars!

**same worded review appears on Goodreads, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk**
Profile Image for Kelly_Reads_Books.
1,872 reviews117 followers
October 5, 2020
I must start off by saying that I love all of Charmaine Pauls books. She is my go to for a spectacular read, filled with memorable and scrumptious characters. The Pyromancist story, while it is not my preferred theme to read, was a good book. The story was well written and great characters, but it just was not my trope.
Profile Image for oritty: books and i (tilayov).
599 reviews53 followers
December 17, 2020
sometimes the world around you is dark and the people just wont give you a chance. that is when you have to trust in yourself to choose the right allies' to do the right thing and to prove them wrong. it is a story about good being stronger than the bad

this is is the first book in the 7 Forbidden Arts series. a paranormal story about a young women with abilities that make her suspicious and a target
who sets the fires in the village?

why has her long lost secret love returned, what does he want and why was she dreaming about him?
i read many of CP's books' mainly mafia and dark and i love her writing
but this is brand new to me and i was really intrigued.
i am really curious to know where and what more adventures this world she has created will take us
i received an arc copy of the book for an honest review

for my blog לסקירה בעברית : https://www.facebook.com/orittybooks/
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For goodreads:
February 23, 2016
This is the first book of the series and I have to say it's an addictive story! It has love, alpha male, magic, drama, angst and leaves you with a warm feeling after the last page of the book.
Clelia lived all her life in a small village and was raised by her grandfather. When fires star to burn the village, she starts seeing dreams with flames and...Josselin. Joss left the village nine years ago but she never forgot the crash she had on him. Now, he came back and he is hunting her. There is a mystery around her family's heritage and he knows that she can drive him to the firecracker.
This book will keep you till the end and you don't have to wait for the next one, it's already out!
Profile Image for Rebel Reads.
149 reviews11 followers
December 28, 2020
I have been looking for a good paranormal romance and this one held up pretty good. Joss and Clelia are well written characters with good history. The story was more than just a romance, which I liked...two people searching for something to fix the past. There is some good action involved and a very interesting paranormal storyline. And of course, do they happen to find their future with each other? It isn't necessarily a slow burn but it takes quite a while for trust to build between them. This is a series of many books, so if you like the other characters in the story, you will end up seeing them again.
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