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Nite Fire #3

Smoke & Mirrors

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Secrets are a dragon’s best friend. Deception is a close second. Both provide a sturdy armor, allowing half-dragon shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, to live undetected among the humans. Walking in two worlds, belonging in neither, she wraps herself in a shroud of lies to hide in plain sight. But nothing stays hidden forever.

When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City’s new task force, the pair find themselves urged along by clues that seem too good to be true. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a murky sea of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel.

Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men—and the search for her sidekick’s missing sister—Dahlia burns the candle at both ends. Seeking answers, she employs her empathic abilities, and uncovers something deeper and more sinister than a simple serial killer’s web. As the dots connect, and worlds collide, she struggles to shields her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia’s not the only one who keeps them.

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in the Nite Fire Series.

398 pages, Kindle Edition

Published June 4, 2019

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About the author

C.L. Schneider

11 books766 followers
Born in the Midwest, I live in New York's scenic Hudson Valley Region with my husband and two sons. A huge reader since childhood, I penned my first full-length novel in high school on a typewriter in my parent's living room. That was when my dream of becoming a published author was born. Life happened, and it took a while, but I can honestly say: it's the best job ever.

If you're looking for puppies, rainbows, and sweet romance, you won't find that here. My stories tend to run dark, gritty, and adult, full of action, magic, intrigue, antiheroes, mysteries and monsters.

You can learn more about me and my work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, subscribe to my newsletter, and join my Street Team. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where I'm often found chatting about the wonderful roller coaster of a writer's life.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 116 reviews
Profile Image for K.S. Marsden.
Author 19 books718 followers
August 21, 2020
When heavy rains reveal dismembered bodies dumped by the river, Dahlia has to uncover one of Sentinel City's biggest secrets.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I also bought my own copy a few months ago, and been trying to fit it into my reading list since!

Our favourite dragon-shifter is back, with another mystery to solve.
This time, the SAPD have acknowledged that their city is home to some pretty weird stuff, and have formed the Unexplained Crimes Unit, headed by Detective Alex Creed.
Dahlia enjoys being part of a team, but has to work to keep her secrets and solve the crimes that her colleagues don't even know are happening.

She returns with her best friend and hunting buddy - Casey. His usual geeky-over-excited-school-boy character is a little subdued, as his sister continues to be missing, and he can't stop looking for her.

I really enjoyed this third instalment of the series, as Dahlia's secret-keeping reaches dangerous new levels for the humans around her.
The dragon queen finally makes an appearance on Earth, as she intends to get her claws back into Dahlia.

The blight responsible for destroying worlds, has been ticking along in the background so far; but it's presence is so much stronger in this book. You get to see one of the infected worlds, and how it's affected everything around it. It's also clear that Earth's time is running out, as the blight encroaches through the gateways.
Dahlia slowly accepts her fate, that she'll have a part to play in stopping it.

This is such a fun series, and I can't wait for the next book!
Profile Image for Moriah Venable.
1,198 reviews29 followers
June 5, 2019

Smoke and Mirrors is the third novel in the Nite Fire series by C.L. Schneider. This is my second novel by this author.

While I have not read the second novel, I was excited to start this. I was not confused much while reading.

Dahlia and her partner Alex Creed work on a case involving dismembered bodies that are not human. While investigating, Dahlia is forced into worlds: the world of humans and the world of the supernatural. Will she be able to solve the case and find the one responsible?

I really enjoyed this novel and loved the two worlds aspect with Dahlia feeling conflicted which fit with her personality. I love reading about her. She is a strong, interesting, female character that is relatable and shows a lot of emotion.

With school starting again, it hard to get into a book, but this book was a rollercoaster that left me wanting to finish reading even though I had papers and assignments to finish.

For anyone looking for a interesting take on the supernatural genre, I highly recommend this series. The covers are so pretty, they just pull you in.

Profile Image for Bobbi Wagner.
3,946 reviews29 followers
June 5, 2019
This is the third book in this series, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. This story is full of action from shapeshifters to creatures that lay hidden in the night, this story will keep you turning pages. Dahlia and Alex are great characters. They make the story come to life plus keep you on your toes. Secrets and killings, Dahlia has her hands full. But what will happen when worlds collide and secrets struggle to stay hidden? I highly recommend this book, you won’t regret picking it up.
Profile Image for Tabitha  Tomala.
669 reviews78 followers
November 8, 2021
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: Smoke & Mirrors

Dahlia and Creed have one hell of a case on their hands. The dismembered pieces of multiple species have been left exposed on Sentinel City’s riverbank. And a discovery this large is going to be impossible to hide. As Dahlia begins searching for answers, she will uncover more than just another serial killer. Caught between hiding supernatural evidence, and telling the truth Dahlia will find that her choices may have deadly consequences.

Nite Fire is one of those gritty murder mystery series that isn’t afraid to show the brutal side of humanity. Add to that the monstrous side of the story where the writing can take readers down darker corridors and add that extra edge with fantasy thrown into the mix. Each book pulls readers further into the world of hidden monsters. And with each new mystery readers reveal truths about the world and what dwells within it.

Not only is the world building spot on, the character dynamics are excellent in this series. C. L. Schneider takes such care developing each character from one book to another. This time around Dahlia and Creed will spend more page time together. Watching them work on their differences was intense. While they do not always see eye to eye, they work well as a team when they allow the other to actually squeeze in behind their tightly erected walls. And Dahlia’s walls are starting to crumble one by one. Whether it is by choice, or by having no other options left. But instead of running, Dahlia is putting her foot down and forcing herself to figure out how to make everything work.

Smoke & Mirrors is filled to the brim with close calls and unexpected revelations. The team is going to take some hard hits this time around. Dahlia’s web of lies is going to catch some of those she holds dear, and her actions will decide what their fates will be. This conflict driven story is filled with suspense and will leave you wanting more.
Profile Image for Angela.
4,358 reviews56 followers
February 23, 2021
4 ½ Stars

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in the Nite Fire Series by C. L Schneider. There is so much to love about this series- an urban fantasy with plenty of supernatural and paranormal elements, danger, shifters, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, drama, intrigue, fantastic characters, brilliant world building, and much more.
A lot has happened since we started the first book, so I really recommend reading the other two books first before starting on this one- as there is important backstory and character details to be discovered there, which will enhance your reading experience of this book.
This is a complex and multi-layered story, with so much going on, and as I have come to expect from Ms. Schneider, there is more to the story than first meets the eye. I was completely immersed in the story, devouring every word- and loving every exciting minute.
This is a fantastic third instalment, and a wonderful addition to the intriguing, unique, and very imaginative series. Ms. Schneider has proved, yet again, to be a quite the masterful storyteller and talented author.
I really recommend this book/series to anyone who loves a great paranormal story with supernatural elements, crime + investigation, action, and adventure.

Thank you, C.L. Schneider!
Profile Image for Rachel Moss.
569 reviews5 followers
February 6, 2022
This was a really good read! Just with the prologue I was instantly transported into this world and sucked into the novel. I was right there with the characters and it was just awesome. This happens quite a bit with this authors work and each book (so far) hasn't been a disappointment! This one had twist and turns and monsters and everything you could want out of a paranormal/fantasy crime book! I loved this installment and absolutely can't wait to read the next one either!
Profile Image for Ember Daley.
254 reviews3 followers
January 31, 2022
Slow clap from the back!! Oh my goodness! I can’t say I’ve read many series lately that I’m still obsessing over three books in, but girl here I am!! Dahlia is *chefs kiss* one bad thing! I am so in love with her character. Creed and Dahlia are in for it this time. Definitely appreciate the work that went into their creation together. I’m ready for book four.
Profile Image for Sara Oxton.
3,336 reviews12 followers
June 19, 2019
Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors by C.L. Schneider a four-star read that will set you aflame. This is number three in the Nite Fire series and they each build more of the story, I read them as a series and enjoyed them that way, but you could dip in and not miss much as they are all strong stories. Dahlia is such a complex and interesting character; she will compel you to read the next page to find out more.
7 reviews2 followers
December 2, 2020
"Smoke & Mirrors" the third book in the Nite Fire series may have been the best installment so far. I listened to this book on Audible and again was amazed at how the narrator kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next surprise to be revealed with her well placed pauses and deep breaths. She convincingly gives each character a distinctive voice - for the male, female, and the other creatures as well in this fantasy novel. With each installment of Nite Fire, we learn more about the main characters and become invested in each and every main character as well as the bit players. Schneider does such a good job at developing each character that I did shed a few tears when one of the "bit" players died in "Smoke & Mirrors". I could not be happier to learn that there will be yet another installment in the Nite Fire series "coming soon". I only hope I don't have to wait too long for it!!
635 reviews4 followers
March 5, 2021
Dahlia Nite is back to up her old tricks again and this time, she is chasing a banshee through the streets of Sentinel City, something very unusual must have brought it there, but after she and her Sidekick Casey Evans take it out and they succeed despite its best efforts to kill them in return, but no sooner than they are done that they are called in to another gruesome scene at the riverbank, a lot of body parts have been uncovered by the recent storms and not all of them are human, neither are the bits of tanned skin they find at the scene either, but it isn’t just an animal attack, there are also precision cuts where the parts have been removed and it is in a place where nobody really goes and hasn’t done for many years, but when they are called over to a nearby sewer where there are more body parts floating around, the two decide to go into the tunnels and take a look around.

What they find there looks like a converted jail cell, complete with bars, but it also looks abandoned and smells like it too, as Casey checks out all of the cells, Dahlia hears something moving further down the tunnels and goes to investigate it. They know that she is tailing them and that they are leading her somewhere specific, but she has no idea where, until she enters the basement of an old steel works where rumours of toxic waste and man eating mutated piranhas abound, but what she finds there is more sinister, multiple gurney’s covered in blood where it looks like the victims were strapped on while they were tortured and dismembered, she can sense the horror which lies in wait for her as well. She spies the person running along a skywalk being followed by another three people, but more are on their way as Dahlia is showered in bullets and only just avoids them before being engaged in hand to hand combat, again! She is surprised by the speed and agility, they look human, but she has a feeling that they aren’t, but there is no telltale smell or other indication telling her what they are, but she does her usual, but gets no further information from any of them before she is forced to set the place alight, hoping that there are no more victims being caged there as well.

As she tries to explain away the destruction and get Casey out of the way of it, Detective Creed doesn’t believe her, again and tja Captain of the force wants answers yesterday. The only lead they have is the van tyre tracks which they found and as it is the only solid thing, it means that they will be doing their best to track it down. Just as they finish the meeting Casey informs them of a crime at a past crime scene of an altercation which may have a non-human origin, so all three head three due to its proximity to the steel works. When they get there, Creed interviews the witness and Dahlia goes to look for clues to what happened and what creatures were involved, she finds some blood and some fabric, one she shares and one she examined and keep for further tests, but what she initially finds explains the mystery of how she wasn't able to smell or use her senses to identify her assailants earlier. She also sees the evidence of a struggle and works out that it probably isn't prudent to stay in the dark as it is in the backyard of the criminals they are looking for.

Later that night, Dahlia is running tests and comparisons to try and find out what type of creature the suspect is when the alarm in her gym goes off and when she gets there, she knows exactly who and why, she talks to Casey again about the dangers he was just walking into and although she understands that he just wants to feel close to and find his sister, she still tells him off until they are interrupted by someone being attacked, they try to help, but the victim doesn't speak their language and as they are trying to decide what to do, they escape, now they have to worry a out then becoming a victim of a different type, these worries are put onto the back burner when a new lead appears and when it shows other connections, the hunt is in for her and Creed.

Will they be able to figure out who is behind the abductions and dismemberments, or will they fall foul of more than they can handle as the tangled web of secrets is revealed? This is another whirlwind of a tide across realms where revelations are not always what they seem and which hook you into their mysteries as well.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,745 reviews36 followers
February 13, 2021
This series continues to be a lot of fun. In this book, we see our hero Dahlia struggling between all her different commitments – her old life versus her new life. She was once a monster that killed without questions or remorse but that was years ago. Yet she’s still struggling with a sense of guilt of her past evils. While I can appreciate how this shapes her character, sometimes I grew a little tired of Dahlia’s inner angst. However, that was a small part of the story. Overall, it was a lot of fun.

I like that Dahlia’s life is messy and that’s partly because she surrounds herself with people she doesn’t completely trust or open up to. As far as I can tell, she’s mostly worried about them judging her and not about them causing her trouble down the road or physically harming her. Yet her hidden side is driving her friends and coworkers crazy. They have questions and they’ve risked their jobs and safety on her say-so. Don’t they deserve answers? And there’s where Dahlia struggles. This angst was mixed in with all the action scenes so I never grew tired of it.

The main adventure in this book is tracking down and hopefully disassembling an exotic animal/people trade ring. Someone is bringing sentient peoples, and other stuff, through a gate and selling them on the black market. This is certainly upsetting and provides an exciting backdrop for the story.

Detective Alex Creed and Dahlia’s best friend Kacy Evans are like two ends of a barbell with Dahlia in the middle. One gives her trust and acts like a sidekick part of the time (Kacy) while the other treats her with open suspicion half the time while also having her back in the field (Creed). Creed and Kacy, along with the rest of the main characters, show Dahlia the different meanings of the word ‘trust’.

Toss in some disgusting and devious enemies plus a few solid rescues as well as a costume ball and you get something special. I loved that this story had like two or three small climaxes at the end, giving us a little more with each one, the surprises kept coming. By the end, Dahlia has made some serious choices about where to put her trust yet she’s also irrevocably forced into facing a whole new challenge – and I hope we get to see Dahlia kick some more butt in the next book. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Cassandra King is always fun to listen to. I like her clear, strong voice for Dahlia. And her deep, gravelly, usually angry voice for Creed is perfect for his character. All the characters are easily distinguishable due to King’s variety of voices. The pacing was perfect and there were no tech issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C.L. Schneider. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Julie Howard.
Author 2 books15 followers
February 14, 2021
Oh wow, I didn't think the series could get any better but the author has just sent that up in smoke. I loved it. This is book three in the series (and one I hope keeps coming) it does continue from where the last left of so you should really start at the beginning and work your way though this smoking series, you won't be disappointed. I love the whole world (series) that this very talented author has created and the characters are just out of this world, I especially love the sidekicks humour and fan boy crushes (please don't kill him off). Yes not everybody makes it but somehow this cry baby hasn't cried once, I think it is because you don't get time to mourn before the story is off and running and the next punch or flame is thrown. The plot are so unique but with this series it really works and anything can happen. The story is not just action and fighting but is backed up by a good mystery plot and a long running plot over the course of the three books. I can't wait for the next book.
When a storm washes up body parts and not all of them are identifiable Dragon shape shifter Dahlia Nite and Detective Alex Creed are assigned the case. Alex to solve the case and Dahlia ....well to solve the case and cover up the fact that monster's exists. The more they investigate the more they uncover but with something that has been hidden for centuries, can it really be this easy to uncover or is someone leading them? And to what end? As the two world's that Dahlia lives in, is becoming more and more intertwined can she keep the humans from discovering the truth? As well as protecting her streets from figures dressed in black she also has to keep her promise to Casey, her sidekick and friend, and find his missing sister in the Dragon world or at least keep him safe while he looks. Things are certainly hot but add in a vengeful Dragon queen, a human task force, a detective partner in the dark, old lovers with there own a gender and not quiet human ninjas and things are going to burn.
I like the narrator and am glad she has been the consistent narrator throughout the series because she does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
351 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2019
A great read about shadows. Dahlia Nite is a lyrriken dragon shifter working for the police force. One day, a series of body parts turns up at a local riverbank and not all of them are human. With only mysteries to go on, Dahlia and her friends chase shadows that lead to one grim scene after another and a group of dangerous men in masks. Can they solve the crimes before more creatures get hurt?
A great read. Well developed plot with twists and turns that I just couldn't put down. Well developed characters like Dahlia bold and brave but caring underneath or Evans as a fun loving friend but grieving underneath. Great cats of supporting characters like the suspicious Ronnie or the stubborn Creed.
I loved the visual detail throughout the novel with the sense of macabre with the body parts and gurney and furnaces horrifying but still realistic. Or with the Gant mansion on a high cliff with its long path and old spires and windows with the sense of the gothic and unsettling perfectly written. Or the use of sounds and smells so vivid it's as if you're actually there.
A great example of world bulling with fantasy creatures coexisting alongside humanity with their own rules and laws and societies. I loved the inclusion of different fantasy cretaues into the novel such as the banshee or aswang or selkie given the respect they deserve and true to their origins and wonderfully written.
I also loved the use of suspense in the novel with slow builds to the scenes in the slaughter house or the factory with a sense of foreboding that something isn't right. Or the draw of suspense around the crimes, making you want to read on to find out who is behind it all and why they are doing it. Fast paced action and high stakes make for a caotivsting read. Overall, a great read and I would give it five stars.
Profile Image for Lorrene Huisman.
518 reviews10 followers
January 19, 2022
I love this series with a passion! I can not get enough of this book series, Dahlia is a wonderful heroine and I really admire her for all she is. This book I really enjoyed in the series thus far for how the development as well as the darkness hidden in Dahlia was. It was gripping and deep down that rabbit hole!

Dahlia once again has something to unravel, and knowing her, you know for a fact she has a plan in some form up her sleeve. I loved her interactions with Alex. They really made a great duo and love what they have between them, if its friends or more, depending how you look into it. I love how every book Dahlia has danger to over come, but for me this one was different than the rest. This specific installment I found we got a more deeper sense of who Dahlia was and all she keeps hidden, her demons mean. If her secrets was found out what would that mean for her, and her place she has learned to call home?

As said this book series is amazing, and it really gets better and better and deeper with each book I read about Dahlia. The danger and the shapeshifter essence of the book really drives my soul deeper into the plot. I can never get enough, I always want more answers. I find Dahlia awakens that part of me. No matter the danger or if a sacrifice or some part of her to say, she will not rest to she achieved what she has sent herself out to do. The story is gripping and this book ,currently is my favorite so far in the series!

If you have not read this book or this series yet I highly recommend you do so! I love this series and this author with a passion. I love how each book in this series builds up more and more, and your interest never dies down. Highly recommend the book, series, and author. A must read for sure!
92 reviews
May 14, 2022
Dahlia Nite has lived undetected among the humans of Sentinel City for some time. Hunting creatures at all hours of the night to keep the humans safe, has been her personal mission for a while. A century! As a half dragon shape shifter she relies on many secrets and a lot of deception to keep her cover. Sometimes multiple covers! Walking in two worlds and belonging to neither keeps her hiding in plain sight, while also providing a good cover. Sometimes. It's worked for so long. But nothing can stay hidden forever, right? When bodies start showing up dismembered and dumped at the river, Dahlia is on the case with human Detective Creed. Sentinel City begins to unravel while they try to set off with a new task force to uncover what is going on with these new killings. Clues set them on a path from crime scene to crime scene, but there is something wrong with the evidence and it just doesn't add up! Already on edge, Dahlia employs her empathic abilities and uncovers something that makes her worlds crash into each other head first. All the secrets are piling up and she's not the only one who is keeping them! Yeah!! She struggles to shield her friends from the truth about the veil and the monsters, but the serial killer, missing creatures, masked men, and her sidekick's missing sister to boot is to much for Dahlia to handle! Will Dahlia break and everything come unraveled? Will her friends find out the truth about her and the worlds she tries to hide? Yet another great book to this set!! If you haven't started this set you should!! It is so good!! It will keep you up all night just because you want to finish it!! This is defiantly one that I would recommend! And of course I can't wait to read the others in the set!!
Profile Image for Shadel ayerbe .
127 reviews1 follower
January 20, 2022
This book has fantasy as well as paranormal. Its the best of both worlds.

She is aware that monsters exist since she is one herself. But how much longer can she keep the truth hidden? First, a dragon's best buddy is a secret. Deception comes in second. Both offer protective armor, allowing Dahlia Nite, a half-dragon shapeshifter, to dwell among humans unnoticed. She covers herself in a cloak of falsehoods to hide in plain sight as she walks between two worlds belonging to neither. But nothing is ever indeed concealed. When different species' severed remains are left on the riverside, Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed are tasked with solving the crime. With the help of Sentinel City's new task force, the two are pushed on by hints that appear too good to be true.

They bounce from one crime site to the next, looking for a clear motivation among a tangle of contradictory evidence. Finally, the city begins to crumble, already on edge following a succession of mysterious crimes. Dahlia burns the candle at both ends, drowning in lost creatures, slain corpses, masked men—and the quest for her sidekick's missing sister. She uses her empathic skills to find answers, and she discovers something eviler and more profound than a typical serial killer's web. She tries to keep her pals from learning the truth as the dots connect and worlds clash. Secrets, on the other hand, maybe lethal. Dahlia isn't the only one who collects them.

I loved this story. I loved every page of it. Every chapter was exciting. This is my third book from this author and I can’t wait to read the rest of her books.
Profile Image for Laura Furuta.
2,047 reviews25 followers
June 5, 2019
Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors (Book 3)
By: C.L. Schneider
5 out of 5 stars

The story Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors (Book 3) by C.L. Schneider is an amazing book to read. It is a story that has mystery, suspense, danger, and action. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I love reading about the character of Dahlia Nite. She is smart, independent, strong, and has a fierce determination. This book has her and her partner Detective Alex Creed working on a case where dismembered bodies are showing up and not all of them are human. This starts an investigation that takes Dahlia into two worlds. Will Dahlia find the one who is responsible? Read this story to find out. I love how the author builds two worlds, one that has humans and the other has supernatural creatures. There is plenty of detail given in the book and I felt like I was right there with the characters. Dahlia is a character that I have loved to read about since I read the first book. She is sometimes conflicted. She also is a character that shows emotion and cares about those she works with. I also enjoyed reading about the additional characters that interact with Dahlia. Some of them are familiar as they have been brought forward from the other books. There are those who are helpful to Dahlia and those who have their own agenda. This story takes you on a journey that grabs your attention and doesn’t let you go until you have read the final page. It is a book I would highly recommend reading.
Profile Image for The Book Junkie Reads . . ..
4,864 reviews138 followers
February 19, 2021
Enjoy them all back to back the world building...

Overall 5 out of 5 stars
Performance 5 out of 5 stars
Story 5 out of 5 stars

In the previous installments, Dahlia was compassionate, determined, skilled, and driven. Where will things go in Smoke & Mirrors? I was excited to find out. I was not sure there could be more to find in this well-crafted world that Dahlia lives in. She is a half-breed that cannot allow for it to be known that she is more than she appears to be. I find that her strength and perseverance makes her a character to move forward in the world as it ventures in to the future.

Dahlia finds that she working to find out who is dismembering bodies, where her friend's sister is, why all these creatures are disappearing, who are the shadowy men, and what is going on with this dragon queen. If that is not enough for you then consider that this is all told in vivid descriptives, fantastic world-building, and the narration just makes it all the more entertaining.

Cassandra King has returned to narrate the third installment in the Nite Fire series. I say yes. I loved her and the familiarity she brought to the story and the characters.

Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Action-packed Easy-to-read Entertaining Great world building Page-turner Unpredictable Wonderful characters
369 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2019
Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in C.L. Schneider’s Nite Fire series. I really enjoy this series with its combination of fantasy and detective elements.
Dahlia Nite is now part of a special task force devoted to investigating paranormal crimes. Her powers as a half-dragon give her an edge when it comes to solving these crimes, as well as covering up any evidence that would expose the existence of supernatural creatures.
As the series progresses, the magical world Schneider has created becomes increasingly vast and detailed with a varied cast of supernatural and human characters. It’s been a while since I read the earlier books in the series, but Schneider does plenty to fill the reader in on important background details and remind them of what has happened.
It’s an action-packed book with mysteries to be solved and plenty of interesting, complex characters. Dahlia stands out as a strong, driven heroine. I also like Casey Evans with his compassion and humanness, and I enjoy the scenes with the two of them working together.
For me, this is a five-star book. It’s exciting and gripping and fantastic! I’d recommend it to fans of fantasy and mystery. If you want to see forensic science being applied to non-human victims, this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Timothy Bateson.
Author 4 books56 followers
June 16, 2019
The best book in the series so far

Smoke & Mirrors builds on the world set up in the first two books in the series, and does so without disappointing.
You may think that for Dahlia Nite has already been through enough for several lifetimes, and you'd be right. But since escaping from Drimera she has been on the run in one way or another, but she has tried to make a life for herself in Sentinel City. Working with local law enforcement has given her a way to hide from her past, while covering up supernatural events in the city - not that most of her friends and coworkers know it.
But after the events of Chain Reaction its getting harder and harder to hide the presence of creatures from other worlds, or the crimes With supernatural elements. However, it takes a series of bizarre crime scenes to set Dahlia on a collision course with the dark underbelly of the city.
I loved this story, and discovered a whole new respect for the half-dragon shapeshifter, Dahlia, who I'll admit I already loved from the first two books. She really comes into her own, but we see a vulnerable side to her too. There is a surprising amount that comes together in this book, and many worlds may never be the same again when everything is resolved.
Profile Image for Starri Howard.
93 reviews13 followers
April 5, 2021
Secrets are a dragon’s best friend. Deception is a close second. Half-dragon shape-shifter Dahlia Nite lives undetected among the human. But nothing stays hidden forever. When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City’s new task force, the pair finds themselves urged to find answers. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a series of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel. Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men – and the search for her best friend/sidekick's missing sister. Seeking answers, she uses her empathic abilities and uncovers something deeper and more threatening than a simple serial killer’s web. As the dots connect and worlds collide, she struggles to shield her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia’s not the only one who keeps them.

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in the Nite Fire series.
It isn't holding my attention like I hope it would but I'm committed to finishing the series to know how the complete story unravels.
Profile Image for Anya Davies-schultz.
116 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2021
Nite Fire: Smoke and Mirrors is a fantasy book about Dahlia Nite, a half-dragon shapeshifter. Dahlia is now living amongst the humans, not really fitting in, however, she didn’t fit into her original world either. However, what she doesn’t realize is that these two worlds are about to collide. She works with the police department trying to engage in “normal” life, but to live this normal life also means she lives in lies and deception. One night, by the river, dismembered body parts were discovered and now Dahlia had to try and figure out this oddity. Luckily, the secrets that she holds helps her on this endeavor, however, she will have to explain and deceive her partner to get to the bottom (a partner who only knows enough about the world she came from, but not to the extent needed to keep everyone safe). This is my first book by this author and I thought CL Schneider provided a new outlook on the fantasy world. The story line was intriguing, however, there were a lot of characters I had to keep up with and what relation or world did they originate from. With that said, the characters she portrayed were different then in other fantasy books I have read, plus they were developed, complex, but also relatable.
Author 17 books57 followers
January 30, 2022
5/5 Stars

Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors by C.L. Schneider

This is the first book I've read by the author. This is the third book in the Nite Fire Series. Smoke and Mirrors is a great read and I'll be going back and reading the first two.

Dahlia is keeping secrets, but that's what humans do, right? Only problem there is that she's half human. She is also half Dragon shifter. Now when crimes show up and she isn't sure what's going on. The quote I chose for Dahlia is: “Good to know. Why don’t you and your level head circle around the block to the other end. If she gets by me, keep her contained. There’s a reason she’s here. On this block. In this alley. If we don’t stop her from reaching that reason, she’ll get stronger and faster, and catching her will get a lot harder than it already is.”

Alex is a Detective and doesn't have an actual partner. His partner is a half dragon shifter and he doesn't know what to think about it. He does know that he's lucky to have her on his side. The quote I chose for Alex is: “We’ll be lucky if we get any security footage. The power’s been out in the park for two days. There aren’t any traffic cams on the access road, either. We’ll have to go wider.”

Highly recommended for Supernatural Fantasy lovers.
99 reviews
February 1, 2022
In this third installment, with a new case, Dahlia returns working along side Alex. Sentinel City finally seems to be catching on to the fact that weird and unexplained occur more than in other places which leads to the Unexplained Crimes Unit. The main case in this book centers around the discovery of dismembered bodies, not all of which seem human. This, as usual, requires Dahlia to have to cover things up and lie to those she is working with while working the case using her knowledge of other worlds and creatures. Add in her close friend Casey is not currently himself, the Dragon Queen making an appearance, and her growing empathetic power, the ticking time clock on the infected worlds and the spreading infection. Will Dahlia be able to solve her case? Keep those she cares about safe?
I absolutely loved this book. The writing and character development continues to be spot on as it was in the first two books of the series. The underlying story that carries through the first two books is continued and built on in this book as well leaving you once again wanting to know what will come next. I had a hard time putting this book down. I would recommend reading this series in order, all three books are worth the read.
Profile Image for Desiree.
185 reviews19 followers
February 3, 2022
Dahlia Nite has been keeping her partner Alex Creed in the dark about who she really is and what she knows about all the strange cases that they have been catching. However, it starts to become impossible to keep all the secrets as parts and pieces of multiple species -not of earth- are found in Sentinel City. As she shares some, but not all, of what is really going on, the lies become harder, and she struggles to keep everyone safe. Can she continue on this path and keep everyone in the dark without any fall out? Or will she need to share it all to solve this latest case and keep everyone safe?

I am enjoying this series. I feel the author does an excellent job of conveying how Dahlia feels disconnected with her dragon side and more in tune with her human side, as well as her empathy for humans. Her relationships are fraught with secrets and when she realizes just how much her friends mean to her, she starts to share more of herself. She is a lost person looking for where she belongs and what her purpose is. This book starts to show how she is finally finding her place, gives a bigger glimpse as to what her purpose is, but doesn't give it all away. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series!
Profile Image for Erin.
714 reviews2 followers
June 14, 2019
I give Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors by C.L. Schneider, 5 stars.
*This review may contain spoilers from previous books in series.*

The more Dahlia decides to stay, the more she struggles. She has been hiding what she really is and her past to almost everyone. But the more she does, the more she seems to hurt those closest to her. She must decide whether to trust those she cares for or continue hiding. But that's not all. There are body parts washing up on the flooded riverbed -- and not all of them appear to be human parts. Who is doing this and why? Can she figure out what or who is behind it? At what cost to her and her friends?

I have loved this series from the beginning and it just keeps getting better and better. The story itself is something like I haven't seen before. And it is not a simple problem with a simple answer. There are many things going on and many facets to this puzzle. Dahlia herself is so complex but she is also growing too. She struggles with the way she has always thought. Not to mention how much she cares about both her friends and those in need of help. The cast of secondary characters provide even more wonderful layers.

This series showcases how Urban Fantasy should be and I highly recommend this book. I suggest reading the previous books in the series first to understand more.
Profile Image for Anna Hirsch.
574 reviews7 followers
June 12, 2019
Nite Fire: Smoke and Mirrors (Book 3) by C.L. Schneider
4 Stars

With every book that I read in this series, I love it even more. Dahlia grows and evolves within each book. Her powers are growing although her self confidence is still lacking at times. This is one of the things that I love about her. She’s a deadly killer but she has a conscience. She wants to do the right thing and tries her best to protect the underdog.

There is one giant mess after another leading to a disaster of a crime scene. Body parts are spewing up from the sewers and Dahlia has no clue who’s behind it. Most of the body parts aren’t human. How is she supposed to cover up this mess? Everyday gets harder to lie to Creed because he sees through her bull. Dahlia’s getting tired of lying but needs to protect her friends.

There are many twists and turns which will keep you on the edge of your seat. The author throws in a few surprises as well. With certain information leaking out and some reappearances of people from Dahlia’s past, this book is definitely exciting. The author ends the book leaving you freaking out. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.
Profile Image for Liz.
1,327 reviews16 followers
June 25, 2019
Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in the series and is quite possibly the strongest of the three. I have read the previous two and really enjoyed them, so I was excited to see what would come next. C.L. Schneider did not disappoint. Now, normally I don’t choose these types of novels that get really sci-fi. They tend to bore me with details and end up just leaving me confused and unfulfilled. That is never the case with Schneider’s novels. They come alive right before your eyes and grip your attention quite demandingly from the very first few pages. I always feel as if I have embarked on a wonderful adventure and often left missing the strange new lands we found, anxious to go back.

I really enjoyed the characters in this one as well, Dahlia is one of those strong and fearless leads that you just can’t help but fall in love with. I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces as well. And, as always, the creatures are detailed and as realistic as they could be. I loved the vibrant pictures they painted in my mind as I read. My only complaint being this book ended when it did, never enough when it is a fantastic read. I look forward to seeing what will come next!
Profile Image for Lauren Cox.
19 reviews
May 11, 2022
Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors by C.L. Schneider reviewed by Lauren Cox

Dahlia Nite is back in book 3 with even more mystery, murders and secrets.
Dahlia starts searching for answers as multiple species have been left exposed on Sentinel City’s riverbank. A discovery this big is going to be hard to hide or cover up and Dahlia is caught between hiding the evidence and telling the truth. She starts to distant herself more and more from Alex to try and keep her secrets hidden all while, she helps her sidekick Casey try and find his sister, are the crimes connected?
As Dahlias perfectly crafted lies and secrets start to fall apart and the line between new and old life start to become blurry. Can and will these secrets have deadly consequences? Can she keep everyone safe?
I love how much the characters grow and evolve in every book, C.L. Schneider does an amazing job at merging, action, drama, suspense, murder, mystery, supernatural, urban fantasy into these books and the plot twists, character growth has me reading these books into the late AM. I am 100% here for it and will continue reading this series.
Profile Image for Tausha Treadway.
1,177 reviews7 followers
June 11, 2019
Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors (Book 3) by C. L. Schneider. This is the 3rd book in this series and they just get better and better. This is the story of Dahlia Nite who is independent, strong and determined. Detective Alex Creed is her partner
on the Sentinel City's new task force and they are working on a case where dismembered bodies of humans and non humans are showing up. Dahlia will have to go into both worlds to figure out this case. As they continue to delve into this crime world they find more and more weird evidence and even more unexplained crimes. On top of all this Dahlia is also trying to find her friends missing sister. Is it all connected? Even though Dahlia lives in both worlds, human and non human she shows a depth of character and lots of emotions. This book will take you on a ride and you won't want to put the book down until you are finished. Will Dahlia find her friends sister unharmed? Will she and Alex solve all the crazy murders without getting hurt themselves? Read Nite Fire to find out!
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