Melanie's Reviews > Feast of Sparks

Feast of Sparks by Sierra Simone
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did not like it
bookshelves: romance, erotic-scenes, lgbtqiap, buddy-reads, read-in-2019, sapphic

1.) A Lesson in Thorns ★★★★

“I am the girl who kneels at night. I am the bride of thorns.”

Alright, first off, I still completely recommend A Lesson in Thorns, and it is still one of my favorite romances of the year. I just believe with my whole heart that you should pretend it is a standalone, because Feast of Sparks was a complete mess. From unprotected sex, with multiple partners back to back, to questionable flashbacks to boys who are only sixteen, to Dom/sub relationships that felt a lot like abuse, to even incest, this book was a joke. Also, if you couldn’t tell, this is probably going to be a rant review, so if you don’t want me trashing a book you love, you probably shouldn’t read any further. AND I am probably going to lace MINOR SPOILERS for books one and two throughout this review, so please use caution while reading.

Becket - The priest. Bi, and living his life for God.
Rebecca - The genius. Bi, Black, and the Dom of my dreams still.
Delphine - The socialite. Bi, plus-sized, and Instagram famous.
St. Sebastian - The saint. Bi and biracial (white and Mexican).
Auden - The heir. Bi, and owner of Thornchapel.
Prosperpina/Poe - The dreamer. Bi and narcoleptic (both ownvoices), total submissive, but extra annoying and whiney in this installment.

Basically, this is a story about a girl named Poe, who comes back to a remote manor called Thornchapel after her mother goes missing. She is quickly reunited with the friends that she hasn’t seen in many, many years, and they soon realize that they all would totally be down having sex with one another, and so they do. But at the end of the first book a big reveal happens that leaves Poe and her five friends very shook up.

But I mean, what is the best way to cope with finding the dead body of your mother, after she’s been missing for twelve years? More kinky sex, please! Because like, who wants to read a 400 page book where they would spend at least a sentence talking about grief, trauma, and depression? Yikes!

I always want to touch upon how so many white women in romance fetishize m/m romances written by white women. And yes, this is a book that feels polyamorous without using the word, and there are many group sex scenes, and maybe scenes involving more than m/m sex, but this book has A LOT of m/m sex, and flashbacks all the way throughout about these two boys and how their romances started. I don’t even want to talk about how uncomfortable it is to read about sixteen-year-old boys and their erections and them noticing things about each other, and their promises for more than just making out, but it just feels extra bad in Feast of Sparks.

Also, it is not lost on me that we barely get to see Poe and Rebecca have a sex scene (with Auden there), and Delphine and Rebecca’s sex scene wasn’t on page. Yet, we get so much Auden and Saint, pages and pages, both past and present, no matter at what point in the story you are at. You all, do better, it’s 2019, and your obsession with m/m written by women is gross.

Yet, I can’t believe that I actually read a book in 2019 that depicted people having group sex without using condoms. Because you know, “Hehe, we talked about it and we are all healthy” is totally enough. Especially when three guys are cumming inside the same girl who didn’t tell them that she wasn’t on any form of birth control. Especially when one of the guys is having back to back anal sex, because who cares? It’s hot to “spill your manly seed everywhere” or what the fuck ever. Jesus wept, and so did I. (view spoiler)

I will never be quiet about the importance of healthy and consensual relationships of all kinds, but especially sexual relationships that are in or venturing into the BDSM world. Auden’s treatment of Saint in the name of “kink” was really gross, and I honestly had a feeling this book was going to be a let down after he first slaps him in the first sexual encounter. Again, this is portrayed as a kink, maybe masochistic tendencies, and Saint likes it, but there was never any pretalk about the arrangement or if anything physical was going to happen during the sexual encounter; he just slapped him to be cruel, in my opinion. And every single time he would bite him and make him bruise and bleed? Like, dude, please stop.

Speaking of cruel, let’s talk about Auden’s treatment of Saint’s mother. You quickly learn why Saint is upset at Auden, and it’s a very good reason to be upset at someone. Yet, we are strung along the entire book while waiting to find out what Saint did to Auden to deserve such treatment. And it was the most pathetic reason you could imagine. Yet, Saint thinks it is valid apparently, so who am I? Oh, just someone who can smell abuse, and a victim in a cycle of abuse from their constant abuser, a mile away. Hello.

Lastly, this is something that made me feel uncomfortable, but I know it wont make everyone feel that way; there is a sexual scene that happens in a church with a priest and it made my Catholic-self want to repent. I’ll drag myself, and say that I normally do LOVE erotic reading about people trying to balance their convictions and their sexual wants, but this one was too much for me. Because the priest stays in the role of priest and it just skeezed me out completely. Plus, when you’re comparing a dude’s cum to Holy Communion? I’m out. I’m sorry, I’m out. *prays the rosary forever*

Overall, this was probably the worst book I’ve read all year, and I’m just so disappointed. I will not be continuing on with the series. Even though I loved A Lesson in Thorns, I was harassed by a reviewer on multiple platforms about how me saying the characters could be pan was wrong, even though the word bi wasn’t used for all of them, which lead me to writing to the author and her confirming it, which lead to me being hurt, honestly. I licked my wounds and picked this book up though, because I loved A Lesson in Thorns and me and my friends were so dang excited to buddy read this together at midnight! Sadly, the last chapter was truly the worst thing I’ve read all year, and I don’t care anymore to see how this plays out. And I don’t care if it ends up being fake, because Auden thought it was true, and the author is using it as a plot device to have all of us believe it is true.

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Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one, grief depiction, trauma depiction, depression depiction, underage drinking in the past, bullying in the past, physical violence in the past, some very triggering internal monologues about body image, brief rementioning/hint of sexual abuse in the past, talk of human sacrifice, religious rituals involving sex, invasion of privacy, unprotected sex without telling or discussing with the partner(s), and incestuous sexual relations and storylines!

Buddy read with Chelsea, Jane, Madalyn, Riley, & Paloma! ❤
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Reading Progress

June 15, 2019 – Shelved
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: romance
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: erotic-scenes
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
July 12, 2019 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
July 12, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
August 1, 2019 – Started Reading
August 3, 2019 – Finished Reading
July 14, 2020 – Shelved as: sapphic

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)


Paloma *The Romance Queen* and me too girl! lol *kiss*


message 2: by Vivian (new)

Vivian Stevenson I bought A Lesson in Thorns on my kindle! I'm so excited to read it. Thank you for recommending it.


message 3: by Anna (new) - added it

Anna Can't wait for this one!


Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️ I agree about the cover. Love it!! 💘


message 5: by Abigayil (new) - added it

Abigayil Thank heavens for pre-ordering. I can feel at ease knowing I have a secure copy being sent to my Kindle as soon as this drop lol


message 6: by Tucker (new)

Tucker  (TuckerTheReader) IT IS AUGUST 1ST. How are we here already! Happy 27-day-early bday


message 7: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie Starting this one right now!


message 8: by Kayla (new)

Kayla Omg I didnt know this was out...fkn BOUGHT IT


Elena C I’m also reading this right now and I’m loving it so far!!!!


message 10: by books-on-a-wire (new)

books-on-a-wire Oh no, I was waiting for paperback but now...


Aoife - Bookish_Babbling Uh oh, sounds like I might have made the right call in calling it quits when I didn't love book1. From your spoiler I think I'd hit the roof if I read book2.
However I am gutted that those who liked first book are being so disappointed by this one. That is never fun😥


message 12: by Fizza (new) - rated it 1 star

Fizza not only the ugly incest pullup but despite being saint's book, most of the scenes/dynamics were reserved for auden...like nor fair and makes their relationship look more ugly/fetishistic


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Nerud I love you so much Melany (as a friend 😊) thanks for an honest review and I’m sorry for any hate you received about your pansexual comment and heart ache that followed


message 14: by Tart (new)

Tart I feel bad liking the review, but damn this book feels like a giant pile of Y I K E S.


Carly Thank you for your honest review and bringing to attention important things about this book so eloquently.


message 16: by Hiba (last edited Aug 05, 2019 01:03AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hiba Great review, Melanie! I mostly hated this book for the ending but you brought light to many issues that I previously ignored. I had this love hate relationship with Auden, but after reading your review, I'm just hating him more and more. Hope your next read is better!


message 17: by Kayla (new)

Kayla oh god...i need to see if i can return this on amazon


Joudie I couldn't have said it better myself! Those are all my problems with this book and I cannot believe everyone was so blinded by the first book as to not be able to appropriately criticize this one..


Starr (AKA Starrfish) Rivers Wow, OK, I think I will stay away from this book!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven’t read this book yet, but I loved ALIT and wanted to see what people were thinking about FOS before I jumped in. I didn’t read your review, because you kindly hid it to avoid spoilers. I appreciate that, and totally understand that not every book is written for every reader.

I’m writing because at least one of the commenters didn’t show the same restraint and did include what must be a massive spoiler for this book right there in their comment for everyone scrolling through to see.

I like reading the opinions of people who disagree with me. I think this community rocks. But, come on people, no spoilers.


Melanie Paloma *The Romance Queen* wrote: "and me too girl! lol *kiss*"

sweet summer children we were.... hahahah 💖xx


Melanie Vivian wrote: "I bought A Lesson in Thorns on my kindle! I'm so excited to read it. Thank you for recommending it."

Awh, you're welcome, love! Honestly? Maybe pretend it is a standalone! Hahah! 💖xx


Melanie Anna wrote: "Can't wait for this one!"

Happy reading, love! 💖xx


Melanie Ꮗ€♫◗☿ wrote: "I agree about the cover. Love it!! 💘"

Right? So beautiful! 💖xx


Melanie Abigayil wrote: "Thank heavens for pre-ordering. I can feel at ease knowing I have a secure copy being sent to my Kindle as soon as this drop lol"

We were such sweet summer children, Abigayil! Hahahah! 💖xx


Melanie Tucker wrote: "IT IS AUGUST 1ST. How are we here already! Happy 27-day-early bday"

Awh! Thank you so much, Tucker! You are so sweet! 💖xx


Melanie Katie wrote: "Starting this one right now!"

*waits for your thoughts* 💖xx


Melanie Kayla wrote: "Omg I didnt know this was out...fkn BOUGHT IT"

Happy reading, love! 💖xx


Melanie Angela wrote: "I’m also reading this right now and I’m loving it so far!!!!"

The let down, bb. The damn let down! Hahah! 💖xx


Melanie books-on-a-wire wrote: "Oh no, I was waiting for paperback but now..."

Yeah... I'm sorry, bb! Hahaha! 💖xx


Melanie Aoife wrote: "Uh oh, sounds like I might have made the right call in calling it quits when I didn't love book1. From your spoiler I think I'd hit the roof if I read book2.
However I am gutted that those who lik..."


You made the smart choice, sweetheart! There is so much better and more inclusive romance out there that isn't.... a clickbait, nasty ending. 💖xx


Melanie Fizza wrote: "..like nor fair and makes their relationship look more ugly/fetishistic"

Yeah... it was honestly such a mess all around. The ending was just the... most rotten cherry on top! 💖xx


Melanie Sarah wrote: "I love you so much Melany (as a friend 😊) thanks for an honest review and I’m sorry for any hate you received about your pansexual comment and heart ache that followed"

Awh, thank you so much, Sarah! You are too kind and I really appreciate these words. I love you (as a friend & lala) too, bb! 💖xx


Melanie Tart wrote: "I feel bad liking the review, but damn this book feels like a giant pile of Y I K E S."

Hehehe, my fave comment, bb. I hope you're having happy reading! 💖xx


Melanie Carly ❊ Reading Is My Kind of Thing wrote: "Thank you for your honest review and bringing to attention important things about this book so eloquently."

Awh, thank you for this kind comment, sweetheart! 💖xx


Melanie Hiba wrote: "Great review, Melanie! I mostly hated this book for the ending but you brought light to many issues that I previously ignored. I had this love hate relationship with Auden, but after reading your r..."

Awh, thank you for this comment, love. Yeah.. Auden went from being my fave to my least fave so quick! But I hope you're having the happiest of reading now, too, Hiba! 💖xx


Melanie Kayla wrote: "oh god...i need to see if i can return this on amazon"

Hehe, I'm sorry, love. I hope you're having happy reading with your current read(s) though! 💖xx


message 38: by Devin (new)

Devin "Jesus wept, and so did I." 😂😂😂😂😂😂


Melanie Joudie wrote: "I couldn't have said it better myself! Those are all my problems with this book and I cannot believe everyone was so blinded by the first book as to not be able to appropriately criticize this one.."

Yeah... it feels so bad... it's just a yikes all around. 💖xx


message 40: by Melanie (last edited Aug 06, 2019 10:07AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Melanie Angela wrote: "Wow, I’m so surprised by your review! I’m almost finished with this book and I’m absolutely loving it. Some scenes are a little too erotic for my sex sensitive self but I don’t see what’s problemat..."

I mean, in this review I list to you what I found problematic and why, so I don't really understand this comment?


Melanie Starr (AKA Bam Bam) wrote: "Wow, OK, I think I will stay away from this book!"

I support any choice to make! I just hope you have happy reading! 💖xx


Melanie Boudoir wrote: "I haven’t read this book yet, but I loved ALIT and wanted to see what people were thinking about FOS before I jumped in. I didn’t read your review, because you kindly hid it to avoid spoilers. I ap..."

I am very sorry for that, love. I hope you're having the happiest of reading, and I hope people can be more respectful of commenting (and realizing it pushes their words through the feed)! 💖xx


Melanie Devin wrote: ""Jesus wept, and so did I." 😂😂😂😂😂😂"

Hehehehe, why am I like this? (but facts, still) 💖xx


Jessica | Booked J Gonna have to nope my way out of this book, yikes!!!!


message 45: by Kara (new) - added it

Kara Bianca Whelp, I'm going to read the first one and then nope my way out of there quick smartttttt


message 46: by Chelsea (new) - added it

Chelsea Humphrey Oh my actual fucking gosh. Thank you so much for writing this review Mel. It must have been fate, because I thought I had pre-ordered this book and then it turns out I hadn’t, because it never came through. Hard pass from me, and I’ll be sobbing with disappointment and anger for awhile.


message 47: by Kayla (new)

Kayla Melanie wrote: "Kayla wrote: "oh god...i need to see if i can return this on amazon"

Hehe, I'm sorry, love. I hope you're having happy reading with your current read(s) though! 💖xx"


I am! No need to apologize, I appreciate you putting this out there so I know to avoid it. I am currently reading Untouchable Darkness, the second book in the Dark Ones series and it is pretty good. The first book in the series was an amazing vampire romance (because vampires are coming back this year, i swear it) and this second book basically picks up where that one left off but following different characters. Hoping I'll enjoy it just as much as the first, even though the second book doesn't focus on a vampire 😂


MaryGrace I haven't finished reading this but I skimmed the whole Beltane scene last night. Honestly I'm so uncomfortable. Also the church scene was the worst, and I didnt even feel like he was a priest because he didn't even struggle internally. He also called her little saint while blowing him an aghhh I went to catholic school for 13 years. I'm all for the debate about priests being allowed to marry, but let's just throw our vows out the window?


message 49: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey Phew I’m glad I waited to order this book! Hard pass.
And thank you for the portion about women writing m/m romance. I feel like I’m shouting into the void with an unpopular opinion when I’ve brought it up.


Victoria I guessed the saint twist in book one when the money thing was mentioned it was so obvious but I just wish it hadn’t been so. I forced myself through the last 40% of the book just so I could read reviews without being spoiled and I completely agree with pretty much everything you said. I loved and adored ALIT and preordered this after I finished that. I’ve never know a book to have second book syndrome as much as this one did. Poe’s character reminds me of tv show characters where they over exaggerate the characters by season 4-7 because they don’t know how to have a trait be a trait instead of taking over everything. All Poe does is nap and have sex and her character was so interesting in ALIT! She was a super smart librarian, skipping grades and getting degrees early, talking about her passions and she just became everyone’s plaything? The unsafe sex REALLY bothered me especially because Auden made it seem accidental but then EVERYONE was doing it. If they’re bringing bone China and caviar, they can bring condoms it’s not hard.
TLDR; I was waiting to read your review and I agree wholeheartedly. Highly disappointed. I wish it was better.


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