REVIEW : Flame & Shadow -The Dae Diaries Book #1- AK Nevermore

Flame & Shadow Book Cover Flame & Shadow
The Dae Diaries Book #1
AK Nevermore
Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Wild Rose Press
Nov 13, 2023

Half-daemon Envy Starr is destined to die on Midsummer’s Eve, still a virgin, on some crappy cult’s live-stream feed. With thirty days left to live, the chance to escape her fate and get some action compels her into her absentee father’s world of beautifully cultured cruelty.

Once there, she’s the object of a deadly game, slated to alter the Fae realm’s power structure. Worse, the rules keep changing, and everyone has an ulterior motive, including her dae-licious guide, Brennan. Under a geas he’s desperate to break, she can’t trust him, or herself.

Stupid Stockholm syndrome.

But unless she can come to terms with what lies in her heart, her unlikely survival will be a fate worse than death. For her, and the rest of Fae.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Envy Starr is half human & half Dae after her birth her father was gone, and she was raised by her mother Calista a showgirl who didn’t have a maternal bone in her body. Envy was used whenever Calista needed her with no rhyme or reason just that she could. As Envy grew her mother turned the other cheek and became the second highest devotee of Our Lady of the Blessed Inferno, a convent where once again Envy had lived a horrible life and at the mercy of a mother who could care less about her.

As a halfling her death is just around the corner because by the age of twenty death was all the halflings had to look forward to. Since she had few choices in life, she chose the choice of running away something that would change her life forever if she lived that long. At a bar she frequented when she was able to escape, she is attack by a Golem and before the Golem got the upper hand she was rescued. She awoke in a bed and was greeted by Brennan, a halfling like her who went through a ritual that changed his status to full Fae.

He has been contracted to educate Envy into Fae society and at the Midsummer’s Eve Ball she would no longer face death but would face becoming a full Fae. Although you would expect her to welcome a new life and leave death in her rearview mirror, she is not sure she wants to give up her humanity. Unfortunately, that decision become moot when enemies kept coming at her with her death their goal.

While together Brennan and Envy become close, but she knows he is keeping secrets from her, i.e. he is bound to his mother, Amelda, the queen of Clan Malten and a woman with a black heart. He made the mistake of trusting his mother and it led to him being controlled by her. Her father makes an appearance and like her mother he doesn’t have a paternal bone in his body, Envy is just the woman he has a purpose for, and it is not for her good.

It becomes impossible to trust anyone, her father, Silas is the brother of Amelda’s husband, Brennan’s stepfather another Fae with a desire to cause pain and death. So many enemies, Brennan’s brother Mica the worst of the worst wants Envy and the only thing keeping him corralled is Brennan. With Fae one wrong question, one wrong answer could be deadly, and Envy has a habit of speaking before her brain has a chance to kick in and stop her.

Envy and Brennan’s troubles go from bad to worse, imprisonment, torture and by people that should be trusted. Envy is in everyone’s crosshairs and Brennan is one man against many. Envy’s hatred for the Fae grows until she begins to welcome the thought of her death leaving behind her haters who will come out losers.

Secrets, betrayals, torture, romance, sex and a bucket full of enemies made this book enjoyable from beginning to end. Whether Brennan and Envy come out on top is not for me to reveal but it was fun finding out.

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