I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Kiss of Fire is a coming of age YA urban fantasy/paranormal, with a romance that could make even the iciest heart melt. There were so many times when I just couldn't turn the pages fast enough, it was almost frustrating. By the time I reached the midpoint of this novel, it was literally a race to the finish. I was dying to know what happened to Joclyn and Ryland.
On her fifth birthday, Joclyn is bitten by something and spends half a year in a coma. When she awakens, she has an unusual scar on her neck that looks like a strange brand. Within months of her recovery, her father disappears, and she blames herself and the scar. Poor Joclyn spends her life hiding beneath a hoodie, trying to keep the world from seeing the scar that has ruined her life. She will ultimately learn that the scar is much more than the remnants of a bug bite. I loved Jocyln's character. She's surprisingly strong willed for having hidden her life away from others. Jocyln is sweet and fiercely loyal; she is also a fighter- making her a strong female protagonist.
Best friend/romantic interest Ryland is amazing as well. He is the son of a billionaire tycoon. Though his father insists he stay away from Joclyn (she's the daughter of the help and therefore below his social strata) he refuses to abandon his best friend. Ryland is also strong-willed just like Joclyn; really they make a perfect pair, like they were meant to be together. I love Ryland's protectiveness, his disdain for his father's cruelty, and his accepting, playful nature. And he drives a bright yellow Lotus...what's not to love?
The storyline is rich in details, containing flowing descriptions that transport the reader into Joclyn's world. I love the dialogue and interactions between the characters, especially any scene containing Joclyn's friend Wyn. That girl is hilarious at times. While I thought the first half of the novel was a bit slow, the second half is so exciting, it simply flies by. I can't say I liked the ending very much; it's not really an ending since this is book one in a series. It just felt like a let down after so much emotional investment.
I recommend Kiss of Fire to everyone middle school and up, as it's a clean YA story with only mild to moderate violence. Younger readers, keep in mind there is some physical and emotional torture as well as a bit of blood and gore during battle. If you like urban fantasy and paranormal romance, consider adding this series to your to-read list.