Painting with Fire by Lissa Kasey ~ Book Review by Karen

painting-with-fire-coverTitle: Painting with Fire
Series: Survivors Fin Love #1

Author: Lissa Kasey

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 12/02/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary


Charlie “Wood Chuck” Fox knows his best friend and fellow wildfire firefighter Jessie Row had a major family break up in her past. Charlie has adopted her into his heart and into his huge family and when Jessie gets word her mother has passed away, Charlie fears returning home is going to tear her up.

Bastian Hart’s choice of career as a doll painter has put him at odds with his family. He’s made a sanctuary for himself on the San Juan Island of Friday Harbor, an hour away from his family. He welcomes his aunt Jessie and her friend Charlie into his house as they all prepare for the upcoming funeral. Charlie and Bastian discover a spark of smoldering fire igniting between them, but Charlie is unwilling to push and Bastian hesitant to trust.

They will have to wade through pain, hate, and fear to find their future together

My View:

The blurb for this book really pulled me in, and I’m a sucker for mis-matched eyes, and on one level I found this book to be better than I imagined it would be, and on another it wasn’t.

There are three main characters in this book, Charlie, Jessie and Bastian. Charlie and Jessie work and live together as fire fighters and have done for years, Bastian is Jessie’s nephew and while Jessie and Bastian have become estranged from their family they are still in contact with each other – so when Jessie’s mother dies she takes Charlie to the funeral and they both stay with Bastian.

Charlie is an indigenous American, and from a close and loving family, and they have ‘adopted’ Jessie as the two are extremely close. In fact the relationship between Charlie and Jessie was lovely and felt totally real, Jessie is asexual, in her late 30’s and a fascinating character, there was real sense of understanding between them and it was a pleasure to read a female character in an m/m romance who was so well rounded.

Bastian paints dolls, very high end dolls. He is totally successful and in high demand, he makes ‘how to’ YouTube tutorials about doll painting but seems fragile due to events that happened in his past. I know nothing about the type of dolls that Bastian paints, but there is a great deal of description regarding the many types of  dolls, the techniques used and how talented Bastian is at what he does. I felt that this was a little too much information – and while it’s great to have an understanding of what a character does for a living, especially if it’s something more unusual, there was too much emphasis here.

For a relatively short book there was a lot of information, and at times it detracted from the romance, although it was pretty clear that there was a strong attraction between Charlie and Bastian from the off, Bastian’s history meant that things would be slow and gentle between them – and I felt that more time spent developing the relationship, and less focus on the doll painting would have been good.

The book is also unevenly paced, the beginning, as we get to know the characters is pleasantly gentle, it speeds up towards the middle with the actual funeral then the end employs a ‘time passed’ device that allows the characters to decide what they want to do, without any interaction (or character development) between them.

Overall there was a lot to like about this book, but for me it was too unevenly paced, and not focused enough on the romantic relationship at times.



Painting with Fire on Goodreads
Self Published
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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