I was all in when I saw the opportunity for a new gargoyle romance: I’ve read others, but started in the middle of the series, and rarely have the free time to go back and read just for pleasure.
Flame & Stone
While the premise was clever, the abbreviated introduction to the series at just 150-ish pages meant that every word, each nuance needed to count. Character development was crucial in this story, setting the foundation for more to come while providing readers with interest in following along.
Thomas was cursed long ago, and now is a gargoyle destined to protect Dunning Manor. A bit set in his ways, Thomas is bossy, moody, gloomy and rather too full of himself. He does, however, do his job well, and he is tasked with protecting a young woman in danger. He’s not a happy camper with the situation and he makes that clear.
Katie is the heroine and a rather damsel in distress air follows her about until, quite predictably, she falls for Thomas after a tiny bit of push and pull.
That is, sadly, the story in a nutshell. Lacking in character development, depth and story continuity, the premise was the best part of this book. The writing showed plotting conflicts and disconnects that just didn’t work, with predictable choices being the ones used nearly every time.
Highlight of this AudioBook was the narration provided by Kevin Clay. While it took a few beats to get acclimated to his voice and delivery style, he brought every ounce of emotion and character out of the words on the page, creating moments to enjoy from a fairly flat story.
Stars: Overall: 3 Narration 4 Story 2
Title: Flame & Stone
Author: Jamie DeBree
Series: Dunning Manor #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Kevin Clay
Published by: Brazen Snake Books
Published on: 28 January, 2015
Source: AudioBook Blast
Audio Length: 3 Hours: 49 minutes
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Flames once put the heartbroken Thomas Grady under the ancient curse of an old manor house. Two hundred years later, fire fueled by an unholy passion drives Katie Watson to the same manor for protection. Assigned as her guardian under duress, Thomas just wants to do his job and go back to his perch at the top of the manor.
Katie falls hard for her new protector, even as they're planning an intervention for her nemesis. Now that she's found him, she refuses to give him up - even if that means she has to travel through both time and space to make it happen...
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Blast for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.