From Share My Destiny's Archives: Lacy Danes' Open Flame is a bodice ripper for fantasy fans, #fictionreview
Lacy Danes' Open Flame: Dragon's Fate Book 2 is a fantasy bodice ripper with bloodsucking, steamy sex, and trippy time travel sensuality. Danes weaves strands of high Romance, and fantasy together to create one hot, wet, and messy tale of love and lust amid fancy European settings.
Fina is the beautiful sharp, and pure, daughter of a brilliant clock maker who possibly is the key to the mysterious Madoc's design of a watch that can manipulate time. Madoc, one of many dark supernatural “beings”, Zir, whose mate is bound to them and imbued with power, eroticism, and magical powers, is seeking parts for this watch which he hopes will help him keep the upper hand among his brethren Zir, and the host of other supernatural beings that populate Danes’ world. The plot is beside the point. Danes runs a city of subplots in this book, no doubt to anchor her Dragon’s Fate series, but all you need to know is that Madoc and Fina are kept apart by Fina's moral standards, that she finds, as her power grows, to be a thin wall between her and her future mate. Magical jewels and clock designs, and trips back into time jam up the tension between Madoc and his woman. They grow closer, of course, and get hotter, as well.
I love historical Eurpoean settings, and Danes nails the torchlight romanticism. The social mannerisms of the period add to the erotic tension. And who doesn’t like a little erotic tension once and a while. But as you probably guess, ultimately, despite the powerful Carmen, the duplicitous Hudson, Open Flame is mostly about Madoc and Fina's desire between each other, and the urge to have lots of babies, and of course all the sex that baby-making requires. I was hoping Madoc to be a bit more sinister, at least because sinister neck biting is a hot, and is the base for so much erotic vampire literature. And though Open Flame is not vampire literature per se, it does borrow from the genre so much that one wonders why dragons and Zir? Of course, to be fair, I am reading the novel out of sequence, which you can do as well. Danes sets up the narrative with plenty of back-story to fill the reader in.
Dragon's Fate is a breezy read, and once Danes gets the blood flowing the pages fly. The menace is quiet, and most of the bad guys have more bark than bite, but Danes is a romantic at heart, despite the goth surrealism, and Open Flame wears its heart on its sleeve. 3 stars