Author: Clarissa Wild
Series: Fierce #2
Release Date: May 5, 2014
When trust is challenged and desire takes control, is love enough to conquer fear?
When geeky book nerd Autumn Blakewood falls for the cocky, confident fighter Hunter Bane she knows she’s in for life. Their undeniable connection, fueled by the desire to protect, grows stronger every passing second. However, the need to feel cherished threatens her college graduation, family bonds, and future, tearing her apart, but she won’t give up on Hunter so easily …
After he was abandoned by his family, Hunter Bane struggles to cope with daily life. Having a learning disability turns every task into a challenge. With his brother now free, Hunter feels the pressure to succeed and take care of the people he loves, forcing him to choose between college and a job. Hunter’s devotion to Autumn keeps him on the right path. His infatuation with her turns lust into passion, drawing out his alpha tendencies. But with affection comes admission, putting a strain on their relationship as secrets are exposed and unforeseen circumstances spiral out of control.
Being complete opposites, their love is flaming hot, but it burns away all inhibitions, unveiling the fears that were locked deep inside. As past and present collide, difficult choices must be made. Can Autumn and Hunter’s love survive this ultimate test?
When I first met Hunter and Autumn in Fierce I immediately liked them. When we got to see Hunter’s side of things in Fury my love for them grew. But while reading Flame, I fell in love with them. I fell in love with them as individuals, as a couple, and as a part of a family. Their story to this point has been about external forces. Dealing with the things in life they have no control over. In Flame we get to see them face their own internal battles. They are forced to accept each other (and themselves) completely and unconditionally or lose the love they fought so hard for.
Flame took me on a rollercoaster of emotions from the first page to the last. Hunter and Autumn got together under the cover of their college bubble, but as their relationship progresses, they are forced to deal with the opinions of their families and face the pasts they would both rather leave behind. Getting a glimpse into both of their pasts allowed me to finally understand where their fears and insecurities come from, why they are who they are. We also get to see them attempt to figure out their futures and how they could possibly make their very different paths converge. Clarissa’s portrayal of the emotional struggle throughout this book had me feeling every emotion with them. I was consumed by nervous energy, fueled by rage, desperate with loss, confused about the future, and overwhelmed with joy as I took this journey with Autumn and Hunter.
Flame also brought us Jessie, Hunter’s brother. We finally get to meet the man who has been the topic of conversation since book one. I’ll admit I was nervous to see how his relationship with Hunter might have changed during his time in jail, but I was even more anxious to see how Autumn would fit into their family. Well I can tell you this, by the end of the book Jessie had worked his way into my heart. We already know how devoted he is to his brother, how he would make any sacrifice for Hunter to have the best life possible. What I didn’t expect was how entertaining having Hunter and Jessie together would be! Their relationship was real and the love they had for each other could be felt from the moment Jessie enters the picture. Their brotherly banter had me grinning and I was thrilled to see Autumn unafraid of joining their conversations and effectively holding her own. Jessie also happens to have incredible timing, always knowing when to interrupt or say something completely inappropriate. He was the laughter that lightened the serious situations and made you glad he was around.
This book is about growth. Pure and simple. Autumn and Hunter had a lot of growing to do, both as individual characters and as a couple. The character growth we see throughout Flame was probably my favorite part of the story. Hunter has to find a way to be open with Autumn and to quiet his temper and not run away from every problem. Autumn needs to learn to let herself go, to accept love and to not doubt everything when something goes wrong. Clarissa does an amazing job of developing Hunter and Autumn and challenging them to look at themselves and each other in a new light. She puts them through the ringer and you can’t help but cheer them on as they fight for their relationship. As I watched them grow, I felt like an old friend, proud to see them changing and navigating their way through life while holding on to the people they’ve always been, the people they want to be and each other.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t really sure what else of Hunter and Autumn’s story needed to be told after we got to get a look inside Hunter’s head. I was afraid that this installment was going to just drag out their story and throw in drama that was completely unnecessary. However, I’ll also be the first to admit that I ended up being totally impressed with what Clarissa brought out in Flame and I really enjoyed it!
There definitely was not a ton of action or drama in this book, but it actually completely worked for the story line. We got to see both Autumn and Hunters’ points of view of how the couple came together in the first two books. In Flame, it was all about them now learning about themselves as individuals, as well as a couple. There were issues that arose that made them look at themselves and figure out their expectations and then working through those issues. It was about them delving deeper into the other as a person, not just someone they were dating. I greatly admired the dedication and persistence they both had in their relationship.
I also really loved the ending. I thought the way it happened felt very natural and not rushed or overly dramatic. I found myself falling in love with both Hunter and Autumn and how much they grew between their individual stories and the progression of Flame. Now that their story received it’s happily ever after, I really hope Clarissa does a book for Jessie now because I would absolutely LOVE to know more about him!
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Check out the rest of the Fierce Series:
Fight (Fierce #0.5)
Fierce (Fierce #1)
Fury (Fierce #1.5)
Filthy (Fierce #3)
Fierce Series Box Set