Buy the book: Amazon US
Title: Fire on the Island
Author: J.K. Hogan
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Series: Vigilati #1
Target audience: Adult
Genre: Paranormal romance
Length: 376 pages
Story: All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother's insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.
Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn't expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.
Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible.
Thoughts and impressions: First of all, what a setting! I love the Scottish islands: they’re picturesque, they’re remote enough to each have a very distinct personality, and they’re the perfect getaway. I’ve been to several of the Scottish islands (Colonsay, Jura, Mull, and Islay) and my memories of them are all of a rural paradise, the kind that you don’t tend to find very often in Britain nowadays (though the beaches leave a lot to be desired). The author shows an obvious passion for her setting and managed to create that isolated island feeling that is just so important (in my opinion) in such a story. I felt that she did her setting justice. I hope that inhabitants of these islands would think so too.
Though perhaps not entirely original in subject matter, the story is definitely one of the more interesting paranormal romances that I’ve read so far this year. There was just the right balance of romance and action that I needed – one didn’t outweigh the other and there was no getting bogged down in the details to the point where I just lost interest in it all. Beyond this, as the character herself is not actually initiated into this supernatural world that she’s a part of, the reader was able to follow her baby steps. Isla is unaware of her heritage as a witch and so it never felt like she was taking the time to break away from her story in order to explain her world to me. I was able to discover everything alongside her and I felt that this gave the story a much smoother and more authentic feel.
There is one character, Marduk, who is quite the funny guy. I’m not as sure about the quotes he spews as you have to be aware of the general culture they come from in order for it to really work. This means that anyone not entirely familiar with Hollywood won’t connect with him as well. It really dates the story more than any other aspect of it. Some people like this but I’m one of those who are wary of it. Despite this, he was a great character and one of my favourites!
The romance did advance possibly a little on the fast side, but whirlwind romances do happen like that (my own included, so I can’t judge). I did have some issues with passing time on occasion – the narrative would tell me that X time had passed but I didn’t get the impression that it had been that long while reading.
The witches were fabulous. I’m particularly interested in witches right now (along with ghosts) so any book set on a Scottish island (part of my childhood) that adds witches (part of my paranormal preferences) is a definite hit for me before I’ve even cracked it open. There are other paranormal creatures also present and they're just the icing on the cake. I really enjoyed them all, even the ones that I'm usually not that big on in this genre.
What’s more, the characters caught my interest and they didn’t let go, each developing at a believable rate, allowing me to connect with them and really come to root for them in their fight against the evil demons. This is just what I look for in a book. Obviously this one turned up to be just my cup of tea.
I will definitely be tuning in for book two!
Final verdict: A really enjoyable, well-developed and addictive paranormal romance. 4.5 stars
Extra notes: Both bad language and sex are present.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives on a farm with her husband and their three horses, one miniature donkey, one cat, and two champion agility dogs.
In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! Please feel free to visit J.K.’s contact page—she’d love to hear from you!Author Website