Review & Giveaway: DROWNING IN FIRE by Hanna Martine


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Drowning in Fire is my third read (and review) in Hanna Martine’s The Elementals series. With this book, I got a wish come true: Griffin’s story! Yeah! Read on to see if Griffin got the story I wanted for him…

Drowning in Fire cover

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Elementals, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin)
Source & Format: Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley; digital
Official Summary
Hidden in the Hawaiian islands, there is magic pure enough to heal a broken heart.
In his last audience with the Senatus, Griffin hoped to establish a connection between his water-wielding race and the other elementals. Instead, he found himself drawn into a forbidden affair with the Chimeran general Keko. When it ended in a storm of fire and ice, Griffin was banned from the Senatus and Keko was stripped of her status.
Just as Griffin is given a second chance to prove himself worthy of a Senatus seat, he gets a call from Keko. Despite how it ended between them, she wants to hear his voice one last time before embarking on a suicide mission to save her people and redeem her name.
Despite her good intentions, members of the Senatus want her stopped—and Griffin volunteers to go after her. As he tracks his former lover through the untamed Hawaiian wilderness, she leads him straight to the source of all fire magic. But will the intense power they discover draw them back together or destroy them both?

Emily‘s Review

I have been clamoring for Griffin’s story since I read my first Hanna Martine book, Liquid Lies, a couple years back. I had a soft spot for the guy who DIDN’T get the girl and wanted to see him get his HEA ever since. Griffin is an all-around nice guy. He has stepped into a leadership role for his people and wants to do everything he can to make sure they have the best lives possible. He is the definition of self-sacrifice and puts his own needs well below everyone else’s, or at least he always has, until he meets Keko.

We got a glimpse of Keko in the last book, A Taste of Ice (which I reviewed here), and I have to say, she scared the crap out of me. She is a FIERCE warrior, raised in a secluded, secret Hawaiian enclave where her people are taught to fight above all other things. Her upbringing was harsh and seems to have left her emotionally stunted, so it is safe to say Griffin and Keko face a pretty big hurdle from the get-go as they try to navigate a relationship of sorts.

The relationship between Keko and Griffin is interesting. At times I could not see what they saw in each other – at least outside the Sexy Time. I totally caught on to THAT chemistry, no problem there. But what did they really want with each other beyond that? My thoughts at times seemed to mirror the couple’s as they tried to figure out what they meant to each other and whether or not they truly belonged together. I think some of my questioning stemmed from not really understanding what Keko wanted with her own life. Through this story, she is forced to reevaluate her life – all things that had made sense to her previously are no longer clear or obvious. It does take a while for her to figure her stuff out, and I wished it could have happened a little faster. Despite her slow evolution, there was always a lot going on and the book is never dull or slow.

Just a reminder, this is paranormal fiction, people. So there are characters of other races and some crazy magical stuff going on. Ms. Martine has come up with totally new concepts, so don’t go in expecting the newest vampire read or werewolf story. It takes a little time and energy to actually understand how the different species operate and interact. That said, it is definitely worth it!

I do think these books are best read in order and as a series. They could be read as stand-alone books, but they build off of each other from a high-level perspective and you will have a better understanding of the entire world the characters live in if you start at the beginning. Even so, I think it is great Drowning in Fire could be read on its own and is not a “commercial” for the prior books in the series. You know what I mean, right? Where you get tantalizing and partial details about prior books in a current book that leave you thinking you know nothing about anything without having read the series from the get-go. But here comes the fickle part of my review: despite liking that it didn’t tout the prior books, I wished I could have seen more of the characters from them in this one. I kind of went into the book thinking we’d see them return and get updates on their lives now, but Drowning in Fire is more of its own island, figuratively and literally, as it is set in Hawaii most of the book. I want it all, right? Like I said, fickle!

Bottom Line

I enjoyed this next chapter of The Elementals series. I recommend it (and the rest of the series) to those who like paranormal or sci-fi romance and are looking for a smexy read. While I wished that I had bonded more with Keko, all in all, I liked Drowning in Fire and will keep reading this series to see what happens next!

Rating: B

Wine/Beverage Pairing: In honor of the Hawaii locale, I’m choosing a Blue Hawaiian – equal parts rum and vodka, a smidge less blue curaçao, pineapple juice, and a splash of sweet and sour. Dude, they had me at equal parts rum and vodka. :)

Buy Digital:  Kindle  |  Nook
Buy Print:  Amazon  |  B&N


Drowning in Fire Giveaway

The lovely folks at Berkley have generously offered to give away a print copy of Drowning in Fireto ONE lucky Kindles & Wine reader (U.S. residents only).

To enter for your chance to win, you must:

  1. Be a follower of our blog (click HERE to subscribe), AND…
  2. The location of this book is partially set in Hawaii. I have never been, but feel the need for a long trip there after reading this and the long hard winter we’ve had here in the Midwest. Hit the comments and tell me: Where is your dream vacation spot?

Please note: All entrants must review and adhere to our official giveaway policy. This contest will close on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11:59 PM (CDT) and the winner will be notified via email on Friday, April 25.