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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
Enlightened Fire by V.K. Walker is a paranormal romance about two lovers who endeavor to overcome their own arrogance as they try to save each other, as well as themselves. Vaxon was a former hunter who was infected by a Forsaken, a creature that dwells on blood lust and murder, which causes his mind to slowly merge with that of a monster. He lives in a lonely cabin with only his eroding mind for company, as he desperately clings to his humanity. Meanwhile, Chalia is tucked safely away at a rehabilitation spa, comfortably nestled in drugs and silence. When she receives a call from Kayala, she is tasked with a mission to bring Vaxon back, so that Taha’an can learn all they can about his condition and hopefully try to save another hunter who had been infected. Through a series of awkward events, Vaxon and Chalia form a close relationship that can neither secure nor promise their budding love for each other. Still, they try to save one another, no matter how horrifying their mistakes were.
I liked the complexities surrounding Vaxon and Chalia. Both had let their pride ruin them years ago, and it’s something they bonded over. I especially loved seeing Vaxon deal with his psychotic virus, and how he had to rely on Chalia for some semblance of his human self. The fact that he was afraid of hurting her made their relationship all the more endearing. I also loved how the book delves into the idea of facing your fears. Chalia was so horrified by her mistake that she sentenced herself to seven years of isolation, even though she knew that people were dying. Vaxon couldn’t handle where his hubris had left him, so he forced himself to endure the confrontations on his own without any support. Still, they manage to overcome their obstacles by using the other as a refuge, all the while saving others. They were able to face what crippled them the most, and through that their characters grew. Walker created a world where these two thrived from being together, and though it may seem nightmarish at times, Walker reassured me that they will come back to each other. Thus, I would recommend it to fans of gritty, paranormal romances.