I will read anything I can get my hands on. Seriously.
Most books I read are reviewed for Harlequin Junkie, but I'll have an occasional independent or author requested review that I'll post.
Curse of the Phoenix is a collection of three stories, centering around a trio of women who are each a Phoenix--a being who helps save souls destined to keep living. This is one of the more creative and complex fantasy/paranormal stories I have read for some time. I thought Rachel Firasek did a great job creating characters that were flawed, passionate, and who were struggling with their own serious, but relatable, issues daily. Their tales are definitely gritty, showing a dark side to life, but to me this only made it seem all that more realistic. Well...as realistic as we can get when we're talking about mythical creatures such as a Phoenix.
Each book in this anthology showcased one of the trio of Phoenixes: Ice, Arabella, and Sadie, although they all made an appearance in each story. Book one, The Last Rising, focused on Ice helping single father Turner and his son Brodie. She was a tough lady, but Turner tried to charm her with his controlling demeanor. I wasn't sure if I would like him, given his pushy tendencies, but Ice liked that side of him and it really did work for their situation. I thought their romance was a source of hope, especially for Arabella and Sadie to see that their sacrifices were worth something.
Book two, The Last Awakening, was probably my favorite out of the three. There was just something about the connection Arabella and Greyson had that made me really root for them to make a go of it. They both carried a lot of guilt from their pasts as survivors of horrific events. So they truly understood what emotions were warring inside and knew how to be there for each other. Plus, I loved how Grey got such a kick out of Ari's creole accent and language. It made the love scenes quite interesting...
Book three, The Last Beginning, was just as interesting as the previous stories, and answered my questions about Sadie and Osiris's relationship. They were quite the intriguing pair. He wanted nothing more than to claim her as his own, and she felt completely manipulated by him even though she couldn't stop her attraction to him. It was almost like an opposites attract feel to their romance which led to a lot of very sensual tension and sexy banter.
Overall, I truly enjoyed the Curse of the Phoenix anthology. It was easy to get wrapped up in the emotions and actions of all characters involved. I would highly recommend this if you're looking for something that will hold your attention and take you on a fantastical journey.