Blazing Fear by Leisl Leighton

Blazing Fear by Leisl LeightonBlazing Fear by Leisl Leighton
Series: Coalcliff Stud, #2
Published by Escape Publishing on 12th February 2020
Pages: 200
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one-star

Fire stole his past - now it is threatening to burn everything, and everyone, he loves. All over again...

Flynn Findlay likes everyone to think he's in control, but the death of his wife during the bushfires six years ago changed everything. Now, even though it feels like a betrayal, Flynn can't seem to escape his growing feelings for the beautiful new doctor in town. He's never felt as truly alive as when he is with Prita - even his fear of fire doesn't seem as bad.

Dr Prita Brennan is ready for a fresh start in Wilson's Bend with her adoptive son, far from her overprotective family. It would be perfect, except some of the locals don't like the changes she's making to the practice. One of them is even making harassing calls. The handsome local horse stud owner, Flynn, is a further complication she doesn't need right now.

But when harassment escalates to arson, to save the horse stud and their children, Flynn and Prita must work together to figure out who is after her - and why they are trying to burn to the ground everything she touches.

‘Blazing Fear’s’ association with bushfires is an honestly uncomfortable one at the moment, more so since this is being read just as Australia suffers from an unprecedented bushfire climate catastrophe. To read about lost lives, property and the overwhelming number of animals that perished in the blazes in the news—and to see it mirrored in fiction as PTSD is a crossover from reality is just unfortunate timing.

 

But this didn’t work out for me not because of its link to Australia burning, but rather, because of its glacial pacing and a determination to put every minute detail (of observations, of events, of dialogue) onto paper.

I could understand the need to build up the tension between Prita and Flynn but mostly, the plot got bogged down by superfluity, with very wordy scenes (like off-shoots that throw in more and more secondary characters) and inner monologues about their own emotional angst that felt it belonged more in the halls of high school than between two consenting adults with their own issues.

As a result, it was difficult to get into a pairing that spent more time in their own heads and second-guessing their own emotions, as their children did their own things. I skimmed major parts of it, unable to wait around for the suspense or the romance to develop when I wanted was a strong, driving forward momentum that just didn’t seem to be there.

And perhaps this was my biggest gripe: that this could have been halved and made more effective without the rambly and repetitive storytelling. Whatever interest I had somehow dwindled and as I found myself skipping more and more pages just trying to search for the book’s emotional core, then realised that it was better that I called it a day.

one-star

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