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Posted January 4, 2015
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Mortal Fire C F Dunn
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Mystery
When I first had this book for review I really couldn't get on with it and gave it two stars. I think as I’d recently finisher the Discovery of Witches trilogy I was making too many comparisons, both have heroines with the Oxbridge/UK/US connections, both are similar age and historians, both stories centre around a mysterious book, and both male leads are clearly not human and called Matthew. Somehow though this book kept nagging away at me and I added it to my TBR list to have another try. Well, finally having emptied my review list and started on the TBR I got to this a couple of days ago.
Coming to it fresh, starting again at the beginning it seemed like a very different read to the one I remembered. Emma is still a bit odd at times, but then knowing more of her history as the book continues I feel I understand her more. Elena and Matthias, colleagues who become good friends are interesting, Matthew is introduced fairly early and we can already see that he’s different, that he’s hiding something. Then there’s Sam, another colleague who’s like an overgrown puppy in his OTT enthusiasm, but though Emma tells him she’s not interested in more than just a friendship he seems to take that as a challenge. We learn more about her history, and why she isn’t interested in dating too, but Sam seems to keep pressing in a way that’s hard to shut down without being offensive. Then there’s Staahl, he’s very scary right from the first meeting, and to me its clear he’s sinister and possibly also not human. As to what he and Matthew are though – well Matthew isn’t vampire if we use the usual stay out of sunlight, drink blood stuff. He’s always around during the day and though he doesn’t appear to actually eat its hard to see as its cleverly done and could be missed, and also there’s no indications he’s a blood drinker. So what could he be? Dunno, Staahl’s also a puzzle, I’m guessing from his description that he’s something anti Matthew’s type – whatever that is, in the way that vampires and werewolves are traditional enemies. If we think Matthew is some kind of vampire type supernatural, some kind of mutation, with his speed and super strength, then maybe Staahl is something on the werewolf spectrum, he just seems to fit that description somehow to me. Still, that's all speculation on my part.
Where the two series differ too is that Discovery is very book centred, with magic flowing outwards and encompassing Witches, Vampires and Daemons, and time travel to past and back. Mortal Fire though is more people centred, smaller cast of characters and more Emma and Matthew focussed. I love the way its working out. I’m so glad I picked it up and tried again – in fact usually I don’t read next part until I've reviewed the current book, but this had me so engrossed I had to buy parts two and three, and am now halfway through book three – seems there’s a fourth to come – soon I hope! There’s some real heartbreak towards the end of this book, just when they seem to finally be admitting how much they mean to each other, and through a series of miscommunications it looks like it could be all over for them. I was really gutted at that, like Emma I felt so sad – she’s distraught to the point that back in UK with her family they are concerned about her mental stability. Emma, being the historian she is, and curious can see that Matthew is hiding something and she hates lies after her experience with a former lover, and starts to do her own research on him, and comes up with some fantastical findings. Luckily though C F Dunn doesn’t leave us hanging but gives us an ending that wraps up part one and introduces where the story is to go next.
Its an amazing read, more solid romance ( though very subtle – not all heavy breathing and sexual lusting, just some glances, some touches and a slow progression from there ) than supernatural read in a way, no magic and spells, simply a mystery over what Matthew really is, and possibly Staahl too.
Stars: Five, its a great solid read, fabulous mystery and my changed view shows how important it can be to be in the right mindset for certain books.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.
Posted October 9, 2013
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Mortal Fire is the debut novel from English author D.F. Dunn. The story is the first in a proposed series entitled The Secret of the Journal and is a novel which will startle the reader into turning one page after another. Dr. Emma D'Eresby is a visiting professor from Cambridge whose specialty is Medieval and Early Modern history. She has agreed to lecture for one year at a prestigious university in Maine with the expectation of getting a close-up view of an ancient document mentioned to her by her grandfather, also a noted historian. But Emma gets more than she bargained for when meeting the faculty during a welcoming affair in her honor. She immediately feels strong negative influences from Professor Staahl of the English department who unkindly lets Emma know of his instant interest in her. Emma also gets immediate attention from another handsome professor as well - Doctor Matthew Lynes, a man who instantly draws her attention and admiration. It is this attention which is the focus of the first novel.
I found Dunn's character development to be unequaled in modern mystery writing. The plot development is likewise superior and something to be admired and emulated by first-time novelists. The reader is held spellbound by the riveting plot so that it is doubtful the novel can be put down in order to attend to current chores or the pull of sleep. Mortal Fire is a gripping piece of writing history that will surely leave readers searching for the next in the series.
Posted June 24, 2013
This was a great book!! It had wonderful character development and creepy/scary quality that I loved! It begins taking an interesting turn that I was not at all expecting, which is rare, and I'm still not absolutely positive of the outcome ... and for some reason I was taken unaware when I realized it was ending in a cliffhanger and now I'm looking for the second book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2013
Posted March 3, 2013
Posted September 21, 2012
Author, C. F. Dunn, weaves an intriguing tale of mystery, romance and danger. She had me hooked when the heroine, Dr. Emma D'Eresby, is given a bookcase for her office by an admirer and another admirer visits and asks her if it's new. Not willing to divulge where it came from, she avoids the issue by replying, "No, it's an antique, actually." Clever and humorous way to avoid answering.
Her first admirer, Dr. Matthew Lynes, was able to carry the heavy, antique bookcase to Emma's office without help. Yet, she and another young man are barely able to push it aside to retrieve something behind it. This might be the first indication that Dr. Lynes is more than he appears to be. He has abilities others don't have. Has she fallen in love with a superhero?
When Emma arrives in Maine, after leaving her position in Cambridge, she makes friends with some lovable characters, Russian born Elena and her significant other, Matias. However, she also meets Professor Staahl, and instantly dislikes him. She senses he is evil, and rightfully so.
Dr. Lynes rescues Emma twice, the second time saving her life. And, as time marches on Emma learns more and more about his remarkable abilities. What, or who, is he and why is he so adept at everything? I suggest you read this novel and discover for yourself.
I highly recommend this novel and appreciate receiving a free copy from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.
Posted September 20, 2012
C. F. Dunn in her new book, “Mortal Fire” Book One in The Secret Of The Journal series published by Monarch Books takes us into the life of Emma D’Eresby in a contemporary thriller.
From the back cover: Emma, a young and self-contained professor of history, leaves Cambridge for a post in an exclusive university in the USA, intent on finding a long-overlooked seventeenth century journal. Bound within its pages are secrets that threaten to bring Emma into conflict with the present; but can she discover the truth–and will she believe it?
You would not think that a long-lost 17th century journal could cause so much trouble today. Yet that is exactly what happens to Emma, trouble, as she searches for this scroll. I am not a conspiracy theorist however I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory and “Mortal Fire” is a conspiracy theorist’s dream. Emma has left her home and position in England for a new home and position in the States to study this journal. She has left all her friends and what she knew behind for new people and a new place. Now others are trying to stop her from doing what she came over here to do.
This is a thriller as Emma is great danger and is actually attacked. This is an adventure suspense story as Emma is off on her search and as she begins to dig up her answers she is forced to question the motives of those around her. The only person she feels she can trust, Matthew, is keeping secrets even from her. “Mortal Fire” is also a mystery filled with twists and turns that will make a roller coaster kneel in surrender. The only bad thing is that it is part one of a trilogy. Well, maybe not so bad, we will be able to get more story in two more books! We will just have to wait for them that’s all. I think C. F. Dunn is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you find out what is going on. ”Mortal Fire” is a very exciting book that will keep you engrossed in the characters. This is a wonderful series and I am glad I discovered C. F. Dunn. I look forward to a long and pleasant relationship. I recommend this book highly.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Monarch Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted September 18, 2012
My thoughts: I found the book interesting and perplexing. I found very little connectivity between "The Journal" and the plot except for the fact that the heroine's main reason for accepting the position in the USA was because it housed the original "journal" a transcribed portion of which held her interest since childhood.
The introduction of each character is slow but thorough and lends to the surface flow of the story. However, the slow progression of the story almost lost this reader before I could engage in the seemingly main idea. This main idea is truly not one that you can really grasp as it is most elusive in nature. In fact, where the title "Mortal Fire" gets its genesis is lost to this reader.
I did finish the book and ultimately I found it quite interesting. It seems as though the "hero" of the story is somewhat supernatural, not human, or most rare and unusual at the least. There is not a clue as to why he is different, he just is. He is certainly a gentlemanly and kind individual of many talents and strengths.
I found this read in the land of academic interesting because they being highly educated individuals are ultimately pretty normal folks after all. But some really interesting personalities were revealed in the characters Ms. Dunn created for Mortal Fire.
I am sensing connection between the "hero," The Journal, and the dying grandmother (wife of the grandfather who introduced our heroin to "The Journal." Only future books will reveal if this is indeed so.
I am not overly fond of books in a series unless they can still be read as "stand alone" books. This one literally begs to be finished and the promise of completion only seems to be in the upcoming sequel, "Death Be Not Proud."
The genre is Christian fiction thriller or mystery. There is an element of Christian emphasis in the book, through not strong. The heroin is a Christian and endeavors to let her faith in Christ be her guide and her strength. There is an element of evil and danger, of love and romance, of friendship and avoidance, and of family love. There is also the element of things seemingly being non-Earthly or other-Worldly.
Would I recommend it? Let's just say I could recommend it. The author, C.F. Dunn, certainly has a gift with words and the telling of a story. Mortal Fire is just a bit different from that which I normally read - even when I'm ready for a heavier read instead of the lilting light reads that you settle down with when you need to simply relax. I do think I would like to read the followup book/s. The cliff hanging ending has just simply whetted my appetite.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Mortal Fire by C.. Dunn in order to participate in a blog tour sponsored by Kregel Publications and render an honest review.
Posted September 17, 2012
I received a copy of MORTAL FIRE by C. F. Dunn from Monarch Books via Kregel. It is part of the Secret of the Journal series. I tried really hard to like this book. I love journals, I love secrets, and I love mysteries – so yes, I was excited to read this when I received it in the mail. The cover also intrigued me. I guess you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
I read this a few weeks ago and decided to sit on it before writing a review. I started one and then deleted it. So, it seems only fair to point out the positives first in this review. The story was realistic and I enjoyed the characters. I enjoyed seeing Emma, the main character, make friends and fall in love. The thing I liked the most about the novel was that Emma is a professor. I’m teaching college classes for the first time this autumn semester. I compared my college with Emma’s, and even though my community college must be much smaller than an “exclusive university.” I had fun comparing the people at the university with people I work with. I also love history, so I could connect with Emma on that level.
My major fault with the story is hard to place my finger on: I just couldn’t get into the story. The first chapter, involving a car accident, confused me, taking me out of the novel. I’m sure that other people would enjoy this, especially other professors. I will probably look for book two, ABYSS, when it comes out, so that I can give the series another chance.
Posted September 16, 2012
Knowing that C.F. Dunn is "across the pond," I figured British spelling and vocabulary would be used throughout the book. I was not disappointed. For those of you wondering if it detracts from the story, please know that it does not. In fact, as Emma is from the UK, it lends an air of authenticity to the story.
When we come across a traffic accident with a fatality within the first few pages, I wasn't sure what to expect. After all, I was just being introduced to the characters and I didn't really know their motives yet. Reading on, I found myself being sucked into the story as Emma, being a stranger in a strange land, found her way amongst the academia and was introduced to new friends and some unsavory characters on staff.
I enjoyed getting to know her colleagues and students (from Emma's perspective) and enjoyed the conversations about Emma concentration of history and how it has shaped her beliefs. I even enjoyed the anticipation of a blossoming relationship that held immense mystery. But as a librarian, I doubly enjoyed Emma's trips into the land of literature to find the journal she so intensely wanted to understand. I even understood her actions with the journal, but was disappointed that she was stopped so violently from learning its secrets.
The characters are complex and multi-faceted. Just as I thought I understood what they were thinking, something would crop up and completely change the direction of my own thinking. (Isn't this true of us as living humans as well?) I'm completely engrossed in the story and want to know what happens next. No, I need to know what happens. Does Emma discover the mysteries surrounding her recent relationship? How will she react to the truth that she so desperately wants to uncover? And what will the secrets in the journal reveal about her own and others' pasts?
If you enjoy mystery with a hint of romance, you will love this book! Make sure you carve out a chunk of time because you will not want to put it down. It's THAT engrossing. I just hope that book #2, Death Be Not Proud, comes out soon!
Posted September 16, 2012
"Mortal Fire" by C.F. Dunn was suspenseful and an outstanding read. I highly recommend this first book by a very talented writer, her way of expressing each character within the book is terrific and keeps you turning those pages. I found the main character Emma D'Eresby very intriguing and the way the author describes her thoughts and fears are outstanding throughout the book.
Emma is a young professor of history and begins her journey in a private university within the states. She is involved in finding a century old journal, bound with pages that will turn Emma's world upside down. But along the way she will discover "the truth and believe it"!
This was a stunning and mysterious book to read for this special blog tour with Kregel Publications. I received this book from Kregel Publications for my honest opinion and was in no way compensated for my review.