Book Review: Bonfire (Hours of the Night Book 1.5) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

It's Christmas time and Thaddeus and Sara are back in the bayou, but if they're going to spend their first holiday together, they're going to have to compromise on their very different Christmas traditions. Amidst all the holiday decorating and planning though, magical lights that recently appeared in the swamp have been leading people astray, and the townsfolk think Thaddeus is the one to blame. Thad and Sara will have to find the real cause and the town will have to work together if they want to solve the mystery.

Book Review: Bonfire (Hours of the Night Book 1.5) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, lgbt, m/m, holidays, christmas, vampires
Title: Bonfire
Book Number: Book 1.5 of TBA
Pages: 122
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has in no way influenced my review.*

These characters are wonderful and I just love them! It’s been a while since I’ve found a new series in which I really just kind of adored the characters, but Sara and Thaddeus and their relationship just make me happy. They were yet again so realistic and well-written, and their interactions with each other felt so natural. (How cute is it that they watch Antiques Roadshow together and Thaddeus just grumbles about all the antiques that are like the ones he grew up with?) In fact, all the characters and interactions among them, including random background characters, felt real and natural.

Also much like the first book, I loved getting to see things through Thaddeus’s POV. I’ve never read about a character who thinks and sees and experiences things the way he does because his upbringing, his many years of strict religious beliefs and practices, and all his time alone have really affected him—not in a good way or a bad way, it’s just very clearly part of him. And it’s not even that he sees everything as necessarily relating to religion, he just sees in things in a way that I never would and in a way that other paranormal creatures I’ve read about never have, like the way he was suddenly struck with humility while feeding from Sara because he felt like it was so amazing that this person would give him his lifeblood. Even the way he talks is just very Thaddeus. I wouldn’t even need dialogue tags to know when it’s him talking. But of course Sara still provided the humor and relatability. Their two perspectives made for a great balance.

Anyway, this was a fun Christmas-themed novella in the series. It did have a plot involving feu follet (will-o’-the-wisps) luring people into the bayou, but it was uncomplicated and not too serious since this was more just kind of a nice little glimpse of Thaddeus and Sara’s progressing relationship and time together over the holidays. I definitely recommend it if you enjoyed the first book and want to spend more time with these characters!


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  1. Greg

    Swamp lights *nods*. This must be the one you mentioned Okay so they’re not will-o-the-wisps but close enough. That would seem to go with the bayou pretty well. I like the sound too of the protags just hanging out at Christmas time, doing their thing. I know we’ve talked about this before but I’d like to see some holiday themed fantasy, or just slice of life vignettes. Sounds like that works here. Interesting too that the vampire has a religious background- talk about moral dilemmas..

    Antiques Roadshow lol. Nothing like a little realism. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep this is the one lol. I actually just looked on GR today for lists with Christmas-themed fantasy books and found like two that maybe might be that? All the others I found were shorts or later in a series that I haven’t read. I guess I understand why authors don’t write more, they probably only sell around this time of year, but it’d be nice to have some. This was fun though, just getting to see the characters in a series decorate and celebrate and whatnot. That probably would be a good idea for more series to have. Authors could probably make money from that since the fans of the series would love it.

      Lol I’ve never watched it myself but I love that they do. They’re so different, and that’s apparently the one common ground they have for just chillin.

  2. Melissa

    Sounds like a great addition to the series. Love the idea of being able to see inside the other protagonists head and learn how his past shaped his present.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Honestly I would prefer to wait until December to read Christmas books, but this was an ARC, and I still loved it regardless! I’ll have to look up Lunatic Cafe 🙂

  3. Lola

    These sound like great characters with how all their interactions feel so natural and you like both of them. This sounds like a fun novella with how there’s a bit of mystery and it’s about spending Christmas together. I like how those type of novella’s an give the reader an extra glimpse into the live of a couple or how their relationship is developing and a novella length story is usually perfect for that. Thaddeus point of view sounds well written with how you see how his upbringing is part of him. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It really was fun! Yeah, when I really like a series and/or the characters, I love getting extra stuff like this. And I do love how natural everything feels! Thanks!