You know what I haven't read about yet, but is a creature I absolutely adore?? Phoenixes! And Arthur has provided me with an investigative type series with a phoenix as the main character. I really enjoyed the Riley Jenson series when I read it a while ago, so all signs point to 'Go' with this series. Learning the ins and outs of phoenix life was quite fun. Emberly has quite a few neat tricks up her sleeve. I'm not going to go into detail with her power or the mythology around the phoenixes too much, but it was incredibly interesting to dive into. There is also a good element of needing recharged and power draining which I liked or she would never be in any real danger and it helps to make her much more relatable.
This one also has the mystery element. Emberly finds herself in the midst of an investigation which provides the majority of the plot. There was a great mixture of phoenix, red cloaks, fae, vampires, werewolves, and I'm sure there will be more to come in the future. I'm not quite sure what's going on with the 'darkness' mentioned numerous times that resides in Sam. However, it's great to follow the investigation filled with some inventive bad guys and good guys.
I enjoyed the characters. Some we only had brief glimpses of like Rory, but since he's Emberly's partner through life then I'm sure I'll learn all about him in more detail. Jackson was a fun one and HOT. He's a fire fae that Emberly finds herself working with since he's a private investigator.
The overused mention of Sam's 'darkness' and how bad Emberly wanted him every time he came on scene was a little annoying. There was also no resolution to the mystery in this one which means it must continue on. There was a clear ending to the book, just no solving of what they were investigating.
I actually really like the curse element on Emberly and all the phoenixes. Apparently, they have to mate with a phoenix forever and that person is with them through all their rebirths, but they will never emotionally be in love with them. It also means they can't really find love elsewhere either since they will always be cheating on them with their mate. It's very saddening to imagine multiple lives without true love, but I'm hoping Arthur has something good in store for us in the future. Also, it's amazing that Emberly hasn't given up hope about finding her love. There was a lot of lust to go around though, and this is very adult.
A good start to the series with a new-for-me creature that's very interesting to learn about. The pace was full of action, never boring, and the characters were entertaining. While there were a few blips that I could have done without, I really enjoyed it and will continue with the series. There are some similarities here with the Riley Jenson series (detective work, lots of hooking up, and the supernatural creatures), but it kept everything I loved and was enough different to not be a replica. Recommended.