Hello Readers : )
I have the pleasure of introducing a novel by author Stephanie Constante.
Read on to find out exactly what I thought about this Young Adult/Fantasy story.
Title: Baptism of Fire
Author: Stephanie Constante
Published: Self-Published – September 7th, 2012
Word Count: Approximately 63,000
Genre: YA Fantasy
Being the daughter of a dragon slayer was never easy, especially when Leito discovers a dragon child injured in her father’s fields. Knowing the fate that will befall this child, she helps the boy escape before the hunt is upon him.
Leito realizes years later that no good deed goes unpunished and after the village offers her up as a sacrifice for her father’s actions against dragons, Leito must utilize all her knowledge and strength to outwit the dragon who aims to kill her. In this mythical tale, Leito is challenged mind, body, and soul as she learns more about the dragon world and the one creature who makes her question her fears and her heart.
This book contains mature subject matter and is intended for an older audience (16+).
“The night your kin came was the last night he killed a dragon. I made him promise me he would never do it again. He never did. And you may hate him, and I am not saying you haven’t the right to, but what you felt for your mate, for your son, that is what he felt for my mother and for me.” She swallowed when his eyes finally met hers again.
“All I saw growing up was a sad, hopeless man who was trying to quell the horrible memory of losing his only love. It was not hate he felt, it was pain and guilt. Guilt that he could do nothing to save my mother. I know what revenge looks like Aidan, I know that to you, it seems important and it seems just, but in the end, the only person you poison is yourself and anyone who you keep in your company.”
“You’re in my company. How do my feelings of your father affect you?”
“Well, I cannot say I enjoy knowing you wish to make him miserable but there is nothing I can do to stop how you feel. I have learned that people do not change because you want them to. My father has not changed; I know that if he were here right now he might want to kill you even if I said you were my friend.”
“Are we friends?” he asked.
“Do you not think so? Am I still just a prisoner to you?” Leito felt her heart skip a beat wondering what his answer would be.
“No, you’re not my prisoner.” Aidan shook his head frantically. “You are more than a prisoner to me, Leito, I assure you.”
“And you are more than just my captor.” She returned. He smiled at this and pushed his hair back with his steady fingers.
Leito yawned and covered her mouth. She apologized but this seemed endearing to Aidan since he pushed some stray hairs behind Leito’s ear. “You’ve had quite the day. Visiting dragons, hidden passageways, learning to swim and saving my life in the process . . . it is no wonder you’re weary.” He rose and began walking towards the torches snuffing them out.
“Are you leaving again?” she rose up from her seat as well, watching him as he walked around the room.
“Only if you would like me to go.” His face went blank. He was waiting to see her reaction. He did this a lot with her. Always offering his hand and waiting for her to take it.
“I would like you to stay.” It took her all her courage to say this. She never knew how much rope to give him, how much to offer of herself. She did not know if she could even compare him to others who had tried to court her. This was much different. Leito enjoyed being pursued by him if that was what he was doing. Part of her always wondered if she was reading too much into his actions. The smiles, the little touches, it all made her feel wanted but she knew girls in her past that took a simple kiss on the hand as a proposal of marriage. She never wanted to be one of those girls, especially now when she was still trying to understand this dragon, this young man who was slowly knocking down the walls that encircled her heart from the world.
Aidan smiled and let out a little chuckle. “Then I’ll stay.” His eyes seemed to brighten. Then she followed his gaze to the bed and her face became hot and flushed. “I will take the floor.”
“That is not necessary, I will take the floor, it is your bed after all.” She had already started grabbing one of the pillows to place it on the ground.
“Stop it.” He took the pillow from her gently and looked down at her, his eyes nearly burning right through her. She felt shaky all of a sudden; her stomach fluttered being so close to him and the bed. She had to look away to keep from blanching. “I have slept on cave floors all my life.” He assured her.
“We can compromise, can we not?” She grabbed the pillow back from him and placed it on the bed. “We can share the bed, as long as you promise to be a gentleman.”
His grin grew wider. “And as long as you promise to behave like a lady.”
This book had me hooked by the first chapter.
First of all, let me just say that not once since I began to read was I bored with this book. It was an absolute page turner. In fact, I read it in two days (and only because I needed a good night sleep). Otherwise, I would have read it all the first night.
The romantic elements to this story are strong and captivating. The characters are charismatic, fun, and entertaining. The plot is unique and keeps you interested from the very beginning.
Aidan, the hero of the story, is so easy to love because of his personality. His charm would win any girl’s heart. I loved the fact that his identity caught me completely off guard and I had no idea who he really was until he revealed it to Leito.
I’m looking forward to reading the second installment to this series. I just need to know what happens to Aidan and Leito.
Would I recommend this book to Young adults’ enthusiast? Most definitely. It has everything you love about a fantasy novel with a splash of romance and adventure added to the mix.
About the author:
Stephanie Constante was born and raised in Miami where she currently works as a mental health counselor. While growing up, she loved to write poetry and fiction, hoping to one day become an author. It was only recently that she began to see an opportunity to live her dream through self publishing. In her spare time she loves to read, write, spend time with loved ones, travel, and watch her favorite UK television shows.
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include three (3) eBook copies and three (3) print copies of Baptism of Fire. The eBook copies are International, the print copies are open to the US only.