Blog Tour, Review, Giveaway & Author Interview: Forged In Fire by Juliette Cross (The Vessel Trilogy #1)

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Forged In Fire by Juliette CrossAvailable: Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy/ Romance Hybrid

Publisher: Samhain

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

She never knew this demon world existed. Now she just wants to survive it.

Genevieve Drake never needed a man to come to her rescue. Not until the night of her twentieth birthday, when some dude nearly chokes her to death in an alley behind a New Orleans Goth club. And a hot stranger splits the guy in half, rips a monster from inside, and incinerates it into ash.

The hunky rescuer? Jude Delacroix—Dominus Daemonum, Master of Demons, now her guardian, whether she likes it or not. But she’s seriously beginning to like it.

Her would-be murderer turns out to be only the first of many minions of the demon prince, Danté, who has all kinds of lascivious and sadistic plans. Which means when the formidably beautiful Jude offers his protection, Genevieve has no problem accepting it.

For Jude and his fellow demon hunters tell her she is a Vessel, one who is born to serve the Light, but can be corrupted into a weapon of darkness. And to survive, she must trust a man whose unearthly eyes promise heaven…but whose powers unleash hell.

Warning: Contains a dark and brooding demon hunter who harbors even darker secrets, a snarky heroine who’s being hunted by every demon in the underworld, and a sadistic demon prince with a fancy for violent sexual encounters.

It’s been a long time since I read a really good urban fantasy instead finding myself hmm hawing over books that should have wowed me. Forged In Fire is more of a hybrid or UF and paranormal romance, which of course piqued my interest right off the bat. I have previously enjoyed this author so I figured she wouldn’t let me down. And she didn’t! Forged In Fire is a complex, slightly dark book that takes on right vs wrong, dark vs light and focuses on philosophy and age old prophecies.

Genevieve has suddenly found herself thrust into a world she would have previously thought was fantasy. Yet now on her 20th birthday she’s been attacked by a demon and saved by a very hot demon hunter who claims to be the protector of something called “The Vessel” which also happens to be HER. The hunkilicious hunter claims there will be more demons who come for her and she must learn how to wield her new found powers and train.

As Jude and Genevieve battle for her very soul, their attraction threatens to cause many problems but none more so than Genevieve’s guaranteed trip to hell with a vicious demon prince. Though Jude is adamant he’ll protect her, Genevieve knows that as The Vessel she’ll have to find the strength within to save herself.

There were so many things going on in Forged In Fire that I don’t even know where to begin. Genevieve is such a wonderful heroine and I found her awakening to this new world as both believable and well paced. Her struggle to remain pure and on the right path wavers a few times and doesn’t that just speak to society as a whole? Each person on this earth walks the same path as Genevieve. We all grapple with decisions daily that can affect us long after. Sure, demons may not exist in physical form in our real lives, but they fester in our minds. Cross gives readers the physical manifestation for what is going on behind our own eyes. Her descriptions are spot on and give readers the complete picture of this fictional world while still incorporating real life places in the deep south.

Jude is also a manifestation is his own right. He’s there to protect Genevieve, to keep her on the right path. He’s like her own conscience in a way. Their attraction to each other is inevitable and since she can’t have sex the tension is strong. The entire book is one extended foreplay session. It’s incredibly hot…no joke…Jude and Genevieve are completely combustible together. When they do end up giving in, it’s going to be fireworks.

I loved Genevieve’s ass kicking abilities that grew as the book progressed. She was snarky and strong and relied on herself first before seeking out Jude. I can’t wait to see where this trilogy goes! If you’re a fan of Allison Pang, Kelly Gay, Jenn Bennett or even Kresley Cole, you’re sure to fall in love with Juliette Cross!

I give Forged In Fire by Juliette Cross 4.50 stars!

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Interview with Juliette

Q: With so many back to back releases, 2015 is looking to be a busy year for you. What has your road to publication been like?

A: Remember that part in the 2005 version of War of the Worlds when Tom Cruise is standing in that small town beside a railroad track and a freight train with flames shooting from the crashed-out windows comes blazing by? And everyone just stands there, staring, dumbstruck? Yeah. That’s kind of what it’s been like for me.

In all seriousness, since last summer it has been a whirlwind. When I’m not eating, sleeping, working the day job, or getting some R&R with hubs via Netflix and red wine, I’m writing or editing—a chapter in a book, a blurb, a synopsis, a blog interview (like now—haha), a promo piece for an upcoming release, a marketing form for my publisher. I’m exhausted just writing that sentence. I’m hoping to plan my schedule better in 2015. But I’m a notorious overachiever (or a masochist, some friends might say).

Q: Forged in Fire is book 1 of an urban fantasy/romance series…what would you say the main differences are between your UF/rom and your strictly paranormal romance series?

The Nightwing series is set in a fantasy world all my own where dragon hybrids live alongside humans. I love writing in this world, because there are no boundaries. I’m only limited by own imagination. However, I also love going back to my Vessel novels, because it’s set in modern-day New Orleans (mostly). I can place my characters in clubs I’ve visited, along streets I’ve strolled, and have them listen to my favorite music. The Vessel series is more grounded in reality where the supernatural walk in the human world, while the Nightwing series contains elements of high fantasy, like magical forests and fairytale endings.

Q: Tell me about your heroine in Forged in Fire and the cast of supporting characters. What would you say is the biggest downfall to your heroine?

A: Genevieve Drake is very sure of herself and her place in the world. She was raised by a doting father, and rather than become a pampered prima donna, she takes the alternate route in becoming fiercely independent and tomboyish in her ways. Her downfall is that she sees the world only one way—her own. When the façade comes crashing down the day she realizes not only are their demons living amongst them, but some want to kill her, she’s knocked off her perfect pedestal and struggles to recapture her equilibrium.

Master of Demons, Jude Delacroix, helps her understand her new place, but he also becomes a tempting and dangerous distraction. As her protector, he demands obedience in order to keep her safe, and he’s not happy when she decides to traipse about without telling him, like when she decides to go on a date. Let’s just say Jude doesn’t play well with others. And he suffers no fools.

Her best friend Mindy—light-hearted and carefree—adds playful comic relief to the story. And bad-ass Kat, a demon hunter like Jude, becomes Gen’s mentor, trainer, and friend in this crazy new world.

Q: If you could spend a day with one literary character who would it be and why? (Someone you wrote OR someone from one of your favorite books)

A: WHY must you torture me with such questions? Okay. Choosing Jude is too easy, so I think I’d choose the hero from my absolute favorite novel, JANE EYRE. Mr. Rochester was my first book boyfriend (at age 16). Dark demeanor, rugged though well-born, and wearing an I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude like the coolest cat around, he’d make me melt into a puddle of goo. Hmmm… On second thought, I’m not sure I could spend a day with him because I’d have no witty barbs or comebacks like Jane, rendered speechless and dumb by his sheer awesomeness.

Q: Do you have any writing quirks or rituals that you have to do?

A: Not really. I mainly just have to shut the world out (aka, children wandering through my writing space, Disney channel comedies in the background, teenagers screaming at their Xboxes). So I plug in to my favorite writing playlists featuring many of the bands/songs referenced in FORGED IN FIRE (In this Moment, Evanescence, Tool). But my favorite writing playlist is Pandora’s Game of Thrones radio with amazing kick-ass-battle-writing music from Skyrim, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and so on. I heart it.

Thank you so much for having me here today! It’s been a pleasure. J

 

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3 Comments

  1. I am a huge fan of UF. I am always looking for someone new to read. I have added Forged in Fire to my TBR as it sounds like a great read.

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