Oh boy oh boy! Do I have a book for you today!
First, I went into Ember Of Night with zero knowledge what it was about. I saw the cover, I saw the tagline, I dove face first with full grabby hands into needing this book.
And oh dark delights, how it did not disappoint!
Before we go on, this book depicts abuse, and it can get fairly graphic. The author has a letter at the beginning of the book warning readers about the potential triggers, along with a list of resources. This review won’t contain spoilers or graphic quotes, but some of the discussion may reference the abuse.
Meet Harley Ward. She’s tough as nails and is fully out of fucks to give. Spoiler alert: I adore her.
Her father is an abusive alcoholic and the only thing she cares about is protecting her little sister, Ray. And once Harley turns 18, she’s getting her little sister out of there. No matter what.
Until Draven shows up that is. Sexy, snarky, hotness. Nope, not even he can tempt Harley to change direction. Not even revealing that she may be the key to ending a war between heaven and hell. Nope, not even then.
Except… the demons hunting her have other plans. And aren’t really asking if they work for her.
So this is a combination I too, cannot resist. Boy does Draven make me drool. I mean, a powerful demon with secrets who looks incredible in black t-shirts and boots? It’s like bad boy catnip.
For being a bad boy, Draven is a remarkably good guy. Sure, he isn’t giving Harley the whole truth, but she’s keeping her own secrets too. It’s more the little things that tell us who Draven is as a person. How he listens to Ray. How he lets Harley make her own choices––even if they aren’t the best choices. How he’s always there to support those choices, no matter what the consequences end up being.
In short, Draven is a very good bad boy. He’s bad in all the right ways, and none of them are toxic. I love how patient and kind he is, and how protection doesn’t necessarily mean taking over. He lets Harley own herself, and never intrudes or impedes her agency. It’s such a healthy message for teens, and I adore that it’s in this novel. Girls can like rebels. And bad boys. For the right reasons.
Ember Of Night is written entirely from Harley’s perspective. And her voice is fucking killer. She’s a smart ass, for sure. Her words are generally laced with a glossy veneer of sarcasm, which, let’s be real, is my love language.
But my favorite thing about Harley is how relatable she is. Readers don’t have to have experience with abuse to recognize the uncertainty and distrust in the world, though speaking from experience, I found that aspect dead on. Many of us have been betrayed in some way. By friends, partners, parents. Harley’s abuse makes her view of the world sharper in many ways, but self-esteem is something everyone struggles with at some point. And I think readers will find so many facets of her personality something they can identify with.
It’s strange to write that a book with some Heavy with a Capital H is an incredibly fun read, but it’s true. And I think the heaviness is what makes the rest shine so bright. It doesn’t come across as superficial, or plot device. It reads true and because of that, Harley’s spirit practically radiates off the page.
I devoured this book. As in, I started on Monday and finished on Tuesday with two full days of work smashed in between. The pacing is propulsive, the voice dynamic, and the plot demands you turn the page to find out what is happening. I loved the interactions between Harley and Draven, and how their constant need to one up each other adds some serious levity to some intense scenes.
The book is heavily centered around demons, and the idea that there is a physical heaven and hell, so if that’s not your jam, this book may not be for you. There’s also some swearing, violence, and scandalous kissing, which, if you’re here, you probably are into. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but again, the plot is threaded around Harley’s abusive relationship with her father, and it can get graphic––both physically and the emotional repercussions. So, please reader beware.
In all, I fell in absolute love with Harley, Ray, and Draven. There are some aspects that might feel predictable or at least guessable, but I was so engaged in the characters it was more upsetting to be right than outraged I guessed. If that makes sense. I absolutely need more and am delighted there will be more in this series.
Five very stabby stars!
Thank you Turn The Page Tours and Entangled Teen for sending me this fantastic book!
Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more reviews, favorite quotes, mood boards, interviews, and chances to win a finished copy of this awesome book.
I’ve been told I was as useless as a weed most of my life. Mainly by my worthless father.
But I’d suffer anything to give my kid sister a better life—the minute I turn eighteen, I’m getting us the hell out of here. And some hot stranger telling me I am the key to stopping a war between Heaven and Hell isn’t going to change that.
Let the world crumble and burn, for all I care.
Draven is relentless, though. And very much a liar. Every time his sexy lips are moving, I can see it—in the dip of his head, the grit of his jaw—even if my heart begs me to ignore the signs.
So what does he want?
I need to figure it out fast, because now everyone is gunning for me. And damn if I don’t want to show them what happens when you let weeds thrive in the cracks of the pavement…
We can grow powerful enough to shatter the whole foundation.
Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels, the Grad Night series and the Love on the Edge series. Molly writes Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.
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Wait! Before you go! Enter to win one finished copy of Ember of Night by Molly E. Lee! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.
Giveaway starts: Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Giveaway ends: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST