It took me longer than I would have liked to finish this book. I’ve been quite busy with work this past week or so and haven’t really had the time to sit down for an hour or two and just lose myself in a fictional world. But, today is my day off and I finished Mallory Crowe’s Binding Fire this morning and thought what better way to spend my afternoon than writing in the my sun-soaked garden?

Binding Fire is the third book in Mallory’s Bad Boys of the Underworld paranormal romance series. The book opens with Muriel, a fallen angel hellbent (get it? Eugh, shut up, Jazz) on wreaking her vengeance against Kier, the demon who stripped her of her wings thereby rendering her mortal.

Her vengeance doesn’t go quite to plan, though. In fact, her plans fails spectacularly. Its failure is set in motion the moment she binds herself to him in the hopes of tarnishing his darkened soul with her much purer one. Muriel soon finds herself overwhelmed by this seductive and charming demon and she begins to wonder if a demon who can so readily praise her cooking skills can really be all that bad.

While this was a good read, it is my least favourite book in the series so far. The prologue shows the reader exactly how Muriel and Kier met and under what circumstances and well…it’s pretty awful. He forces his blood upon her, meaning that she can never step foot in Heaven again. Sure, his actions are ‘explained’ later (all I can say is that Lucifer is one hell of a – I need to stop these puns – matchmaker) but I feel that, love or not, Muriel forgives him way too easily. He strips her of her home and comrades and even after five years, she still has difficulty blending into mortal society. She’s had it rough and I as a reader find it difficult to forgive him. So I just don’t understand how she can. And so quickly. 

As for Kier, he’s a ruthless demon who, prior to Muriel, revels in corrupting mortals and feeding upon their souls. In fact, in chapter two, it’s explained exactly how a human soul benefits a demon: “It was like food to a demon. They thrived off a decaying soul and derived power from it. The bigger the sins, the more power could be taken from it.” There’s no beating about the bush here; Kier is well and truly a bad boy of the underworld and it’s only after his initial encounter with Muriel that he begins to feel just a little bit guilty of this status. The guilt he feels and the tenderness he displays towards Muriel as a lover concern me. I feel they’re emotions that have simply rubbed off on him. I feel this is in no way his true self and as a result I question the authenticity of their relationship. Just exactly who has Muriel fallen for?

I also felt that, towards the end of the book especially, there were just way too many factors that were convenient to the plot. Like Esmeralda, Ava and Samuel miraculously finding a way to open a portal between the mortal realm and Hell. Like Teryn guiding Muriel through Azazel’s murderous back yard. Like Lucifer not actually being dead and consequently being able to assist her in her fight with Azazel. Like Kier transporting her out of Hell as soon as she’s torn Azazel’s heart from his chest. Collectively, these little flaws take away the realism. I feel Muriel faces no challenge in seeing the prophecy through and I found this disappointing.

Still, the book had its moments. I laughed out loud when Lucifer lamented the struggles of playing ‘matchmaker’. Like I said, I did enjoy it but simply not as much as the previous two books in the series.

I’m giving it a 3 out of 5 🙂

This title is available in both paperback and e-reader format on Amazon.