‘Burning Bright’ by Melissa McShane book review

On Aug. 22, Melissa McShane published her paranormal historical novel, Burning Bright, with Curiosity Quills Press. The story has a unique paranormal outlook that mixes well with the Regency era plotline and it keeps readers invested in Elinor’s welfare.

Elinor Pembroke is the first English-born Extraordinary fire wielder in over 100 years. Her father sees her talent as his door to riches and prestige and tries desperately to control her. Having to choose between marrying a man she cannot love and living penniless under her father’s thumb, Elinor instead decides to make the unconventional choice to use her skills and join the Royal Navy. As she explores her freedom and learns her limits, she can make a huge difference against the pirate population, but will it be at the expense of her own life?

I enjoyed Elinor. She’s a feisty heroine, caring less about what society thinks and more about what she believes is right. Watching her explore the real world after captivity in polite society was fun. The paranormal aspects of the story were ones I hadn’t seen in any other novel, which was great. I was also happy with the amount of romance. What begins as a tight friendship, slowly blossoms into true love with no bodice ripping in sight. The story ended on a high note and left the book open to sequels.

Overall, I found Elinor’s story to be pleasing. It balanced action with character building. While a couple parts felt a bit slow, once the story moved on it made sense that they had taken the time with the characters. If you enjoy unique paranormal plotlines, the Regency era or clean romance, try picking up this book.

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Jesse Cook

Jesse Cook is a writer living in the Southern Tier of New York state. She loves food, books, and dark fantasy in all mediums.