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!READ E-PUB ♪ Dark Fire ♜ Dancing With The Devil You Re Certainly Not In Love With Paul Because You Want To Go To Bed With Me Devilish Words Indeed But What Made Flint Jansen So Arrogantly Assume That Aura Would Choose Him Over Paul His Friend And Aura S Warm And Loyal Fiance From The Moment They Met, He Had Shattered Aura S World It Was True, She Found Him Undeniably Attractive, Overwhelmingly Charismatic So Much So That She Now Faced A Battle With Her Conscience And With Flint Both Demanded That She Abandon Security And Her Fiance She Had To Cancel The Wedding But Could She Entrust Herself To Flint S Dark Seduction Aura loves her fiance Paul, but she doesn t love him that way that she feels for Flint To Aura, Paul is comfort and safety Flint is danger, white hot passion, and as far from safe as possible But Flint keeps pushing at her, tormenting her with the desire she feels for him, and the fact that he thinks she s nothing but a gold digger That makes Flint a big jerk in my opinion Even if he is right and Aura is making a mistake marrying Paul He might try to deceive himself into thinking he s doing it for his friend s own good, but the truth is he wanted Aura for himself.I felt bad for Aura She really did want to do the right thing, and she knew she wouldn t marry Paul when it became clear that she was so blatantly in lust with his friend If only Flint had trusted Aura to do the right thing.I can t remember if I ve read this before Chances are I did, but I still enjoyed it The passion and the emotional intensity are all there in this story Aura s situation tugged on my heart, and I think with her emotional integrity, she deserved her happy ending I wasn t 100% convinced that was with Flint until the end, and then I was satisfied that he truly did love her I loved the epilogue, because it showed how they were meant to be together, and also things are resolved with Paul and Flint and Paul and Aura.I think this is one of Robyn Donald s best books Flint is definitely her style of cruel hero, but I saw some things in him that redeems him in my eyes I enjoyed this book. Full Review at Re Dark Fire Robyn Donald manages to get spots in both HP mini series running for the first six months of 1995 This is her contribution to the Too Hot to Handle series and is also a continuation of RD s The Forsythes series.This is the second of the Forsythe books and it is about the female cousin of the H in Some Kind of Madness It isn t necessary to read the first book to understand this one, but for background on Aura, the heroine in our story, it is a great place to start.The Too Hot to Handle series contains HP H s that are much nematodish that the Secrets series So while RD had a much kinder, gentler H in The Colour of Midnight and that book was a study in survivor guilt, this book features an all out rat dropping toe rag slime swiller of an H He is NOT overtly violent, but his damaging antics and how far he will go is pretty shocking The book opens with Aura, who is engaged to Paul, meeting Flint, the slime swiller, for the very first time Paul is a sweetheart and he adores Aura and Aura loves Paul, he makes her feel safe and cared for.Aura s backstory is that her father was a doctor and decided to go to Africa to work with people there Aura s mother, Natalie is a useless sewer slurper helpless gold digger of a woman and she refused to go, she just couldn t face life in a place with no modern conveniences up to her standard.Sadly, Aura s dad did not take Aura with him when he left and her useless and pathetic mother remarried a guy who was a controlling martinet and Aura hated him This same disgusting, wanna be pedophillic snot scarfer was also given control of Aura s trust fund by her skank tart idiot mother Aura got her cousin Alick, the H from Some Kind of Madness, to front her a loan for uni and she got a double degree in IT and Accounting while working extra to pay Alick back Then her stepfather shoots himself in the head and dies and it all comes out that the controlling wanna be pedophile also spent the family fortune on gambling and women and Natalie is just too fragile to deal with it all, so she takes an overdose of sleeping pills Aura is a decent person, so she calls the paramedics and her mother is saved It was a stupid decision, but this HPlandia and so Natalie being cossetted while Aura devotes her self to the ungrateful, useless twit is a given Aura had been engaged twice before, she is incredibly beautiful with the kind of pin up girl looks that made her childhood friend s father tell her all about how he wanted to do explicit things to her fourteen year old self Aura managed to get some poise and threaten the guy a few years later, but her inner self is permanently marred by how men treat her as a sex object only good for one thing Aura couldn t handle being touched in any type of intimate way in her previous engagements, so she broke them off However Paul is so kind and nurturing towards her, that Aura is positive they are going to have a sunny, safe and happy life together and she is adamant that she will make Paul a perfect wife.There is also the small matter of Paul being willing to help her mother out financially too So while it makes Aura uncomfortable, Natalie uses her wiles to get Paul to pay for a new flat and Aura realized a long time ago that Natalie has to be nudged, not jack hammered with a skillet, to get around her manipulations Besides, Aura has every intention of developing Accounting software systems on her own and surely once she gets established as Paul s wife and starts her business, she will be able to take care of Natalie s extra spending herself Natalie does have an annuity that she can live on as well, Aura s grandfather bound it up in an unbreakable trust.None of that matters to Flint tho, he looks at Aura and all he sees is a gold digger tramp and he lets Aura know it To add to the boiling aura of tension and dislike, he and Aura are both having a bitter blow of the Patented HP Lurve Force Mojo Aura realizes that she is physically attracted to Flint and she hates it Flint is enigmatic, but he makes it clear that the attraction is mutual So there is accusations of Tarty Tramp Gold Diggery Harlothood from Flint to Aura and Aura ends up slapping Flint s arrogant, pirate, marauding face.Flint decides to pump the narcissistic slime snot Natalie for ammunition against Aura and Natalie, being Natalie, gives Flint plenty of ballistics to aim at Aura and her engagement to Paul At Aura s engagement party we learn a bit about Flint He was the son of a Bernie Madoff type who embezzled money from the parent s of the kids at the exclusive boarding school Flint and Paul both attended He learned to defend himself from an early age against the school bullies and Paul helped with that, now he is a high priced trouble shooter for a big international conglomerate Flint goes around sorting out dicey situations, but his soon to be implemented future plan is to become a major Red Wine Vintner north of Auckland and go into competition with France for the World s Best Red Wine.We also learn that Paul and Flint are BFF s, but Flint has walked off with the only other woman Paul cared about before There is a seekrit streak of envy of Flint in Paul and tho Paul claims that Flint wasn t at fault in the incident, his girlfriend dumped him to chase Flint with no encouragement, it is an ominous foreshadowing of what is about to occur None of that really matters much to Flint s treatment of Aura tho, he is convinced she is wrong for Paul and he goes all out to break them up The tart shaming of Aura is never ending and Paul contributes fuel to the fire when he decides that Flint is an admirable escort for Aura while Paul has to take an emergency business trip In hindsight, this was rather mean of Paul, he knows Aura s problems with men and that she feels safe with him, but loyalty is paramount to Paul So he practically gift wraps Aura and hands her to Flint on a platter, knowing that Flint is pretty indomitable in getting what he wants and that this will be the ultimate test of Aura s loyalty Flint forces Aura to go out with him to Paul s planned excursion to the opera Ironically the plot is about two men as close as brothers destroying each other over a woman Bizet s The Pearl Fishers Aura comes to the sickening realization that she is physically entrapped by Flint and because of that useless urge of Lurve Force Mojo, she can never marry Paul and now she has to cancel the wedding Aura is in love or obsession and tho she knows Flint only wants to use her body and dump her, she can t help herself She has enough character to know that she can t marry Paul, but before she can respectfully break things off with Paul, Flint steps in to really mess things up.There is a near miss accident on the road with Flint and Aura s car and Flint uses that to stage a fairly forceful semi seduction moment There are some really harsh words about friendship, sex and disloyalty exchanged between the two of them and Aura resolves to end it with Paul, but she dreads doing it, Natalie is going to freak out.Aura goes and talks to Alick, her cousin and he tells her he will deal with her mother But then Aura finds out Natalie has a huge seekrit debt and Aura has to sell her jewelry to pay it Natalie insists that Aura take some wedding gifts over to Paul s apartment Aura doesn t want to do it because Flint is living there, but reluctantly she goes.It is a set up by Flint, Paul walks in when Flint is physically harassing Aura and he goes ballistic Aura ends up walking home three miles in the rain, having to cancel her wedding and finding out that her stupid, disgusting tramp of slime swiller mother has mortgaged their flat Aura needs a ton of money and Natalie is of course useless.They have a huge fight and Aura winds up selling practically everything they own Aura s friend Jessica steps up with a modeling job and Aura sends her mother off to Alick s family and models during the day and tries to finish up her revolutionary accounting software package in the off times She is managing, but then she runs into Flint while on a photo shoot The inevitable big night of Purple Passion happens, but Flint just walks away in the morning and Aura knows that she is doomed to be forever in love with Flint after being used She foolishly thought she could get rid of the attraction by giving into her urges and her unicorn grooming is done forever Flint realizes that he was her first, but he claims she isn t over Paul because she fell asleep and had a horrible nightmare that woke him up Plus, he really doesn t care, he just wanted to bring her down to a level where he could disparage her completely and his job is done, so off he goes to the HP mists Aura gets on with getting on, her mother manages to use her wiles to snag a rich Canadian and RD mercilessly inflicts Natalie on the unsuspecting people of Calgary I felt for those people and I wouldn t blame Canada or Calgary for declaring Natalie s arrival to be an Act of War and taking appropriate counter measures against New Zealand for it Aura finds out that Flint is ready to start his winery and lost to the mopey moment, she decides to go check it out She runs into Flint s partner there and this leads to Flint showing up when Aura takes a little trip to RD s Fala isi for her modeling contract.She is walking on the beach and crying when Flint seeks her out He claims he wants to return her jewelry that she sold to pay part of Natalie s debts, but really he is there because he can t live without her He does a pretty desperate I am in love with you tho I treated you like dirt speech and the h foolishly gives in with nary a protest.She agrees to marry Flint, subverting his plan to ravage her in bed until she turned up preggers and was forced to marry him and we find out that he and Paul are no longer BFF s, that doesn t matter to Flint, his obsession with possessing Aura is all that he cares about He lied to Paul about sleeping with Aura when he did not, so that tells us just how determined he was to drag Aura into his muck Paul, who has some messed up things of his own to deal with, will get his HEA in the next Forsythe book during a Giant Penguin invasion, A Forbidden Desire We get a little epilogue where Aura and Flint are married and their winery is a huge success, Aura does the accounting and promotions for it They have plot moppets and a big wine launch Paul shows up and for some reason RD has him apologize for the past Flint doesn t care because he has Aura and she doesn t care cause Aura feels that her and Flint were inevitable and it was better that she and Paul did not marry, otherwise she would be guilty of adultery too So all is resolved and Flint and Aura s future is assured in another rosy glow RD HPlanida outing.This one is extremely intense and Flint is epitome of sewer slurping in this RD does a good job of keeping Aura just on the right side of betrayal in the force of Lurve Mojo Passion, but Flint is truly a big toe rag The two of them deserve each other, but I still felt Flint needed to acknowledge his own complicity a bit Aura suffered severely for his arrogance and I really did not feel his big speech at the end or the epilogue five years on really made up for that Still the book is very well written and while the subject is a bit tacky, you could do much worse for a little HP outing. I am sure this is a decent story based on all the high ratings from my circle of trusted HPlandia aficionados at GR but within the first coupla pages, I just knew the writing style was not for me It felt odd and off putting to me Things like the fleshy veneer of a person, or being bathed in the warmth of his love I like purple prose as much as the next gal, but Robyn Donald and I just started off on the wrong foot here, so I will be moving on What a hideously vile group of characters here The so called hero was the worst heroine not much better, and the ever clinging, materialistic aggravating mother that annoys everyone but especially the readers.I m giving a 1 star for vile hero heroine, but it is a well done book The writing, the set up and angst are 4 stars.Aura, the h is engaged to be married and loves Paul Flint, Paul s best friend from childhood, shows up and jumps right into the you must be a gold digger trope at first glance He stalks and molests his BEST FRIEND S fiancee and warns her she ll never marry Paul She tries to fight off her attraction to fucking Flint as she really does love her fiancee, but she knows she s not IN love with him Due to some trauma as a teen and daddy issues than I want to get into, she has trust issues and is in need of love and stability Paul provides that plus he doesn t make her skin crawl Lucky Paul The fighting off thing against Flint doesn t work too well as any reader of a Harlequin will know.Bottom line, Aura realizes that she can t marry Paul although she ll have to put up with her mother s whining and carrying on Like I said, few good people here She resolves to tell Paul after a mega grope session with Flint the SOB rat bastard Well, Flint, the SOB bastard, jumps the gun and stages an intervention along the lines of let s get caught by Paul I want to remind you that these men have been best friends since they were 8 and 9.Long story short, Paul actually expresses some kinda scary outrage that with another author could have been hot The engagement is over and fallout begins.Aura falls into a modeling job Of course She ends up running into Flint months later and, yippee, loses her virginity It s awesome because who is worthier than the man that called you a slut, a gold digger and betrayed his childhood best friend who defended him as a kid.Even months later, her mother is married off to a rich tycoon in Canada Hallelujah, as the h lives in New Zealand , and effin Flint shows up again He has some of the jewelry she sold to pay off her mother s debt She explains she is going to move from modeling into accounting and computers as that s her field of study Color the SOB rat bastard surprised as he may lust after her, but still thinks she s a shallow user bimbo.Bottom line, Flint fell in love with at first sight, and there was no way he was going to let her marry Paul view spoiler He even lied to his BF, and said they had already slept together when they had not He later admits that even if she had been married to Paul, he would have taken her She agrees What honor hide spoiler Those old RD books are a bit strange for me As I ve never been in New Zealand I don t know anything about this country or its people, besides they are from England And in those books I feel like I m in a strange victorian romance, with all those tea parties and gentlemen and huge plantations Really they seem to be coming straight from another era.But the book was good I think RD has heroines who cannot resist their men But they re not weak or whining, just overhelmed by the sexuality of themselves and their lovers And this book followed that rule.I loved the heroine Aura, too young to be in charge of so many things in hre life and I can relate with her desire to have a mean to lean on But she was strong and ready to see her mistakes and make amends.A good book I really like this author. Aura is all set to marry Paul in two weeks when she meets his best friend Flint, and is instantly attracted to him Flint thinks she s pretty hot too, but also that she s a gold digging tramp, so he drags her up to Auckland s most romantic lookout spot to lecture her on her all round disgustingness, and to mash on her face.Poor Aura s got problems Her mother has always been a selfish numpty, and when her second husband dies it s discovered that he went through all the money including Aura s trust fund he could get his hands on, and now Natalie is living in substandard accommodation and Aura is lecturing her about spending habits She had something of a breakdown after her husband s death and is only just coming out of it now Assisted by the fact that Paul is wealthy and is buying her a very nice flat, and would have bought her a car too, if Aura hadn t been such a wet blanket about pre wedding mooching.Aura is also cursed with the sort of beauty that makes men want to grab her boobs and fill her ears with perverted sex talk, and theoretically this makes her nothing out of the ordinary, but still sucks for her And, looking after her mother has meant she can t follow her dream of writing a revolutionary piece of accounting software She loves Paul, and Flint should just shut his sexy pirate face.Which, of course he doesn t Flint orchestrates the end of Paul and Aura s engagement in the most brutally awful way that he can contrive, and Aura is left sad and humiliated and with a huge stack of bills she can t really pay Flint is a manipulator I did not like his name, I did not like his face, I did not like anything about him.I get the angst I like that Donald doesn t make it easier for herself by, for example, revealing that Paul is a monster, but this is a really tough plot to pull off without the lead characters looking like awful people Donald develops a nearly paranormal level of attraction between her leads, and while I usually like this approach it wasn t enough I could not get over how badly this turned out for Paul.I d hoped for better from Aura She first turned up in her cousin Alick s book Alick broke off his almost engagement with a very sweet girl who I didn t like much to take up with the heroine, and while that plot is a mirror to this one, it feels awful here She s had a miserable life, and I m sad for her, but she doesn t get much growth in this story she just gets suffering followed by a HEA And, an epilogue I m always sad when I realise I ve reached the Age of Epilogues Goodbye abrupt endings, where everyone is miserable until the last three pages, I ll miss you Hello boring happy people having children and throwing parties because they re now living their dream etc blah blah blah.The brightest spot in this book is that Natalie finds herself a rich Canadian to marry, and surprisingly falls in love with him It s a very minor transformation She s never going to be a good mother by any standards, and RD heroines are always slightly contemptuous of women who cling to men and won t shift for themselves, but honestly she may as well have a nice life and be happy and in a different time zone so Aura doesn t have to worry about her. Aura loves her fiance Paul for the tenderness and security he gives her, so she s horrified when his best friend Flint strikes sparks in her she s never felt before Even worse, Flint believes she s only marrying Paul for his money and he ll do anything he can to come between them.This was my second read of Dark Fire and it held up It s a very intense story and definitely won t be to everyone s taste there s no rape or physical abuse, but Flint is very manipulative and verbally cruel to begin with It works for me because of the intensity of their passion and because there s growth in Aura s character that give balance to their relationship at the end of the story, I felt they met as equals. DNFThis was like watching a train wreck about to happen, so I just decided to jump off the train.