Review: The Flame (1001 Dark Nights/Desire Exchange novella) by Christopher Rice

FlameOften novellas either feel like a padded-out short story or a rushed novel. This was neither, giving all the background detail between each of the three main characters necessary to make the next step in their relationship feel natural and inevitable. Additionally, the supernatural element of the story blended seamlessly with the relationship arc between the characters. 

Though I haven’t read many, I’ve started to notice a pattern between the evolution of how (emotional and sexual) relationships between three characters work out in erotic fiction. I was pleased that this story bucked that trend. The author played it safe by sticking to language most readers understand (gay/straight) though it was obvious that Shane and Andrew strayed further on the spectrum. A follow-up story is absolutely unnecessary, but exploring those definitions would be a great introduction to many readers about the realities of issues of polyamory and demisexuality.

My only minor quibble would have been introducing Shane as a point of view character slightly earlier in the text. So minor in the grand scheme of what was an entirely enjoyable and sexy story.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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