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.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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