Painting with Fire by Lissa Kasey

4 stars

This was a most interesting book. I haven’t read anything by Lissa Kasey before but I was very impressed and will certainly be reading any more books in this series. It was both heart wrenching and heart warming.

Painting with Fire is a very slow burn love story – nothing remarkable about this tried and tested formula, however, what sets this story apart is the characters and their professions. Lissa has created original and curious characters and the stories surrounding them are equally as compelling. In this book Charlie has the loudest voice and we listen to him falling in love with Bastian. The common denominator in their relationship is Charlie’s best friend Jessie who is also Bastian’s aunt. Charlie and Jessie are wildfire fire fighters and Bastian is an artist specialising in unique painted dolls. They are brought together when Jessie and Charlie go and stay with Bastian when his mother, Jessie’s sister passes away. But the backstory involves horrible family neglect and abuse and while Charile falls for Bastian fast and hard, Bastian isn’t even out yet.  

The story builds along with the relationship between Charlie and Bastian. It’s precarious at best competing with Bastain’s emotional issues and the fact Charlie disappears to fight fires for months at a time, but events conspire to keep reuniting them and the story develops nicely. It’s not overtly explicit but there are enough sexy moments to satisfy and they contribute to the angst and joy the characters flip-flop between. Jessie’s character is also incredible and adds to my opinion that Lissa Kasey is clearly unafraid to approach subjects that don’t always make for main-stream reading. I loved that about this book – that it combined a wonderful love story with elements that were challenging and for me also educating.

I recommend reading this and I’m already immensely looking forward to the next book in the series.