Ignis is a great romantic suspense that tells the backstory of two of the supporting characters from KJ’s previous books – the enigmatic Tal and the intimidating Felicity. I’ve only read one of KJ’s books prior to this – but I do remember Felicity Davis as the wickedly smart, sophisticated and tough as nails principal of an all-girls Boarding School. Getting a book all about her made me very happy (I love an ice queen). After finishing the book I was impressed as how different this one was from KJ’s normal romances. KJ’s written a taut and compelling suspense novel that blends the darker elements and the smoldering romance between the two main characters.
There’s a dark undertone to the novel – a wonderfully creepy suspense that involves flashbacks of a young girl who is growing up in a rural religious cult, being groomed as a Gift. Told from the girl’s perspective, there are hints of what is going on, but as a sheltered child and young woman, she has more of a feeling that something isn’t right than any real knowledge. The flashbacks alternate with the story of a series of disappearances of young women from two Melbourne Boarding Schools. The juxtaposition of the two storylines creates tension and suspense as you become invested in both and how they are related. It also provides a fascinating development of the young and vulnerable girl into the indominable Felicity Davis.
There’s pretty much of an instant spark between the two mains. Both are phenomenally intelligent, strong-willed and confident in who and what they are – and won’t apologize or make excuses for their choices or actions. The dialogue is smart and sharp with the chemistry between them pretty much setting the pages on fire. The word smolder comes to mind as the attraction sizzles and builds. The story is focused on Felicity, so the reader is apt to forge a stronger connection (dare I say stand in awe ) with her, but Tal is well developed through their interactions with her. The mystery bring the two characters together keeps the plot moving, with an escalating suspense that keeps the pace brisk and pairs well with the escalating sexual tension between the mains.