A Strange Fire (Florence Vaine, #1) - L.H. Cosway Wow. I'm actually rendered speechless at how brilliantly executed this book was!

Firstly - brilliant cover and an even better title for this masterpiece which is A Strange Fire by L H Cosway. Having a love for all things paranormal and to do with Empath-related abilities, I picked it up with high expectations and was not let down. Cosway's heroine - a shy, slightly introverted teenager by the name of Florence (of Flo, as she prefers to be called) - is as down to earth and troubled as any human being would be in her situation. Not only has she had to deal with having to bear the brunt of her father's verbal and physical abuse for most of her childhood, but Flo has a dangerous secret. She can see people's auras, and can even alter them.

But unlike some characters - no offence to anyone at all - she doesn't take it all in her stride, like "Cool - I live in the 21st century, and I know there's no such thing as magical powers but hey, I'm going to keep believing there is and never doubt myself for a second." Instead, she puts it all down to 'the nervous wreck'-like mind state that her father has given her, believing that she is probably just going crazy.

And everything would have stayed exactly the same had not her father had a sudden epiphany and decided to leave her with her grandmother whilst he went off to do his 'work'. Flo sees this as a chance to change her life, to get over her stutter (poor girl...I'd hate to have something like that, knowing people would define you by your insecurities and disabilities. I think it's wonderful how Frank sees her+stutter not stutter+her, if you get my drift. That her stutter and her abilities don't define the kind of person she is) and to put her past behind her.

Flo's new start is rough to say the least, and on top of it all she has a run in with the Marsters brothers...well, mainly the eldest brother Franklin. And for some reason, their auras are unlike any of any person's she's ever seen - bright, blazing and almost ethereal. She finds herself drawn to Frank, and is surprised to see that he has an interest in her as well. But amid his persistent, flirtatious and caring attentions, lies something deeper, something Flo is afraid to come to terms with lest the world, which she has been writing off as a series of delusions, should be real after all.

Also, a terrifying, dark entity that has lurked beneath the town's radar for so long begins to rise once more. It wants Flo and it will do whatever it takes to get her. A paranormal battle of will, strength, love and ultimately faith in one's self and those around oneself, A Strange Fire is a thrilling journey through the murky and tantalising world of Florence Vaine, whose big green eyes see more than you think.

I couldn't stop reading this book. I felt that the raw human emotion is something that makes it stand out - it is so rare when an author takes the time to establish the character as a human being, as someone who isn't the polished heroine/hero we've come to expect from modern literature, rather they have flaws but those flaws are apart of the armour they have constructed to face a darkened world. I felt Flo's pain, was proud of her when she stood up for herself (both in the face of evil, bullying and guys - she is not afraid to stop any romantic advances or voice her opinions). It just shows that sometimes the people who seem weak have a whole lot going on under the surface that no one really pays attention to. And they should.

So I give a heartfelt thanks to L H Cosway for requesting I read this book - it was one of my greatest pleasures and I adored every minute of reading it. I would have given it 6 stars, but they only had five! Oh, and I fell in love with Frank too *blushes*. He is such an awesome guy; I wish there were more like him!!

Booknut101:D