I received a copy of Hellfire and Honey (Eternal Alliances #1) by A. N. Payton from NetGalley. The blurb of the book intrigued me, and I was so glad that my request for it got accepted. This fantasy romance about witches and vampires immediately fascinated me. Hellfire and Honey follows the story of a witch princess Sal and vampire king Kadence.
Sal’s parents suddenly disappeared one night, with half of the witch army leaving Sal as the heir to the throne. She is unpopular amongst the court members and even her people. There is a war going on between witches and vampires for decades. Sal realizes that it is a losing battle, and to save her people and her kingdom, she makes the difficult decision to surrender herself. The king of the vampires Kadence accepts her surrender, but it comes with terms and conditions. Their kingdoms are to be united, and Sal will become the queen of the witches, but she has to work under Kadence’s approval.
The plot of the novel is simple enough. Sal agrees to the terms put forth by Kadence to end the bloodshed between the witches and vampires. Sal doesn’t know why her parents left, and it is a wound that is still fresh. Kadence also has issues, and both of them are guarded. Sal is disliked by most people, and her council yet she puts her duties first. There is an instant spark between Sal and Kadence. It takes time for them to build trust and a rapport between them, which is done realistically. When they have no choice but to work together to fight a bigger threat; their relationship moves further. Sal’s ex-fiancé is a character, that I didn’t like, but all the others are pretty well written.
The story is enemies to lovers’ romance, and from the beginning, the chemistry between Sal and Kadence is tangible. Both are attracted to each other but understandably are wary of each other’s behavior. There is a lot of politics and court intrigue throughout the story, and it does help move the plot ahead. It actually is the main focus, especially in the first half. The one complaint I have that is the romance between Sal and Kadence didn’t get enough time. They are great together, and I liked where they ended up, but I wish their relationship was built up more and given more attention.
Sal and Kadence as the main characters are great. They are quite similar to each other in terms of what they think, and their past also is something that is slightly similar. They make sense together. Sal is determined and strong. Despite what anyone thinks she wants to do what is right, and that’s commendable. The world that A. N. Payton has created is extremely interesting, and I feel like there is more to explore. But, this book does seem like its first one so it might grow more. It does a good job of blending fantasy and romance with court politics.
I enjoyed reading Hellfire and Honey b A. N. Payton. The plot, characters, and setting are good; it keeps you hooked. The pace of the story is good from beginning to end, with never dull moments in between. I was expecting it to be good, and it exceeded my expectations. I hope there are more books in the series.
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