Today, I am hosting author Beena Khan and her latest release The Flame Must Burn, a multicultural, contemporary romance. Also, be sure to check out my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Title: The Flame Must Burn
Series: Red, book .05
Author: Beena Khan
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The hottest summer brings the first flames of love.
Love is dangerous. It collides with culture, and culture is defied with rebellion.
She promised herself to me.
Ryder is the small town’s local college boy. It’s summertime, and he’s at the beach when he sees a young, college girl. Their eyes lock together. Intrigued by her, he wants to approach her but she quickly disappears. Disappointed he returns home, but he sees her the next day in his summer class.
Good girls don’t fall in love. They only obey.
From a traditional Middle Eastern family, Cyrah is a young foreign-exchange student. She’s studying abroad in a summer program of the small-town. Intimidated by her beauty, Ryder begins writing love letters to her. She is flattered but tries to steer clear from him. But then an incident happens that draws these two star-crossed lovers together. Slowly, she begins breaking all the rules and reciprocates the same feelings. But summer doesn’t last forever though, and Cyrah has to leave.
She turned to look at him. His posture was relaxed. She inhaled his scent deeply. He smelled like woodsmoke and aftershave. It was overwhelming to be around him sometimes. “You know funny guys are dangerous,” she said.
He arched an eyebrow at her and asked, “Why?”
“It’s like you make me laugh and laugh and then…” her voice trailed off then, hesitating to say the next words.
“And then it’s like boom, you’re in the bedroom. It’s a magic trick,” she accused him, her eyes narrowing in slits at him.
Ryder burst out laughing at her words. Then, he puffed out of his chest. “We’re smooth.”
She giggled at him. “You wish, joonom.”
His eyes widened at the word. “What does that mean?”
She looked away, unable to meet his gaze. Then, she cleared her throat and said, “It means my life. It’s another way of saying… my love, to show your affection.”
She turned to look at him, and his brown eyes scorched into hers. He bit his pink lips in response, as if unsure what to say now. She wanted to run her hands through his dark stubble. There was a desire pooled in the pit of her stomach that wanted to come out to the surface. A magnetic pull drew her to him. He was smart, kind, and funny. She never liked anyone before. Her contact to men was always limited.
She wanted more of that.
More of him.
This was a wonderful read that kept me wanting to read. Why? Because I never knew what was coming next. I went into this thinking it was going to be a new adult, small-town university novel (because I never read Color Me Red, and I had no clue this was a series). Was I ever in for a surprise, a very nice surprise, I must add.
First up are the characters. Although Pakistani, Ryder is very much westernized. He is the consummate hero. He’s funny, he’s charming, but he’s also deep. He shows this by writing Cyrah letters when she won’t give him her attention.
Cyrah, as the blurb mentions, is from Iran and very new to western culture. She is shy, hesitant, and loves her books. There is an adventurous spirit in her, though. There must be if she upped and left Iran to study abroad in a strange new country with strange new customs. She’s very curious and wants to experience life, which was wonderfully portrayed in the novella.
The meet-cute is sweetly done. Same with the slow burn romance that begins to move very quickly once the two bond over something horrible that happens. I won’t say what that is.
I especially loved the plotting and pacing of the novella. The plot is full of twists and turns. The author excels here. She never relies on cliches but allows the characters to write this story for her—especially because all seems hopeless for the two lovebirds based on the strict traditions of Cyrah’s parents. I kept wondering how the two could make this work. Then, voila, the author took another turn on the plot. Well done.
The author uses fresh metaphors, analogies, and similes to convey emotions that I really enjoyed. At times some of the sentences could have flowed better, but still, it never detracted from the story. I’d love to read and review the other books in the series.
Ms. Kahn is a new author to me and one that I will continue to read. I highly recommend The Flame Must Burn. Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy.
Beena Khan writes literary fiction and edgy, contemporary romance. She 27 years old and lives in New York. She’s from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing. The Name of Red is her debut novel published at the age of 26. All of her books are on Kindle Unlimited + Free Novella!
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