• Collecting Stars!
City in Embers Book Cover City in Embers
Collector Series Book 1
Stacey Marie Brown
Paranormal Romance
Amazon Digital Services LLC
Feb. 4, 2015

Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.

After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.

But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.

When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey's whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.

When it All Fell Apart, They Came Together

Meet Zoey and Ryker!

I am a bit of a hopeless romantic.  I think, at least based on the books you will find on this site, it’s
kind of a necessity to be in love with love.  Part of “loving love” is realizing that it’s most beautiful in its imperfection.

I did not immediately love the main characters in City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown.  In fact, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t come around.  I read her Darkness series a few months ago, which is set in the same time period, and in the same place, but with entirely different characters.  I loved Eli and Ember, and I expected to immediately love these new characters, but I didn’t.

But then I did.

I started reading this book, the first in the Collector series, after we did the cover reveal for the last book, From Burning Ashes, a few weeks ago.  Once I started, I inhaled these books. What amazed me most is that I was seeing the events of Darkness, but from an entirely different angle, and with a totally individual story arc.

On top of that, this has a decidedly science fiction flare, on top of the paranormal/fantasy vibe of Darkness.  Though both series are standalone, you can see why things happened in each book, based on what you know from the other (that doesn’t mean you need to read both, though!).

So what did I think?

Well, let’s start with the fact that I want a tiny monkey – badly.  The fact that the “monkey” (there’s more to his story) is obsessed with honey would OBVIOUSLY get bonus points from the Queen Bee. But that wasn’t the only reason.  He was the perfect mortar for this story because it could have been too dark and too hard without his softening edge.

I waited a long time to read this series because there are always “viking” comments associated with it, and I assumed – wrongly – it was norse mythology, which isn’t my thing.  Though Ryker is “norse god-like”, this story is based firmly in the Pacific Northwest and South America, and neither case are any Svens or Liefs involved.

In case you couldn’t guess, this is totally how I see Ryker. RAWR.

Ryker… oh Ryker.  As usual, you have an unlikely hero in this faux-hawked hottie. He doesn’t want to help Zoey, care for Zoey, be with Zoey. Of course, they are thrown together against their will – or better judgment. But if you look some of our favorite opposite couplings, it requires an extreme situation to let them see one another as people on the base level.

And Zoey is wonderful.

She really is. I would totally hang out with her.  She isn’t wimpy or whiny and despite the horrific pain of all she has lost, she is still a fighter and still open to love. She is a “give your all” kind of girl and you WANT this to end well for her. You hope she’ll finally get an HEA.

You will NOT with this book because there is a cliffhanger (I know; I hate that too).  I will suggest you not let this hold you back. And honestly, if you start with the Darkness series and jump over to Collector, the final book should be out by the time you get there.

I ship Zyker so much and I hope you love them as much as I did.

Want to check it out? You check start reading:

If you would like to start with the Darkness series, preview here: