A romance is more than a book with a love story, it’s a book about a love story, and J.R. Ward’s Consumed edges right up to the wrong side of that line. But in the end, the love story is still the center of things, and what surrounds it is a complex world, a context that defines the central couple as much as their love does.
...There’s a lot of explicit injury, trash talk, bad behavior excused because it’s done by the good guys, and sneering at 'the Instagram set' and other caricatures of weak, whiny liberal elites. For readers who consider 'Do your department a favor and just put a bullet in your head' to be pithy advice for a suicidal lover, Ward’s facility with topical one-liners will make this a hit, but readers seeking actual romance would do well to avoid it.
Ward known best for her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, relies on double-entendre instead of realistic dialogue and stock characters in place of complicated people in a dangerous profession. For a story centered around flames, there is no spark between the characters.