Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Firefly by Krystyna Allyn is a story about moving beyond your past or your circumstances. In this book, her heroine, Melody, has endured the pain of absentee and emotionally abusive parents. As a protection, she has created a vault of her bad memories and shored it up with walls to protect her emotions. She encounters the hero of the story, Trevor, a man trying to create a good future for himself as an electrical contractor. They meet haphazardly in Brooklyn where Melody resides and Trevor is staying for a short time. It’s a quick meet-cute that doesn’t progress beyond some flirting, but they each make an impact on the other. Fast-forward a bit, Melody has had to leave Brooklyn to escape her mother and her mother’s criminal boyfriend; she finds herself in Colebury, Vermont, very much in Trevor’s “neck of the woods.” They once again meet at Speakeasy, the setting for Allyn’s story, and the initial attraction they felt in Brooklyn returns. However, Trevor’s family is a mess, threatening his future plans, while Melody avoids any romantic entanglements. All of this is set up for Trevor breaking down Melody’s walls, and Melody forcing Trevor to deal with this family’s issues. Firefly becomes this emotional story about the need to drop your emotional walls and become vulnerable to find the best version of yourself.
Overall, I liked Firefly. However, I wasn’t in love with it. Allyn’s hero, Trevor, is a strange amalgamation of bedroom alpha, empathic good guy with a side of stupid hero. From one chapter to the next, you’re never quite sure which side of Trevor you’ll get, and it makes for an uneven characterization. I understand that heroes can have more than one identity, but his alpha in the bedroom mixed with his unwillingness to tell Melody about his family mixed with his insistence that she share all parts of herself with him while he holds himself back…yeah, that makes him hard to like at times. When he’s working hard to crumble Melody’s protective walls, he’s lovely because he seems to “see” her. However, he makes decisions that undermine that compassion when he fails to tell her about his family and sets her up to rebuild those walls.
Additionally, I think Allyn takes too much time in her story with Melody becoming more vulnerable. The focus of Melody’s journey is her issues with her horrible mother and absentee father. She must overcome them in order to find her happy ending with Trevor. However, she fails to see the family she’s carefully constructed. She’s surrounded by people, in both Brooklyn and Colebury, who are wise and provide her with great advice. Yet, she takes most of the story to realize that her parents don’t really matter if her constructed family adores her. Allyn takes a bit too long to help her get there.
All of that, though, are minute issues. For the most part, Firefly is an enjoyable read, connecting us to some of our favorite Speakeasy Taproom series characters, while also introducing us to some new ones. I love that Krystyna Allyn has taken us back to this world that so many different voices are creating. If you’ve been following the Speakeasy Taproom series, then you will not want to miss this story. If you’ve yet to read it, don’t start here. Start at the beginning. You won’t regret it.
In love and romance,