Black Heart Blooming (Phoenix Immortal Book 3) by Alexa Piper

Black Heart Blooming is a companion novel to the enchanting Moonlight Cherries by Alexa Piper. It is told entirely in Soyer's POV and those who were fans of the latter most definitely do not want to miss this release!

From the blurb:

He looked fierce now. Had since I'd mentioned occasionally dying. To be…cherished like that. To have someone who cared about my deaths, it…it had been a very long time.

Cursed with immortality, the man known as the Black Shuck by some, as Bennet by others, has resigned himself to a lonely, endless existence. Long days are interspersed with death, dying, and the odd assassin job.

During one of these jobs, he dies and comes back to life in front of very human and very innocent Amory, who is both fascinating and enchanting. Through his courting, Bennet finds himself enjoying his existence for the first time in a long time. He will do anything to protect Amory, will die and live for this human who has captured his immortal heart.

Yet, the self-doubt Bennet hides behind a confident mask plagues him, and beings from the supernatural world he is a part of target Amory to target him. Bennet knows what he wants, but will all the skills he learned over hundreds of years be enough to keep Amory?

Note: This book covers some of the events that occur in Moonlight Cherries. While this is the third book in a series, it can be read before books one and two as an alternative entry point. Given the character telling the story is an immortal assassin, some readers may find this book too dark.

Warnings: Black Heart Blooming contains mentions of suicide, suicidal ideation and thoughts, self-harm, violence, murder, and abuse. Conversion therapy and homophobia are mentioned.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙢𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩, 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙨𝙚. 𝙄 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙝𝙞𝙢, 𝙤𝙧 𝙄 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙖𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙣 𝙝𝙞𝙢, 𝙥𝙪𝙨𝙝 𝙝𝙞𝙢 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙮, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨."

When Alexa Piper announced that Black Heart Blooming was going to be a companion novel to Moonlight Cherries, but entirely from Soyer's POV, I may have made an undignified scream of excitement. I had somewhat recently been introduced to the series by two of my bookish friends, and Soyer was definitely an MC whose head I had wanted to get inside from the first moment we had met him. I had wondered while reading how much Soyer had hidden from sweet Amory and I was right in my instinct that there had been much. All with good intentions mostly, but some from the more selfish place in his heart that had feared the worst - losing the one person who had enchanted Soyer in all his lonely years of existence.

I loved knowing how much Soyer adored Amory, even more so than he spoke in words. I also enjoyed finally being privy to the things that happened when he wasn't spending time with his lover. He was the Black Shuck. He was feared, but he was also secretly kind in his own way, though he was loathe by others to know it apart from Amory. He had felt the spark just as Amory did from their beginning, and it was so interesting seeing the way his mind worked. How he processed his growing and surprising feelings for the human man.

"𝙊𝙣 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙠𝙞𝙣, 𝙤𝙣 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙩, 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙚𝙗𝙞𝙧𝙙, 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙥𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙮 𝙤𝙬𝙣, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙚. 𝙄 𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙞𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙮 𝙗𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨...𝙒𝙚 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙚, 𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙠𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙨, 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙙, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙚. 𝘼 𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧. 𝙃𝙤𝙥𝙚, 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙚, 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙬𝙤𝙣."

I'm glad this isn't the end for these two. Amory and Soyer are such a wonderful couple to read about. I still have many questions about their world, but some were answered in Black Heart Blooming. One question that I definitely know the answer is that these two were meant to be together and I look forward to more of them to come.

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacquie's Review:

Having read and loved the first 2 Phoenix Immortal books, I was delighted when Alexa said she wanted to write a book from Soyer's POV.

You can read Black Heart Blooming as an introduction to the series instead of Moonlight Cherries with no issues.

The great thing about this series is the descriptive writing. Soyer is less interested in the details than Amory, though, and there is more of everything in this book. Through the first 2 books, Amory, and the reader, are spoonfed information about the wider world that the book inhabits. Here, this is not the case. Soyer goes about investigating the void, a witch, and trying to woo Amory by using pawns. He also has a go at saving kids, and is just rudely-charming - it's a skill only he has.

Soyer was a delight to spend time with.

Rating: 5 Stars

Black Heart Blooming is available to buy in ebook and paperback formats.