Persevering as THE DRAGON’S REBEL–Review and Giveaway!


Hi there! I’m baaaack! Ugh, my summer has started WAY TOO LATE, y’all, and my personal computer decided to kill itself as soon as I found time to use it…so. Anywhoo! Today, I’m sharing a review for a new M/M shifter fantasy from Jacqueline Rohrbach. THE DRAGON’S REBEL features a devout warrior-turned-king seeking the release of his goddess and finding the love of his life in the process.

Scroll down for your chance to win a $10 GC, catch the excerpt and pick up a copy for yourself.
About the book:
Cheron, former rebel leader and newly crowned king, comes to Wren Gardens on a holy mission to free his goddess from exile and bring peace to his kingdom, but he’s distracted by an unholy and very beautiful concubine, Ekos.
Ekos may be more than a simple love slave, though. The King of Wren Gardens seems afraid of the strange and often blasphemous concubine and swears the man is cursed. Cheron agrees, especially when Ekos mocks and taunts Cheron’s sense of honor. But the urge to distance himself from Ekos can’t compete with the desire to remain close. Nor is it as strong as the urges in his body—urges he hasn’t felt in years.
As Cheron tries to refocus on his mission, Ekos throws him off again—this time by offering to help him in his holy quest. Cheron knows he shouldn’t trust a man who’s in the employ of a rival king, particularly not one who seems to know all Cheron’s deepest secrets. But he can’t ignore the signs from the goddess telling him to entwine his fate with this tricky, captivating man.
He prays the signs aren’t simply wishful thinking, manifestations of his very unholy desires. Time is running out, and Cheron is falling deeper for Ekos—and deeper into danger of another betrayal. One that could cost him his life.

How about a little taste?

Chapter One
Half parted in invitation, the concubine’s painted red lips teased the possibilities for Cheron’s sole benefit, for his sole pleasure, for his sole use. At least that was the intended impression, but who knew the actual number of men the concubine had truly pleasured? Many, Cheron assumed. Undeniably gorgeous, the pampered little house pet had all the markings of a palace favorite. Jewels hung from his earlobes, fine silks concealed his thin but muscular frame, and his body had been rubbed down with musky oils. Minus the golden, diamond-studded collar at his throat, he appeared to be a member of court.
“Is Ekos not to your taste, Majesty? He is personal stock, in case you are worried. No low-born has touched him.”
The emphasis had Cheron grinding his teeth. While Sinnac politely used the proper title while addressing him, there was always a lilt to his pronunciation, a gentle reminder that Cheron had only recently became a king. Before, he’d been a lowly soldier—a servant. To men like Sinnac, men who’d been born into power, he would never be anything other than a lucky usurper playacting at greatness.
Sinnac continued, “Perhaps His Majesty would like to see him from a different angle?”
King Sinnac tilted the concubine’s face upward to give Cheron a better look. Ekos lowered his crystal-blue eyes demurely, as was proper, but Cheron swore he saw a flash of mocking defiance in the depths before his lashes lowered. In a second, the brazen glare vanished. Ekos bowed his head, allowing his golden-yellow hair to fall over his shoulders. The posture gave Cheron a clear view of the concubine’s long back and the enticing dip of his ass.
Suppressing his disgust, Cheron kept his response to King Sinnac formal. “He is most pleasing. I am recently sated and do not require sexual services just now, Your Excellence. Perhaps later.”
“I heard you Northern men needed no pause between sessions. That you were an insatiable lot.” Sinnac, a severe man who resembled a long tendril of smoke with his long white body, steel-gray hair, and gray eyes, raised his bushy eyebrows and took a drag from his hookah. Foul-smelling mist coiled around his head, momentarily canceling out the masculine, sweet smell of the concubine’s body oils.
Cheron gave the characterization a breathy laugh. “I’m afraid all men must submit to biology.”
“Of course. Of course.”
Truthfully, Cheron’s carnal needs hadn’t been satisfied recently or even in the past year. His aversion to touching Ekos had nothing to do with lack of desire. Perhaps the young concubine served freely now, but at some point in his life, he’d been brought here in chains and trained in the arts of pleasure. The very thought made Cheron’s skin crawl. Not too long ago, he’d been enslaved under the reign of a cruel king who raped and tortured to stay in power. He had no intentions of following the same path.
After he took control of Broken Maw, servants continued to exist, but they were compensated for their work. No one was compelled to offer sexual services. Those who sold themselves demanded money, certainly, but also equal pleasure. Ekos’s circumstances were much different.
Sinnac, as if stressing those differences, commanded the concubine to attend to Cheron’s needs. “Show our guest your skills, my pet. Seduce him.”
The concubine pouted. In a spoiled voice, he said, “My treasure, I do not believe he wants me.”
A hard glint in his eye, Sinnac returned, “Nonsense. Help him settle in to Wren Gardens. I’ll not have my guests frustrated. And if the rumors I hear are true, he is quite congested with lust.”
Gossip between courts wasn’t uncommon. Certainly, Cheron heard his fair share of stories from Sinnac’s lands, especially tales of the financial troubles of Wren Gardens. It didn’t upset Cheron to learn he was the subject of discussion among Sinnac’s people, but his temperature rose at being so directly contradicted by another monarch.
“What do you know of my frustration, Excellency?”
His laughter croaked as he took another puff from the hookah. “I hear you haven’t had any pleasure since Aethel. His betrayal must still sting, yes?”
Honesty roughened his voice to an almost inaudible, harsh whisper. “Betrayal burns more than it stings, Excellency. Afterward, the smoke blinds us.”
Sinnac raised an eyebrow. “Dramatic. Betrayal also chokes us, apparently, though I heard your lover made good kindling for fire.”
Cheron swallowed down the memory before it overwhelmed him. Sometimes, in the dead of night, he still woke to the sound of his lover’s screams as he twisted on the pyre and the king’s executioner’s grim pronouncement that justice had been done. Now that Cheron had overthrown the king in a successful rebellion, there would be no such burnings. Never again.
Cheron kept his voice level. “His crime was nowhere near as severe as the punishment.”
“Hm,” Sinnac responded. Supposedly, the price for his displeasure ran higher. This marked Cheron’s first time visiting Wren Gardens, but his father told tales of a ruler obsessed with revenge to the point of madness. If the stories were true, Sinnac’s gardens grew on human blood.
Cheron tried to smile. “At any rate, that is in the past.”
“Well, then. My pet can make you forget the traitor existed. Perhaps he can make you forget your own treason.”
It would be unwise to answer the bait, so Cheron kept quiet on the matter. “I have no doubt of Ekos’s skills, but they are wasted on me at the present.”
“We’ll see.” Sinnac waved his graceful fingers, an order for Ekos to proceed.
The concubine’s crystal-blue eyes lowered again. Looking into their depths was akin to jumping into ice-cold water. One could drown, but he’d feel the sting of cold as he sank. Just the same, Cheron barely kept from gasping out loud as Ekos’s long fingers stroked the outer folds of the long robe he wore. Beneath the clothes, his body was taut, ready for a lover’s touch.
“Majesty,” Ekos simpered, his full, round mouth set in a pout. “I can’t please you through so many layers of clothing.”
In Wren Gardens, sex servants weren’t allowed to remove the clothing of nobility. Such a task was reserved for only the most trusted of servants, those who’d been with households for generations. Poisons that seeped through the skin were common here; the precaution made sense.
Ekos’s own dress confused Cheron. Station required servants to wear only thin scraps of fabric that advertised their wares and marked them as slaves. The concubine was swathed nearly head to toe in a loose-fitting, semitransparent silken frock that was embroidered along the hem by a skilled hand. Somehow, this enticed Cheron’s interests far better than any scant loincloth.
As if sensing his increasing desires, the concubine formed his full mouth into an aware smirk. The arrogance took Cheron aback and made him worry for the concubine’s safety. The man’s voice was strong and confident when he said, “Perhaps His Majesty would like to undress me first?”
Sinnac guffawed at Cheron’s horrified expression. “Forgive Ekos, my royal brother. He is overeager to prove his affections.”
Once again, Cheron ignored the overt slight. For now, Cheron had to be content another monarch had even stooped to meet with him. Smiling, he said, “He hasn’t been tested already?”
Sinnac’s countenance darkened. Without thinking, Cheron had insulted the other man’s virility, which he touted with great pride. In the short time Cheron had been a guest at Wren Gardens, Sinnac boasted as many as fifty lovers, all of whom couldn’t get enough of their lord and master.
“My apologies, Excellency.” Cheron spread his hands in contrition. “I understand your prowess is legendary.”
Sniffing, Sinnac got to his knees and began undoing the knot keeping his robe together. Seconds later, he was nearly naked except for his white linen undergarments. Covered in a network of impressive scars, his body flaunted a lifetime of war. “Turn around,” he commanded Ekos.
Immediately, Ekos obeyed. Cheron swore he saw a flash of disgust in the man’s crystal-blue eyes. Soon enough, the meaningless and practiced smile fell back into place. The young man dipped forward, raising his hips. “Enter if you dare,” he mocked.
Sinnac growled at the challenge.
Stomach lurching, Cheron realized the other monarch’s intent. Baring witness to rape immediately quashed his previous desires. He knew it was a typical practice in Wren Gardens, but Cheron failed to control a wave of pity. This was no way to treat another human being.
“Excellency,” Cheron said, interrupting the looming sexual encounter. “I have been an ungracious guest. I would love to indulge in Ekos’s sweet attentions privately. But how can I enjoy him if you put me to shame? Will he even consider me adequate after you?”
“I’m sure I would, Majesty,” Ekos softly assured him. “A man as magnificent as you must be bliss to touch.”
Sinnac ran his hands up and down the length of the concubine’s body, slapping and prodding as he went, but eventually sat back against the cushions without penetrating, much to Cheron’s relief.
His gaze hooded, almost fully concealed, Sinnac said, “Please retire to your quarters, Majesty. We’ll attend to matters of state after dinner. I will have Ekos sent to your rooms. Treat him gently. I paid a high price for him.”
As equals, they stood and formally bowed. The concubine, head still bent toward the ground, his expression concealed by a long flow of honey hair, remained prostrated. His fists clenched and unclenched. When he lifted his head, he smiled serenely and said, “You have yet to pay the full price for me, Excellency.”

My Review:
Cheron is the new ruler of the Northern Lands, and he’s visiting Sinnac, king over Wren Gardens, in order to find Hell’s Echo, a talisman Sinnac has hidden in his gruesome dungeons. Hell’s Echo is necessary for Cheron to free his goddess, Kalin. He keeps a relic around his neck that heats or vibrates when Kalin is communicating with Cheron from her celestial prison. He encounters the beautiful Ekos early in his visit to Wren Gardens, when Sinnac offers Cheron Ekos’s body for pleasure–because Ekos is a concubine. While Cheron is attracted to Ekos, he abhors slavery of any type, as true followers of Kalin would. Cheron is struck by the brutality of Sinnac’s court, but he’s not savvy enough to understand when he’s being hoodwinked into trouble.

Ekos, on the other hand, is a match for Sinnac’s guile–and Ekos knows that the path for his own freedom will come through assisting Cheron on his quest. Ekos doesn’t honor Kalin, not since his kin were all captured by Sinnac and turned into living garden plots for eternity. Sinnac hopes that Cheron will be able to claim the Hell’s Echo, so Sinnac can steal it and use it to release his own blood-thirsty god, Atyx.

The world building here was a little spartan, at first, and I would have liked a bit more of that upfront so I understood where I was, and what the goals were in the beginning. Cheron is a bit of a bungler, but his heart is true and his mission is foremost in his mind. He strikes bargains with Ekos to forward both of their aims, and that leads from mutual dependence into love. I admit I was a little lost about how a king, such as Cheron, would enter a foreign monarch’s palace under the guise of striking a trade bargain yet without any attendants, or advisors? This seemed shoddy planning, especially as Cheron’s true plan is to hunt out Hell’s Echo and escape with it. Surely he has generals or someone who might have his back?

Unfortunately, he didn’t, which leads to his imprisonment and a series of battles to save himself, or Ekos, or to regain Hell’s Echo…because, as I mentioned, Cheron is a bungler and he manages to lose it more than once.

Still, the pace is brisk and in the second half we fly along from battle to battle with a bit of romance developing between Ekos and Cheron. Ekos has a secret–about himself and his role in Kalin’s imprisonment–but Cheron’s never willing to give up on either Ekos or Kalin, no matter how dire the situation. I loved his steadfastness, as did Ekos. The climax is rapid-fire, with murderous gods and near-death experiences. Cheron never quit his quest, even when it would have been comfortable to do so–and that lead to his ultimate reward, with Ekos by his side, perhaps for eternity.

There’s a little bit of sexytimes, and a lot of magic, of good and bad types. The followers of Atyx–Sinnac and his host of priests and disciples–are disastrously rotten, and they are mutilated accordingly, so if you abhor the gore, this one is likely not going to satisfy. For fans of magical, mythical heroes and the power of good triumphing evil, well, you’ll have a long slog until you get your cockles warmed. But, the end is joyous, and features a fun reward for Cheron.

Interested? You can find THE DRAGON’S REBEL on Goodreads, NineStar Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 GC to NineStar Press. Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Jacqueline Rohrbach is a 36-year-old creative writer living in windy central Washington. When she isn’t writing strange books about bloodsucking magical werewolves, she’s baking sweets, or walking her two dogs, Nibbler and Mulder. She also loves cheesy ghost shows, especially when the hosts call out the ghost out like he wants to brawl with it in a bar. You know, “Come out here, you coward! You like to haunt little kids. Haunt me!” Jackee laughs at this EVERY time.

She’s also a hopeless World of Warcraft addict. In her heyday, she was a top parsing disc priest. She became a paladin to fight Deathwing, she went back to a priest to cuddle pandas, and then she went to a shaman because I guess she thought it would be fun to spend an entire expansion underpowered and frustrated. Boomchicken for Legion!

Catch up with Jackee on her website and twitter.

Out today: IGNITE!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-published dragon-shifter romance from Donna Grant. IGNITE is the 15th novel in her Dark Kings series, and really best enjoyed when read in order. I’ve liked SMOKE AND FIRE, FIRESTORM, BLAZE, and DRAGON BURN, and DRAGON CLAIMED so I’m eager to reach the “climax” of this sexy series.

About the book:
Every inch of him was molded as if from granite…and her blood ran like fire…
For centuries, V has waited to awaken from his doomed sleep and reclaim his destiny. But this Dragon King—one among a legion of legendary warriors sworn to protect the human race from darkness—must first find a way to win back his sword. Wield its power. And try not to fall prey to his own illicit desires.

Claire may possess the beauty and soul of a goddess but V knows better than to mess with a mere mortal. Still, he instinctively knows that Claire is The One who can help him regain the use of his sword and restore his place at Dreagan. But if she learns the truth about who—and what—he really is, her memories of him would be erased forever. How can V love Claire truly, madly, deeply…and protect her from the forces of fire and darkness that could destroy them both?

I’m finishing this one up now. Look for my review in the coming days.

Interested? You can find IGNITE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play.

donna_grant_newAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Catch up with Donna on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, Audible, and Tantor.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Uncommon Connection BORN OF AIR–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M paranormal romance from Sean Michael. BORN OF AIR is the fourth book in his Dragon Soul series. I liked BRANDED BY FLAMES and SEDUCED BY THE TIDE. so I was eager to continue reading in the series. All the Dragon Soul books feature one of the five centuries-old Beteferoce dragon shifter brothers finding love with his perfect mate.

About the book:
SWAT cop and dragon shifter Mark Beteferoce had—and lost—a soul mate. He’s finally at the point where he can get through the days without thinking about what used to be…until he tastes Quincy O’Brien’s doughnuts and takes him home to play.

Quincy O’Brien is a gifted baker, but at night he dreams of soaring through the sky on dragonback and being topped by the perfect Dom. Mark satisfies the kinky urges Quincy has only explored in his subconscious, pushing his limits and caring for him afterward.

From the start, their connection was more than sexual. It’s known; it’s familiar somehow. And it’s slowly driving Mark insane. What shouldn’t be possible most certainly is, and the bond between himself and Quincy runs deeper than either of them could ever have realized.

My Review:
Mark Beteferoce is a SWAT cop and second-eldest of a clutch of dragon shifters who live in eastern Canada. Unlike his younger brothers Jake, Deke and Luke who have recently found their fated mates and bonded, Mark has already had a bonded mate. And, lost him. It’s been nearly a century, and Mark has worked hard to overcome his shattering grief. One day he stops into Quincy’s bakery and falls into instant lust…with a donut. Oaky, and with the cute baker.

That’s all it takes for Mark to swoop in and bring Quincy home for the weekend. And let the sexytimes begin… Until Mark overhears Quincy talking in his sleep and using words only ever uttered by his dead mate.

This is essentially a sexfest, with lots of BDSM including pain play. The Dragon shifters find their mates and then claim them by having lots of bareback sex. Their semen has magical powers to gift their mates with good health and long life–to match that of their immortal dragon mates.

I thought there would be more discussion of the demise of Mark’s first mate, but we skipped that, unfortunately. Quincy has a tentaive link to Mark’s past, but he wants to be seen as Mark’s future, a man of his own merit, and that causes a little low-level conflict. Mostly Mark is a jerk to Quincy at first, and spends a lot of time investigating Quincy’s past to assure himself that he’s not being snowed by a conman. The separation is difficult, because they should be feeding their bond with more sex, and instead they are maintaining a distance. At least until Mark makes amends.

There are some cameos from the other mated Beteferoce brothers, which is fun. Don’t expect more of a plot than two men meet and have an unexpected spark…and tons of sex. If that’s your jam, and you dig dragons flying with their mates, well this is the book for you.

Interested? You can find BORN OF AIR on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and persuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Catch up with Sean on line on his website, blog, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Cephalopod Coffeehouse February 2018–Bringing the HEAT

0ed81-coffeehouseHi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

This month I’m sharing a review for a newly published dragon-shifter romance from Donna Grant. HEAT is the 12th book in her Dark Kings series, and really best enjoyed when read in order. I’ve liked SMOKE AND FIRE, FIRESTORM, BLAZE, and DRAGON BURN, and–being a series junkie–I’m eager to see how this all turns out.

About the book:
Nikolai is a dragon shapeshifter who knows well the meaning of loss. Orphaned and raised to be a Dragon King, he never accepts defeat. Now, Nikolai prefers his solitude . . .until a beautiful, irresistible woman calls upon him for help—and Nikolai’s whole world goes up in flames.

Ever since MI5 agent Esther woke to discover her mind taken over with magic, she feels like stranger to herself. She looks to a notorious dragon, one who has the power to help her find her memory. But as she and Nikolai come closer to discovering what really happened to her, a dangerous passion ignites between them. Can this lone Dragon King help the woman he’s grown to love to uncover the truth about her past—or will a deep and fiery danger tear them both apart?

My Review:
This is the 12th book in a series and best enjoyed when you’ve read several of the more recent releases, I think.

To sum up, Dragon Kings are fighting a battle for survival in modern times. They have the ability to shift from human to dragon form, and once ruled the earth, but went into hiding to prevent annihilation from the primitive humans who populated the lands. This decision created a huge rift in the community, and a war ensued. Constantine, the kink of all kings banished Ulrik, another dragon king, for inciting the war.

Nikolai was raised by Ulrik, and he’s always felt it was a deep betrayal to fight against Ulrik to protect humanity. He’s long had issues with his decision, and he wants to make peace with Ulrik. It’s a dangerous time, however, with Light and Dark Fae having devious plots, and a rogue dragon trying to destroy Ulrik, Constantine and the rest of the dragons to assume supreme power over earth and humanity.

Esther is a former MI5 agent whose brother has worked to keep the dragon’s identities secret from society. Esther got tangled up in the midst, having her mind controlled by a powerful Druid. She’s desperate to learn what happened in the three weeks that are missing from her memories. Nicolai has a special gift of sight–he can pluck images from people’s consciousness, even if they can’t remember. He and Esther head to Dublin to trace her paths and see if any patterns develop. In the thick of this they admit they have a ton of chemistry, and are likely to be fated mates.

I’ve really enjoyed the series, and this book in particular is really good. There is convergence between several plotlines at this point so that we can see the impending conflict. Many of the characters have found love, but Con and Ulrik are still single. So I’m expecting some page time to them finding love, as well as defeating the threats from Fae and others. The love story was slower to unfold than I had expected considering Esther and Nikolai have had some close encounters before they set out on their mission. I did love how some of the mystery surrounding the Druid has been cleared up, and it’s clear that most of our “bad guys” aren’t what they seemed to be, at first. Happy endings abound, and the end is clearly near. Looking forward to the next book!

Interested? You can find HEAT on Goodreads and Amazon.

donna_grant_newAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Catch up with Donna on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, Audible, and Tantor.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends! Be sure to check out my fellow Coffeehouse reviewers and their fave books of the month below…


Torturing Fire–BLAZE-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly published dragon-shifter romance from Donna Grant. BLAZE is the 11th book in her Dark Kings series, and really best enjoyed when read in order. I’ve liked SMOKE AND FIRE and FIRESTORM, so I was eager to get closer to the end of this series.

About the book:
His strength, his masculinity brought out something primal within her. In his arms, she felt like the Amazon warrior she’d once pretended to be as a little girl.

Anson is a fierce Dragon King, a dragon shapeshifter born and bred to protect his own. But when a rogue tech company hacks into their world, he must join forces with the unlikeliest of allies: a human female. Her name is Devon Abrams. A rising star at the firm, she has no idea that her boss is in league with the sinister Fae and their secret war against humanity. If Anson gains her trust, he can defeat the enemy from within. But first he must fight his own attraction–to this exquisitely beautiful mortal…

Devon loves her job at the firm. But sometimes she wishes she could find a man–a real man–who isn’t threatened by her success. When she first meets Anson, she’s overwhelmed by his powerful masculine presence and disarmingly gorgeous smile. But when he reveals his true mission–and his ability to transform into a dragon–she’s irresistibly drawn into an epic battle between humans and immortals, magic and technology, danger and desire. Anson vows to protect her from the Fae. But can he control the flames of passion that blaze within his heart, in Blaze, the next sexy Dragon romance in the Dark Kings series from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.

My Review:
Anson is a Dragon King who fought beside Ulrik in the Great War centuries ago–to end all humanity. When he saw that the war wasn’t helping his beloved brown dragons survive, he flipped sides and joined Constantine to build the dragon bridge and send his dragons to another, hopefully safer, realm.

Now, his existence, and that of all the Dragon Kings, has been revealed to the human race again, and Kyvor Inc, a tech conglomerate, seems to be at the root of their troubles. We encountered Kyvor’s trickery in SMOKE AND FIRE when Kinsey returned to Ryder–this time at Dreagon Distillery, the home base for all the Dragon Kings. Now, Anson is tasked with helping Kinsey infiltrate her old company, to see who knows what, and how they found out about the Dragon Kings.

Kinsey has identified a possible confederate, Devon Abrams, an up-and-comer at Kyvor who has no idea she’s been shadowed by Kyvor agents for a long time. Anson’s struck by Devon’s beauty and fierceness–and inexplicably wants to protect her almost from the get-go. Is this the pull of a true mate? he wonders…

So, this book is a ramp up to the large showdown. That means there are many points of view all bringing the end of the story into alignment. For this reason, I would not recommend picking up this book first, if you are intrigued by the series. You really need to go back closer to the beginning because it’s choppy and confusing if you haven’t met any of the players before now. This book is a lovestory for Anson, but it’s less fixed on his romance than I would have liked. Devon is a good lead for him, but they don’t have much time to make a connection before they are both captured and tortured. The goal here is to get Anson to reveal his powers, and he’s all too happy to do this, because, well, he has little love for humanity in any case.

For the first time Dragon Kings learn that their main adversary isn’t Ulrik–but also his scheming uncle. And, the forces are marshalled to bring down the ultra-powerful Druid that nobody knew anything about–except the bad guys.

As a romance, BLAZE a little too cluttered with the long-range plot arcs of the series, for me. I really like to experience that high of meeting and falling, and it felt too convenient and too rushed–and too interrupted for me to really latch on. The ending climax is really intense though, and I’m still anxious to see what happens between Constantine, Ulrik, Rhi, and all the other characters–as well as the human mates of the Dragon Kings. So, I’ll look forward to the next book, too.

Interested? You can find BLAZE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

donna_grant_newAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Catch up with Donna on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, Audible, and Tantor.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Connections and Deceptions: FIRESTORM–Review & Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m excited to share an excerpt, review and giveaway for a new paranormal romance from best-selling author Donna Grant. FIRESTORM is the tenth book in her Dark Kings dragon shifter romance series, and features a solitary dragon falling for the archeologist who lovingly uncovers the skeleton of one of his lost comrades. Though this book is part of a larger series, it mainly features the love story of this couple. I’ve read book nine, SMOKE AND FIRE, and liked it enough to read on in the series.

Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a signed copy of DRAGON FEVER, or an ebook.
About the book:
SCORCHED BY DESIRE
Dimitri lives to protect the secret of the Dragon Kings from the human race. Bound by a bond stronger than blood to the Kings, Dimitri uses his strength and prowess to defend a thousand-year-old secret. But when an oh-so-sexy, slightly absent-minded archaeologist wanders into his midst, Dimitri will have to give up his rules, and give in to desire…

When Dr. Faith Reynolds stumbles upon an ancient skeleton that appears it comes from a dragon, she’s completely taken aback. A woman of science, there’s no way in her mind that this mythological creature can exist. But when a devilishly handsome man named Dimitri intercepts her path to uncovering the truth, Faith’s curiosity turns into all-consuming passion. She’s never felt this way about any man before. But when Dimitri reveals his biggest secret, can she learn to love the man—as well as the dragon within?

How about a little taste?

Dmitri still hadn’t decided about Faith Reynolds. Her dedication to her job was unquestioned. He wasn’t accepting her answer of just finding the cave, though.

To have chosen this cave above any others? This one, which happened to have a dragon skeleton inside?

While he’d walked the site after meeting Dr. Reynolds, he overheard conversations. Many of the volunteers didn’t believe it was a dragon. They suspected it was a new species of dinosaur. The few locals he saw milling about were curious, wondering how the new find would help tourism.

He spotted a few “crazies” as Tamir called them, watching from a distance, but no one got close. Though he was curious about the two men Tamir had encountered earlier.

The way Tamir had acted as he spoke about the incident made Dmitri wonder if word hadn’t somehow reached the Dark Fae.

Or Ulrik.

Once volunteers began leaving for the night, Dmitri found himself climbing back down to the cave. He’d expected to find Faith shutting things down for the day, but she continued to work.

He didn’t want to be intrigued by her, but he was. If only his fascination had to do with how she’d found the dragon. He would discover what had led her to the skeleton, but that wasn’t what kept his gaze locked on her.

It’s not what kept his body strung tight as a bow.

She was average height, but there was nothing typical about her looks. Much to his dismay. His tastes ran toward the Fae since he preferred to stay away from humans. Yet, there was no negating the fact that lust burned through his body from the first moment her sherry eyes locked with his.

There was a . . . simplicity about Faith that he appreciated. No makeup was needed to enhance her natural beauty. At first glance, she seemed almost ditzy since her mind ran a million miles a second, but her intelligence and zest for life were apparent with one look.

Her sandy blond hair hung straight and glossy to her shoulders and was parted to one side with long bangs that she swiped out of her eyes repeatedly. The locks tantalized him by exposing the slender column of her neck and the delicate skin behind her ear.

Unblemished fair skin beckoned him to touch, to caress.

To lick.

He clenched his teeth at the need that surged through him. When she turned, he watched the pulse at her throat and fought the longing to press his lips against it to feel the warmth of her body.

Her oval face held a look of innocence and excitement he hadn’t seen in a long time. While her high cheekbones and sensual mouth added to her beauty, it was her eyes that caught him. They looked at the world as if it were a large sandbox waiting to expose its treasures.

His palm still prickled from their brief touch earlier. The shock that had gone through him had been electric. The charge surged through him faster than lightning and left him reeling—and aching for more.

Unable to look away, he watched as she stood and then bent over at the waist. The sight of her firm ass high in the air had the blood rushing to his cock. No mortal had ever had such an effect on him before. It unsettled him—and angered him.

He forced his eyes away and turned his mind to more pressing matters. He’d been sent because of the skeleton, but there was something about Faith that didn’t seem to add up.

The most important question: how had she known where to look to find the bones?

Faith became so engrossed in her work that she didn’t hear others talking to her. Even when Tamir called her name, she was often too preoccupied with digging up the skeleton.

Dmitri had watched her for hours. In that time, he’d listened to her hum and watched her touch the bones with such reverence that it shook him.

Though he’d come to the cave to watch her, it gave him time with the skeleton, as well. By the size, he knew it was an adult. Which of his dragons had gotten left behind? They’d been his responsibility, and he’d failed.

The longer he stared, the more he felt the weight of regret. The world had been created for the dragons. It was their birthright, their home.

Yet they were no longer welcome.

And he feared nothing would ever change that.

The Dragon Kings who found mates with human females were lucky. Those mortals welcomed the dragons and the Kings. But most of the globe was made up of individuals who wanted nothing more than to destroy the Dragon Kings, imprison them, or run tests on them.

So he and the others remained hidden.

But the dragon inside him—the fierce, savage creature that he was—silently cried out for revenge. And his family.

My Review:
Dr. Faith Reynolds, an archeologist working a Fair Isle dig, has discovered a new world–in the form of a dragon skeleton. She’s sure this is a bona fide discovery, but most of her crew is skeptical, thinking it’s likely a new species of dinosaur. Dmitri, Dragon King of the Whites, knows this “find” is one of his family, somehow left behind and hidden eons ago after he’d ushered all the rest of his dragons through the portal that removed them from Earth and the humans that were constantly attacking.

Dmitri has never forgotten the anguish of sending his family on, and never bedded a mortal human in all these years. Still, he’s struck by Faith, and her quiet, studious ways. She wants to uncover the truth of her find, and that gets to the heart of Dmitri in ways he hadn’t expected. Dark Fae are about, messing and meddling with the humans, leaving two dead over the course of several storms that slow Faith’s pace on the site–but gives Dmitri and Faith time to bond–especially once Faith is attacked by the Dark Fae and Dmitri is compelled to rescue her.

I liked how they built a rapport of mutual esteem before it got physical, and I liked how Faith was willing to accept the truth of Dmitri’s heritage, too. It was interesting how the falling in love part happened quick, and there was time for more dangerous complications once Dmitri and friends got the skeleton back to Dreagan. For readers of the series, there is a lot of good stuff happening with previous couples, and naturally, Ulrik–the banished dragon who’s been stirring up lots of conflict–is back for more. As we near the end of this series, the conflict between Constantine and Ulrik seems to creep ever-nearer. This time, however, there were serious mind games happening, which made all the convictions to stay hidden and live secretly within human society seem foolish–and I liked that serious introspection. I also liked getting more of the backstory behind Con and Ulrik and what tore the rift between them. I’m anxious to see if Constantine finds a human to love, which I anticipate will be a big part of the end of this series. For readers new to the books, I felt the catch up in backstory was adequate for all this to make sense, more so that when I read SMOKE AND FIRE, so I’d recommend it to anyone who thinks dragon shifters are hot–and want to watch one fall for a studious and conscientious woman.

Interested? You can find FIRESTORM on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM, IndieBound, iBooks, Kobo, Audible, and Tantor Audio. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link to enter for your chance to win a signed copy of DRAGON FEVER, or an ebook.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

donna_grant_newAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Catch up with Donna on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, Audible, and Tantor.
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Saved by Kismet–MATE CALL-Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a sweet M/M dragon-shifter space-opera romance novella from Amber Kell. MATE CALL is the fifth book in her Dragon Men series, but it was fully enjoyable on its own.

Catch my review and enter to win a $15 GC in the giveaway below!

Mate Call 400About the book:

King Zeir had it all, a prosperous kingdom, a fated mate and the love of his people. But when his mate dies he goes half mad with grief and transforms into his dragon form. Unable to get past his sorrow, he pines for the love he never fully knew.

Colton Lanx has known nothing but travel. His parents flew from planet to planet, never settling down. Becoming a navigator was an easy choice to make until an error by his captain forced him down to the planet Dragait.

Two men joined by destiny have to overcome their past if they wish to build a future together.

My Review:

3.5 Stars for this dragon-shifter, space opera, M/M romance.

Colton Lanx is a navigator on an explorer ship who’s got serious problems with his inept, ego-centric captain. Despite his certification, Captain Jael altered Colt’s course coordinates which has brought their starship too close to the atmosphere of Dragait, a planet known to be populated by reclusive dragon shifters. Dragait is the homeland of Colt’s father, Seltin, but Colt has never been there. He’s a half-dragon, though he’s never shifted.

Unable to correct the course in time, Colt joins his crew in evacuating. He’s “rescued”  by a space dragon, Baroy, who ferries him safely through the atmosphere.

King Zeir isn’t happy that an escape pod has landed in his kingdom. He hates outsiders, and loathes anyone not of his realm. He’s been in his dragon form for nearly a century, since the loss of his mate, Seltin. Even if they hadn’t fully bonded, Zeir has mourned his loss and doesn’t ever wish to find another mate. The appearance of a newly-shifted golden dragon from the wreckage of the escape pod trips all Zeir’s buttons, however. He feels the mate call, now, far stronger than with Seltin. Learning that Colt is Seltin’s offspring, Zeir is sure his previous mate call was simply for Seltin’s bloodline–and that Colt is his true mate. That’s a small problem, compared to how frustrated he is that he has a mate at all. He doesn’t want to mourn another partner. Add to that, Zeir must confront his father-in-law to be: Seltin, his previously-claimed mate. Gotta cause a bit of discomfort at the wedding, don’t you think?

There’s some machinations regarding the exploration company, Captain Jael, and the interest each man feels for  the other. The book moves along at a rather brisk pace, with a couple stops to allow Colt and Zeir to bond. The conflict level is mild, with quick resolution to all difficulties. The sexytimes were good, but not boiling hot. I had expected a bit more steam, to be honest. That said, my biggest issue with the book was dialogue. I’m a firm believer in story-appropriate language, and I often get pulled out of fantasy books–like this one–when the dialogue is too pedestrian. Too everyday, too now. It’s my own hang-up, perhaps, but I really like to feel transported by a fantasy, and hitting speed-bumps in the diction takes me out of the story. Otherwise, it’s a cute breeze-read.

Interested? You can find MATE CALL on Goodreads, Amazon, All Romance, and Smashwords.

Other books in the series: Mate Dance, Mate Healer, Mate Hunt, and Mate Test.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $15 GC from Amazon or AllRomance–winner’s choice.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Amber KellAbout the Author:
Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building. When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life, he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn’t writing, she remembers she has children who humor her with games of “what if” and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.

Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius, she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.

She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.

Catch up with Amber on her  website, Facebook and twitter.
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