Genre: Fantasy

Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Posted April 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Written in Red by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Written in Red (The Others, #1) by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Published by Roc
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 487
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-half-stars

Enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter SImon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg a job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide whether she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Meg Corbyn is cassandra sangue, a blood prophet, who can speak prophecy when her skin is cut. Because the blood prophets become addicted to the euphoria that veils their mind when they speak prophecy, many years ago it was decided benevolent ownership of them when be given to caretakers “for their own protection”. The majority of whom then used them for profit. For 24 years Meg has lived in such a compound, being used and abused by her owners, taught only what she needed to know to speak prophecy. Until she becomes desperate and escapes. She ends up in Lakeside at a Terra Indigene (The Others) Courtyard. The Others are Earth Natives who rule the continent of Thaisia. They allow humans to lease the land from them, but they have Courtyards in each major city so The Others can keep an eye on what the humans are doing.

Simon Wolfgard is an “Other”, a Terra Indigene (Earth Native), who can shift into the shape of the wolf. He’s the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard. To The Others, humans are just clever meat. Meg is a human, but she doesn’t smell like prey. This intrigues him enough that he hires her to be their Human Liaison. He knows she’s keeping secrets and lying to him, but it isn’t long before she’s won the hearts of all the residents of the Courtyard, including his. When her secrets come to light he’ll have to decide if she’s worth possibly going to war to protect.

Equal parts humor, intrigue and horror, Written in Red sucked me in from page one. The world-building in the first few chapters was somewhat dense, but Meg’s interactions with The Others and her struggle to settle in to life outside the Compound kept me glued to the pages. From there things only got better. Simon’s struggle to pin down why he reacted differently to Meg who smelled like not-prey; His nephew Sam and the emotional trauma he suffered after the death of his mother; Meg befriending everyone in the Courtyard, most of them in spite of themselves; The Elementals (who control the weather) and their Steeds…all of this, and more, pulled me in. I was fully immersed in the Courtyard and the lives of those who inhabit it. Bishop tackles heavy issues like racism and abuse, yet does it so expertly I didn’t feel preached to – or at.

I immediately picked up the second book in series.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris

Posted April 15, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Today we’re featuring From Unseen Fire by debut author Cass Morris.

Set in an alternate Rome where elemental magic shapes the rule of the land, FROM UNSEEN FIRE weaves history and fantasy into a thrilling plot about a republic on the verge of collapse. Brimming with magic and adventure, Latona, an elemental mage, must unleash her magical potential to save the city she loves. As senators, generals and fellow mages vie for the power over the city of Aven, Lavona’s burgeoning relationship with a rising politician may jeopardize the very future they seek to build in Aven.

I’m in love with this premise and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. From Unseen Fire sounds amazing.

Sunday Spotlight: From Unseen Fire by Cass MorrisFrom Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle #1) by Cass Morris
Series: Aven Cycle #1
Published by Daw Books
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.

But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, has suppressed her phenomenal talents for fear they would draw unwanted attention from unscrupulous men. Now that the Dictator who threatened her family is gone, she may have an opportunity to seize a greater destiny as a protector of the people -- if only she can find the courage to try.

Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess learning to navigate a treacherous world, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.

Latona’s path intersects with that of Sempronius Tarren, an ambitious senator harboring a dangerous secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage may hold high office, but Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in the provinces, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to secure a glorious future for Aven and his own place in history.

As politics draw them together and romance blossoms between them, Latona and Sempronius will use wit, charm, and magic to shape Aven’s fate. But when their foes resort to brutal violence and foul sorcery, will their efforts be enough to save the Republic they love?

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Excerpt

Prologue

686 ab urbe condita

The Palatine Hill, City of Aven

Lucius Quinctilius was not, by nature, a reflective man, so perhaps it was just as well that the Dictator’s men gave him little time to contemplate his fate.

The morning of his execution dawned cool and fair, and no one in the household but Quinctilius himself had the slightest inclination that anything was amiss. Even Quinctilius suffered only a mild prick of unease, no more troubling than a splinter. His tongue had overrun him during his last public speech, but as a few days passed and retribution did not fall on his head, he convinced himself that the lapse had been overlooked. He had not meant anything by it, just a stray comment during legal proceedings, though it may have edged too near to criticism of Dictator Ocella. Lucius Quinctilius privately had many things to say that would have edged much closer, but he was of no mind to be a political hero for a lost cause. That had never been his intention. And surely no one was paying such close attention to the minor financial courts, not with the turmoil in the treason courts, not with riots threatening to erupt in the Subura. Surely, he was safe.

Still, suspicion twinged at the back of his mind. When he rose and dressed that morning, he considered confiding in Aula, his excellent wife. But she was so pleasant-spirited, so cheerful, even in this dark season of proscriptions and danger. He could not bear to disrupt the simple pleasure she managed to wring out of the tumultuous world.

It certainly did not occur to him to share his concerns with the other lady in his household, Aula’s younger sister, Latona. For all Quinctilius knew, she was living with them only for companionship while her husband was touring his holdings in the provinces. It would have been a blow to his dignity, had he been aware of Latona’s true motive: to watch after them, knowing that Quinctilius’s foolish streak of nobility might get the better of him, all too aware that Aula was so dizzy with motherhood and marital bliss that it had turned her a bit feather-brained.

Latona had not kept her eyes and ears alert enough outside of the household, or she might have known in time about Lucius Quinctilius’s final act of honorable idiocy. Had Latona heard of his lapse, she would not have hesitated, but packed the whole family off to her husband’s country villa that very night. But though she had returned to watch over her sister and her niece in the city, Fate kept the tale of his indiscretion from her ears a few hours too long. When six pairs of hob-nailed boots thumped up the too-quiet street to the Quinctilius domus, when six pairs of burly arms forced open the front door, she was in the back garden, unaware.

Ocella had power enough to feel no need to carry out his assassinations under cover of darkness. The lictors set upon Quinctilius in his own study, early in the morning. Ocella’s lictors were not the honorable attendants who usually accompanied politicians of consequence, but his own private killing force, a sacred and venerable office perverted to new and abhorrent purpose. They asked no questions of the man who gave their orders and issued their pay, and they made swift work.

Quinctilius hardly had time to rise from his chair. One short sword penetrated his gut; another slit his throat as he staggered to his knees; and then it was over. The expression of astonishment remained frozen on his face as his blood pooled on the geometric mosaic set in the floor, slipping like crimson mortar between the tiles.

“So much for him,” one of the lictors said, nudging at Quinctilius’s shoulder with his toe. “Where’s the next one?”

“No.” His colleague rubbed at the back of his neck. “Not yet. This one’s got a wife and a tot.”

The other lictor nodded. Proscription touched the family, as well. Quinctilius’s brother and sister resided in a province, and so his wife, Aula Vitellia Prima, eldest of the Vitelliae daughters, would have to suffice for an example— an excellent one, really, from a noble and ancient family that had not yet presented Ocella with an opportunity for chastisement.

The noise attracted Aula’s attention, drawing her across the atrium from her own rooms. A short scream escaped her before she choked it back. She scarcely had time to process her husband’s death before she had to dive to stop Lucia from toddling in and seeing her father’s corpse. The lictors had not even wiped the blood off of their blades, and in a wrenching moment, Aula realized they did not mean to do so. A shadow dimmed the pale sunlight streaking in through the open door: the Dictator himself, come to bear witness to the deed.

Ocella was a man of impressive presence, with the lean grace and threat of a panther. His hair was so fair it resembled the winter’s dawn, icy and unforgiving, but his eyes were dark pits, a blue so deep as to be nearly black, and utterly unreadable. They rested on Aula for only a moment before he made a quick gesture to summon his lictors forward.

Aula collapsed, her knees unequal to the task of holding her upright in the face of such incisively cold malice. Lucia, too, started to cry, stared up at Ocella, mouth hanging agape. “Please, Dictator,” Aula said. “P-Please. We are n-nothing. Not my baby. Sh-she’s just a child, she couldn’t—” But when Ocella held up a hand, Aula fell silent, though tears continued to stream from her eyes.

Latona flung herself through the doorway just as two of Ocella’s lictors advanced on her prostrate older sister and the frightened child. Ocella flicked his wrist, and Lucia set up a tremendous wail. Aula grabbed the girl and clutched her close, holding a hand over her mouth to stifle her cries. “Pray, do not take this personally,” Ocella said, even as Aula wept and Lucia struggled against her mother’s grasp, her pale blue eyes wild with abject fear.

“No!”

Latona’s cry cut through the air, and both Ocella and Aula’s heads whipped about— Ocella indignant at the interruption, Aula horrified by Latona’s nerve. Mastering her shaking limbs, Latona strode forward with mustered confidence. “No, great Dictator,” she said, more softly, smiling at Ocella almost impishly, as though they were sharing a great joke. “Of course you don’t mean harm to Aula or Lucia. I’m sure I’ve misunderstood.”

“Have you?” Ocella said, his expression utterly unchanged. “Pray, tell me what has led you to that conclusion.”

Though Aula, tears in her eyes, shook her head in a mute plea for Latona to leave herself out of it, Latona had a plan. Not, she admitted to herself, a wholly good one, but it was certainly better than watching her sister and her niece butchered in the atrium— and likely sharing their fate. What scrap of a chance they all had rested now on Latona’s gifts.
Blessed by Juno and Venus, Latona had power over the elements of Spirit and Fire, and it was Spirit that would come to her aid now, if anything could. She could not consider the possibility of failure, and as she spoke, the words tasted of cinnamon on her tongue.

“There’s no need, and it would look so ill. Everyone thinks well of Aula, and she thinks well of everyone. Especially you, Dictator. If her husband displeased you, I know she sorrows for the trouble it caused you. You can only have done right in disposing of him, we all know that. But Aula and Lucia? A cheerful woman and such a pretty child? Why, they should be allowed to speak your praises! Such magnanimousness would only make your star burn the brighter.”

Latona’s breath was shallow and hesitant, but she did not let the gracious smile fall from her lips, and she prayed that her eyes would not betray her. If Ocella suspected her of using magic against him, that would be the end of Aula, Lucia, Latona herself, and probably every other son and daughter of the Vitelliae that Ocella could get his hands on. His paranoia was even more acute concerning mages than his other foes. Never minding that ancient law prohibited mages from seeking higher political office, Ocella remained convinced that they would somehow surmount the prohibitions and use their powers to usurp his position. He had executed men and women on mere suspicion, and many more had fled the city rather than have the suggestion of treachery fall on them.

But she couldn’t think about that; any flicker of uncertainty could give her away, and doubt could shatter the spell. She let the soothing magic roll off of her, a golden wave of positive emotions washing over Ocella, and she flung silent prayers at Juno that her efforts should move him.

“Aula never chose her husband, nor Lucia her father,” she went on. “They renounce him if he caused you any misery. I pray you, mighty Dictator, do not punish them for the misfortune they’ve already suffered. Rather, show all Aven what a kindness you’ve done them, to free them from that pernicious man. They will tell all the city of their gratitude, I promise you.”

Aula was ghastly pale, her hand still clamped firmly over the weeping Lucia’s mouth. Latona had never seen her sister so frightened, a doe caught in the gaze of a ravening tiger. But after the long, horrible silence, Ocella nodded slowly. “Yes,” he said. Latona fought to keep relief from coercing her into releasing the spell too soon. “Yes, I believe you are right, Vitellia Latona,” he went on. “Your sister is such a charming woman, and this fair creature promises to be of her ilk. No need to harm them. In fact—” He twitched his finger at his bodyservant, a balding man who hovered several steps behind him and who moved immediately to scrawl Ocella’s words on a wax tablet. “We shall invite them to holiday with us in Capraia this summer. You as well, Lady Latona.” He stepped closer to her, too close. When his fingers touched her shoulder, toying idly with the brooch that fastened her gown, she held as still as death, refusing to let trembling flesh give away her terror. “We wish to see if rumor speaks true of your many talents.”

Latona blinked. “I . . . am all astonishment, honored Dictator. I cannot think what anyone could say of a simple matron to be worth your notice.”

“Come now, no false humility. Not from one blessed by Juno . . .” His thumb trailed along her collarbone, then pressed at the tender notch at the base of her throat. “And by Venus.” His easy smile warred with the intensity swirling in his unfathomable eyes, but the threat in his voice matched that of his hand at her neck. “I have such a keen interest in the magical arts, you know, though the gods did not see fit to bless me with them. Would you come to Capraia and show me, Lady Latona?”

There was a bargain in the air, and the weight of it pitted in Latona’s stomach. ‘You have walked into the trap Father feared.’ Ocella collected women and he collected mages, and she was both— an irresistable prize. ‘This is why Father wanted you married to a provincial, tucked safe away in the country.’ But neither husband nor father could stop Dictator Ocella pursuing what he wanted. Swallowing fear and revulsion, Latona nodded her assent. She would pay the price in flesh and soul, if it kept her family safe.

“Wonderful. So much better to be surrounded by charming women instead of bickering old men. And little Lucia Quinctilia might make a fine playmate for my boy. They’re of an age.” Then he laughed, that sudden burst that could come from nowhere, like the flash of lightning out of impenetrable clouds. “Perhaps we’ll have to arrange a marriage.”

And then he was gone, a storm swept out to sea, and as the footsteps of his lictors faded away down the stairs, Latona’s knees buckled underneath her. Never before had she exerted so much energy in one go, and the sudden evacuation of her focal point, combined with the weight of the bargain she had taken upon her shoulders, robbed her of even the strength to stand. One of the slaves moved fast enough to keep her head from cracking against the floor, and the last thing she heard before fainting dead away was Aula dissolving into hysterical sobs of sorrow and relief.

Aven Circle

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About the Author

Image taken from Goodreads

Cass Morris

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Cass Morris lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with the companionship of two royal felines, Princess and Ptolemy. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007, where she was accepted into the Alpha Delta Gamma honor society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Cass served on the boards of student theatrical production companies at both Mary Baldwin and William and Mary. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.


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Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, On the Edge (The Edge, #1)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 1st 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 447
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Bayou Moon is the second book in Ilona Andrews The Edge series and it was another fantastic read by the writing duo. This book follows William, the changeling from On the Edge as he makes his way to the Mire on a mission to find bad guys that are planning some really bad things. William meets Cerise Mar while trying to track down Spider (the bad guy) and when an opportunity presents itself to work together, William jumps on board real quick like.

Cerise is trying to find her parents. With her father missing, she is the leader of her family and there are a million of them. She’s in the middle of a family feud over her grandfather’s property and she’s got a million things to do and a million people counting on her to fix their family mess. When she comes across William, a stranger from the Weird, she joins forces with him because they seem to be after the same person and he has knowledge of the people that they’re fighting. It made sense and the longer she spent in his company, the more drawn they were to each other.

I enjoyed William’s character in On the Edge and at first introduction, low key wanted him to be the hero of that book but the more that I read that book, the more sense Rose made with Declan and not William. I wanted to read William’s book and was stoked that he was getting one and that I didn’t have to wait to read it. The guy just wanted a family to call his own and boy did he get one with the Mars. The way that he fit in with them and the way that they needed him made the relationship an equal one and I was glad for him.

Cerise was a great heroine. She was strong and she was caring and she really did have her family’s best interests at heart and seeing her try to protect everyone, think of everything and worry about everything in between trying to find her parents and fight the bad guys made me love her more and more with each passing page. She was smart and I really liked seeing her with William but also with her family. They were a tight-knit unit and she was at the top of the chain but she was the kind of leader that got her hands dirty right alongside the fighters and I thought she was awesome.

The romance between William and Cerise was fun but it was also believable. I loved seeing them get to know each other, fight alongside each other and then fall in love with each other. Seeing the effect Cerise had on William made me happy for him because he was fighting it for a little bit but who was he kidding? He loved the hell out of Cerise and I was so here for that. I really liked that Cerise was all in with William and was able to pull him into her family and be his support system. He was so used to being alone and seeing them figure their feelings and relationship out made an already great story, even greater.

This series is shaping up to be another fun one and while it’s not my favorite series of the Ilona Andrews bunch, it’s still enjoyable and I definitely recommend.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: On the Edge by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #1
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 29th 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 309
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

On the Edge is the first book in The Edge series by Ilona Andrews and it was just as great as the other books that I’ve read by this fantastic writing duo. It was a slow start for me because I was still hung up on the Hidden Legacy series but once I realized that Jack, George and Sophie from the Innkeeper Chronicles were in this series, I jumped right into this story and loved it all.

Rose Drayton is the sole provider for her two younger brothers, Jack and George after her mother dies and their father takes off. She’s doing the single mother routine and trying to make ends meet is getting harder and harder with the boys getting bigger and bigger every day. They’re not rich by any stretch and Rose is trying the best she can to provide but also to protect the boys. They live in the Edge, in between the Broken (the human world) and the Weird (super magical people) and in The Edge, the more magic you have, the better off you are. Unless you’re Rose Drayton, who has lots of magic but it’s more of a nuisance than anything. She wants to keep her head down and get through each day, making things easier on her brothers and all of that goes up in the air when Declan Camarine shows up.

Declan is from the Weird and he’s a Marshall over there so he’s pretty important. He’s in the Edge searching for an enemy from the Weird who is somewhere in the Edge. His search for this enemy brings him into contact with Rose Drayton and her family and before he knows what is what, he means to have Rose as his wife and they’re joining together to fight the bad guys.

Declan and Rose’s romance was fun and it was sweet and I enjoyed the heck out of it though I will be honest and say that for me, Jack and George were where it’s at. Their family dynamics made me happy and I was a bit bummed that William didn’t work out in the beginning. The more that I got to know Declan, the more he won me over that by the end, Declan and Rose just made sense.

The writing style flowed really well for me and it didn’t take me very long at all to jump right into the thick of things. Andrews is really good at drawing readers into the worlds that they create. I hope they write forever. The romance worked, the characters charmed me and by the time the book ended, I was anxious for more.

On the Edge is another fabulously written story that sets up a different series nicely. I definitely recommend if you like magic, powerful couples and family support that makes you happy. This was a good one.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Posted April 9, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. AikenReviewer: Holly
Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1) by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #1
Also in this series: Light My Fire, Dragon on Top, Bring the Heat, Bring the Heat
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: September 1st 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong...

Annwyl the Bloody is sister to the evil king of the realm. She’s been fighting his troops for years, slowly gathering support to form a rebellion meant to overthrow him. When she ends up on deaths doorstep outside a dragon’s den, she doesn’t expect to live. Either her brother’s soldiers will kill her, or the dragon will. But she isn’t going to go down cowering. She’ll go out as she lived, fighting for all she’s worth.

Fearghus the Destroyer is an antisocial dragon. He prefers being alone in his den to dealing with humans or other dragons. But Annwyl the Bloody intrigues him. Not only does her reputation proceed her, but she’s the only human he’s ever met who doesn’t cower from Dragons. She’s fierce and bold, and he can’t stop himself from wanting to heal, take care of and spend time with her. He knows if she wants to defeat her brother he needs better training. She has to learn to control her rage.

When Fearghus tells Annwyl he has a Knight who can help her hone her skill with a sword, she’s skeptical. But she can’t deny the man has skill. Still, for all of her attraction to the Knight, she prefers the company of the dragon.

This was such a good book. I loved how bloodthirsty and kickass the heroine was. She wasn’t a shrinking violet who needed to be saved. I loved Fearghus the dragon. He was so cute. Every time he and Annwyl snuggled I got all melty. I struggled more with her relationship with the Knight. They had a contentious relationship that didn’t really lend itself to softer feelings.

View Spoiler »

Still, I really enjoyed the story, the heroine and the dragon. This was a great start to what I hope will be a great series.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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