This book was provided to Paranormal Romance Lovers and the reviewer for free in return for a review.
Please note this review may contain spoilers!
Cade Bowman lost his humanity to a fire elemental intent on revenge. Trapped as his wolf, his pack gone, he paces his cage day and night, powerless against his tormentor's charms. When a mistake gives him the chance to flee, he has one hope of escaping her. Hide out in a car headed off Orcas Island.
Visiting her favorite beach for one last swim, Mara Taylor knows she'll die soon. The mysterious blood disorder ending her life resists treatment, and she's tired of fighting. But when she discovers an injured, emaciated wolf in her car, she finds something to live for. This animal needs her, and she'll nurse him back to health before the end.
When the two start to heal each other, Cade realizes that Mara isn't just the key to freeing him from the fire elemental's charms. She's his.
Can Mara free Cade from his wolf and save her own life in the process? And if she does, can they survive when they learn the identity of the fire elemental hunting them both?
I would have to say one of the best recommendations for any book is one that starts the reader off by quickly enfolding them into the writer’s world. Especially a new fantasy series like this one.
Ms. Auclair leads the story with her heroine narrating and easily ensnares the new reader into her plight and motivations. The heroine herself is a human in a world where that no longer means dominant and she has a somewhat limited understanding of the world around her, which only highlights how the reader is also generally unaware of the mechanics of this world. Slowly as the tale unfolds so do the details and it really feels like you are taking the journey into a broader understanding of life, love, and a very dangerous environment right along with the heroine.
The hero too is a complex and layered character who surprises the reader multiple times. He starts off very standoffish, even in his own internal monologue, and gradually opens to reveal more and more. As a reader who loves character driven stories, this one knocked it way out of the park.
The plot, on the whole, was good. I enjoyed the subtle deviations from the standard mold. Utilizing a radical almost religious aspect for the large antagonistic motivation was well done and very resonant with our own world. My favorite element however were the dragons. I liked that while sentient and bonded to a humanoid, they are still very much large beastly predators. I enjoyed the well written glimpses into Rhyl’s mind and the life of the dragons in general. Though it did leave me curious for more, which again is a great thing for a new series! The bond between the dragons and the draekons is also a new and intriguing twist on a shifter-style romance. I’m definitely looking forward to some more information as this series develops.
In the end I had to give this book three stars. And not because I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it or have every intention of reading all of the rest of this series. There were however a decent amount of editing issues i.e. words misspelled or misused, conversations that were difficult to follow who was speaking at points and things of that nature. There were also two stand out moments where I lost track of what was going on in the scene and where the characters were with sudden shifts and changes that were not explained. Those places threw off the pace and altogether enjoyment of the story as I had to come out of it to figure out what was going on enough to move forward. So I do highly recommend it, just be on the lookout for a few unpolished parts!
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