Title: Fire Rising
Series: Dark Kings #2
Author: Donna Grant
Format: eBook/Paperback, 384 pages
Published: June 3rd 2014 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | ARe
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Tristan, the newest Dragon King, is having a tough time fitting in. Despite his ability to transform into a proud, strong dragon at will, no one knows where he came from or how he became a Dragon King, including himself. When trouble arises in the form of the mob, Tristan is going to have to put aside his questions and band with the other Dragon Kings to protect Dreagan. As if things weren’t complicated enough, he is about to find something worth fighting for more important than the Dragon Kings…
Sammie Miller, pub owner in Oban, has been scorned by her business partner—and former lover. Used as a front for money laundering with the mob, Sammie is in great danger once she realizes what has happened. Barely escaping, she plans to rest at Dreagan for only a day before going back on the run. When Tristan swears to protect her, Sammie thinks his efforts will be in vain—the mob is too powerful, and it will take more than the average man’s devotion to keep her safe. But the closer she gets to Tristan, and the more he learns his secrets, Sammie can’t deny that having a Dragon King who worships you, body and soul, isn’t such a bad thing…
HOLY MACHO DRAGON KING HOTNESS!
FIRE RISING is the second book in Donna Grant's impassioned Dark Kings series about Scottish dragon shifters. I love my Highlanders AND my dragons and this read had both laced with sexy Scottish brogue! The Dark Kings are a spin-off from her Dark Warriors series which in turn are a spin-off from her Dark Sword series. All are set in the Highlands of Scotland. I inhaled the first book in this series, DARKEST FLAME. There are interconnected characters and continuing threads in the series. FIRE RISING can be read as a standalone as the author seamlessly fills in needed background information. However, I would expect that your enjoyment would be exponentially increased the more previous books you have read.
FIRE RISING was originally published as a four-part serialized story. I am not a fan of serialized books. Fortunately, FIRE RISING is now available all together - that's the way I read it and I did not want to put it down once I started it.
The world and characters the author has created are incredible. FIRE RISING is the story of Samantha ‘Sammi’ Miller and Tristan/Duncan, a very young dragon king of amber dragons and a former warrior. Both were strong, well-drawn, relatable characters whose chemistry was in spontaneous combustion mode from the get-go. At the beginning, Sammi describes Tristan thusly:
“Sammi watched him walk toward her.
He walked like a predator, a conqueror. A king who ruled and commanded all. He was sex and sin, decadence and sensuality.
He was, simply put, spectacular.”
Their scenes together were both heartwarming and erotically sensual. You can enjoy just a taste of their chemistry from a few of my favorite quotes:
“She slid her fingers into his thick hair and melted while he kissed her as if there were no tomorrow. He tempted, he seduced, he enticed.
And she willingly followed.”
“She trusted him. Her heart knew him.
And her body wanted him.”
“She lifted a shoulder casually and slowly blinked.
"Where do you want to be?"
"With you," he answered without hesitation.”
I had so many favorite scenes, but my absolute favorite was when Sammi discovered that Tristan was a dragon. She took it much better than I would have expected. :-)
While FIRE RISING does not lack in the romance department, the romance seemed, at times, to be secondary to the captivating combination of family dynamics, heart-pounding action, mystery, danger and gripping suspense. The main plot involves the continuing struggle of the dragon kings with former king Ulrik. Ulrik is still seeking revenge and wreaking havoc. Tristan's lack of memory of his previous life is another huge issue and watching his relationship with his twin brother re-ignite and go through a healing process was heartrending. Rhi's situation is interwoven throughout also. I hope Rhi gets her own story in a future book.
Other supporting characters were fabulous, too, from the other dragons, to Tristan's friends and family in his prior reincarnation, to the fae. OMG... the dark fae made my skin crawl. I absolutely adored Rhi, a light fae! She's beautiful, has had a rough life, possesses a heart of gold, is ingenious and is a talented fighter to boot. She's a huge asset to the dragon kings; but not all of them appreciate her. I want to shake Con!!!! I laughed out loud as Rhi amusingly described her large collection of nail polish shades with names like Gargantuan Green, Hearts & Tarts, and Cha-Ching Cherry. When she is incarcerated at one point in the story, one of her first thoughts is that her polish has chipped.
Bottomline: Fire Rising is a great addition to Donna's Dark Kings series. Fans of sizzling paranormal romance won't want to miss it. The author's writing and word-building are first-rate. There's not a dull moment in the book. I loved the very satisfying ending but did not like that there's also a few unresolved pseudo-cliffhangers that will hopefully find satisfactory resolutions in the series soon. The third book in this series, BURNING DESIRE is scheduled to be released in September 2014. It will feature another of the dark kings, Kiril, who has been perilously working undercover in Ireland to ferret out information from the dark fae. I can't wait!