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I listened to book 0 and enjoyed that one enough to make try book 1. Glad I did. Enjoyed Darkest Flame very much. Nice lead female in this story.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Fabulous narration by Antony Ferguson. This dragon-shifter erotic and suspenseful romance includes several explicit m/f sex scenes, several battle scenes (not gory), no offensive language (no crude terms for females, little or no swearing or profanity). This is the first book in the series, but it contains some characters from a related series (which I haven't read).
Lovers: Kellan the immortal dragon-shifter (king of the bronze dragons) and secret agent Denae Lacroix, a Texan working for British MI-5.
Setting: Scotland and Ireland in contemporary times.
Plot: A few rogue MI-5 agents join forces with an outcast dragon-shifter (Ulric, king of the silver dragons) and the Dark Fae, attempting to overthrow the other dragon kings and all mankind. The Light Fae play a big role, too.
The story is told in 3rd person POV, shifting among varied characters. The author's writing style is okay for light entertainment, but stands improvement. The world-building is sketchy in places, but I liked the idea of dragon species varying by metallic scales (silver, gold, bronze, copper, etc). Decent dialogue. Interesting description of the dragon keep. Some vivid action scenes. Too much time is spent in thinking, but the guilt-trip trope is not a major driver here (thankfully). We get the thoughts of Denae, Kellan, Rhi, Phelin, Con. The POV bounced all over.
I grew tired of certain overused phrases: "his celadon gaze" (green eyes, big hairy whoop). "Her whiskey eyes" (whatever), "the king of kings" (a lordy phrase in more ways than one — better to just refer to the head honcho as Con, Constantine, King Con, or King of the Golds). Like so many romance authors, too much focus on what the characters are wearing. Who cares? Tell me a story about what they do.
The story started off really strong, with suspense surrounding two MI-5 agents entering the cave of a dragon-shifter. However, all too soon the main characters (Kellan and Denae) begin to act illogically and out of character, to drive the plot towards sex at unwise (unsafe) times and places. Plot contrivances bug me. Have sex where it's safe, unless you want me to think you're too stupid to live. Same goes for the scene where Denae went freely into the jail, with NO escape plan. And how exactly did they escape? — the means made little sense.
Not a cliffhanger at the end, since everyone is safe for now, but some unresolved issues and questions point towards the sequel.
Excerpt from chapter one, when Kellan first encounters Denae. She's fighting for her life in his cave in Scotland.
"Kellan shifted his head. It had been many centuries since he’d seen a human, and quite frankly, he could go through eternity without seeing another. How he despised them.
He didn’t like his sleep being disturbed either. Yet, he knew Constantine wouldn’t be happy if he made himself known in his dragon form and ate the two intruders. As tempting as that might be.
His only other option would be to shift into human form and confront them. And that was too distasteful to even consider.
Kellan stayed in his spot and watched as the two circled each other. Nothing’s changed. Humans always fighting.
No matter how many centuries passed, no matter what country he visited, the humans were all the same. Selfish, belligerent, arrogant, greedy bastards."
6 of 7 people found this review helpful