This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by St. Martin's Publishing
Darkest Flame by Donna Grant is the first installment in a serialized book and also the first full book in her Dragon Kings series. Having read Dark Craving, I knew I would love this series. Unfortunately it is a serial book, so I am waiting impatiently for the last book to come out.
In book #1 we meet Denae Lacroix, a MI5 agent, sent on a mission to investigate an area called Dreagan with her partner Matt. Not knowing what she has been sent in to investigate, she is shocked when her partner turns on her and tries to make her “bait”, but bait for what she doesn’t know. Fighting for her life is the upmost in her mind, not if she is being watched.
Kellan is a dragon king. When all of his Bronze Dragons are killed centuries ago, he sends what is left of them onto a new dimension, but says behind. Tasked with protecting humans, he grows in his hatred of them for the brutal slaying of his group. Not wanting to continue, he goes into a deep sleep for thousands of years. Now his slumber is disturbed by two humans. He watches and waits.
These two mostly just meet in this story and swap a little about themselves. This is no fall down in love kind of story. Denae is realizing her life will be on the run since her MI5 betrayed her. Then there is Kellan who hates all humans. Bickering with a hint of passion behind it is what you get.
Also the re-introduction of some past characters comes into play with Con, the King of the Kings Dragon. While I haven’t read the two books between Dark Craving and this book, I didn’t feel lost…that came later.
While this is part of a larger story arc, there wasn’t much in the way of falling in love, but mostly a solid foundation for the rest of the story was laid out.
Determined to get Denae out of Scotland safely, wipe her memories of Dragons and go back to sleep, Kellan is a little put out when the Dark Fae and MI5 come knocking to kidnap Denae and him. Thwarted at the pier, Kellan decides to take Denae to one to the safe spots he set up years ago.
The two war with words back and forth and misunderstandings flourish. When Kellan has enough, he throws Denae up against the wall, kissing her with all the passion he has been bottling up. But he still thinks this is just a relief of his cock after sleeping so long.
Through the night these two set fire to each other’s bodies until I was even hot from the flame. But as dawn slowly arrives, so do the Dark Fae and MI5. Now not even Rhys (another dragon with them) nor Rhi (a Light Fae – not really a friend, but not an enemy either), can save these two from capture
Now captured by the Dark Fae, Kellen is fighting for their lives. He realizes Denae is more than just a casual lay, but he also knows the Dark Fae will use her against him. Shackled by magic chains that will not allow him to shift, Kellan continues to think of an escape plan.
In the same cell, Denae resists the sexual spell of the Dark Fae, which makes her a challenge. Sexually assaulted, but not raped, Denae tries to retain her mind and keep from losing herself in the despair Dark Fae leader wants her to feel.
Meanwhile, the wakened Dragon Kings are mounting a rescue, while sexual tension runs of Rhi and Con, or at least tension. These two bicker with true hatred at times. Hints of Tristan’s past is where I got confused. Tristan is the newest dragon who fell out of the sky. The first in a long time. But he has a past he doesn’t remember. This is where a lot of my confusion came in. Especially when they introduce Phelan and his wife. This is where I think you really need to have read the other two stories in the series.
Through it all, I was impressed with how Kellen held it together but also wouldn’t reveal the dragon secret that could end them all. Through all of this there is an evil one that has no name and the dragons don’t know who he is. He is orchestrating the down fall of humans and dragons. There are a few suspects, but they seem to obvious.
Rhi, Con, Phelan, and Tristan make up a good portion of this part and I enjoyed their interaction, but also wanted to know all the secrets I seem to be missing and also haven’t been told. The Dark Fae are really a nasty group of people and I look forward to taking them down.
There is some more sex between Kellan and Denae, but it is over fairly quickly due to their situation. No less hot and invigorating.
You know me. I detest serial series like this. Forgetfulness and impatience don’t help. So now I am waiting on the fourth and final installment. If this had been bundled into just one book, I would be in heaven and not having to break up my reviews. Unfortunately, being separate books broke up the flow between them and made it feel chunkier. Each installment was good by itself, but you can’t just read the installments without the others.
The sexual tension builds up in book one into book two with a nice cumulation of body parts that warms up even my cold body today.
In the end though, I will have to go back and get the books I missed in this series to truly appreciate how they all fit together.
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