This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Released on September 10, 2013
Dragons, Hottie Cowboy suspect, Small Town Backdrop for an arson mystery? Bring it, baby! I read the blurb and was convinced that reading this one would be no hardship. I love being right.
Lynn Alexander is from a long line of Japanese dragons. Her life has hit an all time low with the death of her grandmother that she is convinced is her fault, estrangement with her mother, finding her long-time boyfriend had cheated on her with a skank and being stuck in a dead-end dull job of writing ad jingles instead of using her journalism degree. Her dragon is even restless and she tries to follow her dead dragon grandmother’s advice about centering herself. After the mishaps with her dragon, would she ever be able to trust and accept that side of her nature? Something has to give.
And that something happens when she gets a premonition in the middle of the night that her best friend, Jen who has moved out to West Texas, is in trouble. Lynn looses her dragon and flies with all possible speed to her friend not knowing what she will find. On arrival and spotting a wildfire headed for Jen’s house, she is hit with the scent of another dragon and her own dragon goes lusty when she is slammed with all those musky male pheromones. Little does she know that her arrival on the scene has put her on someone’s radar. She takes care of the fire and transforms just in time to avoid freaking out the regular humans. The fire was no accident and a dragon was involved. Firefighters and other rescue workers are swarming so she can’t tell who the dragon is. Fire investigators rule it arson, but soon another suspicious fire occurs and this time its a family home so off they all go to do what they can even Lynn.
At the Jarvis fire, Lynn meets the enigmatic Jack Callaghan who rescues young Timmy and his cat. He’s heroic, he’s fun and he’s attractive, but she suspects that he’s something more and too good to be true. As the facts and clues mount up, Jack stays high on a short list of others as her suspect as the dragon arsonist. Are the fires connected to the new secret development project or is a male dragon trying to impress her with a bizarre dragon form of courtship? Is Jack, the man she can’t get out of her thoughts, the dragon or not? Lynn can’t make heads or tails of anything and the one stocking her is getting ever closer to what he wants.
The plot on this one grabbed me from the get go. I enjoyed the dual dilemma of solving the arson crimes as well as figuring out the dragon angle. Everyone seemed to have their secrets, agendas and pasts so it was pretty up in the air at first before the change in narrators from Lynn to the others helped me as the reader know what was going on overall even if the main players were still in the dark. With the understanding I got knowing what was going on before Lynn and Jack did, it did leave me impatient at times while I waited for them to figure it all out. Not that I blame Lynn.
The pacing fluctuated a bit as it shifted between action and internal stuff when characters had to deal with personal growth. It never got boring and a few times it got downright nailbiter-thrilling. There were some side issues that I was glad to see dealt with like the thing with her mom, the situation around her grandmother’s death, Jack’s family history and understanding who and what the dragon master was. The climax was nice and big. I wondered in that last bit as it raced along how they could possibly get out of such a tight spot. The resolution was a bit abrupt, but satisfying nonetheless with the direction it was pointing toward.
The backdrop of the West Texas community and the people was a treat and could almost be included as another character in the story because of how well-developed it was. I’ve never been in that part of Texas, but I felt like I was through the descriptions in the story. Description was woven in so that it added depth without bogging down the story.
The dragon aspect was creatively done. A little background into the dragon history was given and a bit about that side of Lynn’s nature and that of other dragons, but it was left more of a mystery in ways. My curiosity led me to wanting more, but I have to admit that much more would have interfered with pace and plot. It suited the story to have less anyway because Lynn herself is a young dragon and alone now just trying to find her way so it wouldn’t make sense for her to have all the answers about her race.
The story teetered between a combo of character development, suspense and romance. It got a bit heated (no pun intended) a few times between Lynn and Jack, but the other components of the story interfered before it could get too interesting. Lynn had trust issues mostly in herself plus she still hadn’t accepted her dragon half so couldn’t imagine anyone else accepting her dragon either. Jack had the Callaghan name and reputation to live down so he had to gain perspective and realize that he wasn’t the only one who faced not being accepted for who they were. It was interesting getting the villain’s perspective woven in to make him more than just a two-dimensional figure.
But back to Lynn and Jack- hooboy were they good together. Jack is almost every girl’s dream because he’s a sexy cowboy AND firefighter. Lynn thought he was an arsonist and killer and could barely resist all that charm and appeal. Let’s just say that I found him so appealing that I didn’t care if he was the bad guy. Kidding, sort of…
So all in all, it was an engaging read with its blend as a Paranormal Romantic Suspense hinting at a bit of spiciness and promising a bit of danger.
My thanks to the author for sending along a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.