Darkfire Kiss (Dragonfire Series #6)

( 57 )

Overview

View our feature on Deborah Cooke’s Darkfire Kiss.

Rafferty Powell has resolved to destroy his hated arch-nemesis, Magnus Montmorency. The pair have exchanged challenge coins, and their next battle will be their last. But Rafferty never expected to meet a woman whose desire for Magnus's end matches his own-and whose soul sparks the firestorm within him...

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Darkfire Kiss (Dragonfire Series #6)

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Overview

View our feature on Deborah Cooke’s Darkfire Kiss.

Rafferty Powell has resolved to destroy his hated arch-nemesis, Magnus Montmorency. The pair have exchanged challenge coins, and their next battle will be their last. But Rafferty never expected to meet a woman whose desire for Magnus's end matches his own-and whose soul sparks the firestorm within him...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cooke's sixth Dragonfire paranormal (after Whisper Kiss) introduces humanity to the ancient shape-shifting dragons known as Pyrs and Slayers. When journalist Melissa Smith witnesses a battle between Pyr Rafferty and Slayer Magnus, she puts the pictures up on her blog. Rafferty tries to rein in the damage, but his life gets complicated when he touches Melissa and she gives off darkfire, an ancient mystical force long prophesied to bring about a world-shattering change. A substantial cast of characters sometimes makes the book feel needlessly complicated. Cooke's followers will be able to orient themselves more easily than a first-time reader, but quick action, engaging prose, and hot sex will encourage newcomers to persevere. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451233493
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Series: Dragonfire Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 434,923
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Cooke has always been fascinated with dragons, although she has never understood why they have to be the bad guys. She has an honors degree in history, with a focus on medieval studies.She is an avid reader of medieval vernacular literature, fairy tales and fantasy novels, and has written over forty romance novels under the names Claire Cross and Claire Delacroix.

Deborah makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn't writing, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Washington, D.C.
December 20, 2010

Ethics were so inconvenient.

Melissa Smith had worked with many people who either had no ethics or could easily ignore them. She’d never been that way, even in pursuit of a story.

No matter how much was at stake.

She parked her car on the street, not too close to the house she’d driven past a hundred times, and took a deep breath. It didn’t help. She was still freaked out. She closed her eyes and saw the wreckage of Daphne’s body, as vividly as if she were still standing in the morgue.

She wondered whether it was time for a change. In a real sense, her principles were all she had left. Melissa had lost her husband, her house, her dream job, her health, and her future. Her confidence had taken a pretty big hit, too. All she had left was the chance of restarting her career, in the hope of bringing truth to light. A legacy of truth was the only thing she could hope to build.

And maybe those ethics were the only thing standing in her way.

Did she want justice for Daphne enough to bend her own rules?

Daphne, Melissa knew, would have told her to make her own luck.

Melissa frowned, unhappy with the available options. She pulled out the note from Daphne one more time. It was terse, just as Daphne had always been, and just reading it made her feel her obligation to the girl.

It was her fault. . . .

The note had come two days before, in the mail as if it were no more important than a credit card bill. Enclosed with the note had been a key—a numbered key, likely to a storage locker.

Melissa had spent the whole day trying to guess where that storage locker might be. She hadn’t really believed that Daphne was dead. The girl was a consummate liar, albeit one with a good heart. She’d had to deceive to survive on the streets of Baghdad, which was where Melissa had first met the engaging, pretty, opportunistic girl. Daphne had had a charm about her, and she’d been reliable in unexpected moments.

Melissa had lost track of Daphne when she’d returned stateside again. She’d thought of the beggar girl often, worrying about her when she should have been worrying about herself.

No one had been more surprised than Melissa to encounter Daphne again three years later in the most unlikely of places—right in DC, dressed to the nines and on the arm of an affluent older man.

Magnus Montmorency.

It couldn’t have been a coincidence; Melissa had known that immediately. Montmorency had been the rumored power behind illicit arms deals in Baghdad—every trail led to his vicinity and stopped cold. Melissa had wanted to get that story more than anything. She had wanted to reveal Montmorency for the villain he was, but she’d run out of time.

In more ways than one.

Still, she would have known him anywhere. Seeing Daphne with Montmorency hadn’t reassured Melissa at all. She didn’t like that Daphne had become his mistress; that she had used Montmorency as her ticket to the future.

And it really didn’t help that Melissa had once asked Daphne in Baghdad to find out more about Montmorency’s connections. That had been before she’d realized how brutal he was.

She had a responsibility. . . .

The sight of Daphne’s body flicked through her thoughts again, as if the dead girl would taunt Melissa with her obligation. Montmorency must have killed Daphne. Melissa suspected as much but couldn’t prove a thing. It was the past all over again—the trail led to Montmorency’s vicinity and stopped cold.

But Daphne had provided the inside intelligence Melissa needed. If she had the guts to use it. She eyed the letter and tried to summon her resolve.

Melissa had done her homework, checking all the angles before she leapt into trouble. She’d always been thorough, instead of running with half a story. She’d gone to the morgue first, halfway suspecting that Daphne had been putting her on. No one could have been more astonished than Melissa when she found Daphne there, labeled as a Jane Doe. Not just dead. Fried. Only half of her face had remained intact enough to identify her remains.

Melissa would never forget that sight.

She’d then hunted down the lock that fit the numbered key, working her way through train stations and airports. She’d found the match at Washington Dulles. There’d been a duffel bag in it, one filled with Daphne’s apparent necessities. It confirmed that Daphne had been poised to run; that she’d known she was taking a big risk. She hadn’t lied about that.

The stuffed puppy Melissa had first given Daphne in Baghdad was in the bag, now well loved. The sight nearly stopped Melissa’s heart.

Deeper in the bag, she found Daphne’s diary.

It was a riveting read. The girl was a good reporter, thorough and detailed. If she’d survived, though, her story would have created questions. She was, after all, a beggar girl saved from the streets by Montmorency—her word against his wouldn’t stand a chance.

But in her diary, Daphne had documented where correlating evidence could be found against Montmorency.

It was in a small blue leather-bound book, one that was always in a certain place in the top right drawer of a desk in Montmorency’s fortified DC residence. Everything—everything—was documented there, according to Daphne.

It was the evidence Melissa needed.

The evidence she had wanted all those years ago.

She just had to break into the house to get it.

It wouldn’t be hard—Daphne had also provided the security codes to the house.

Melissa hesitated. It was a crime to break and enter. It was wrong. Even though Montmorency was suspected of being an arms dealer, even though he made sure nothing ever stuck to him and nothing could be traced to him, even though bringing him to justice would tip the balance in favor of good guys everywhere and would fulfill a personal goal of Melissa’s, it was still wrong to break into his home.

Dangerous, too.

Melissa swallowed and considered the house. She could almost hear Daphne calling her bluff. That girl would never have worried about a comparatively minor infraction, especially one in the pursuit of a greater good.

She’d taught Daphne to record the evidence, follow a trail, and build a story. Maybe Daphne was teaching her to take a chance.

What, really, did she have left to lose?

Headlights swept over Melissa’s car, and she instinctively hunched down in the seat. A large black armored Mercedes sedan pulled out of Montmorency’s driveway, the engine gunning as it headed downtown. Where was it going at this hour?

Melissa checked her watch. Ten past midnight.

Maybe the car was going to pick up Montmorency. The windows were tinted dark, so Melissa could see only the silhouette of a driver when it passed. She was sure its departure was a sign, if not an invitation. If the house was empty, this was her chance. Who knew how soon the car would return?

Daphne deserved justice. . . .

Melissa knew a person couldn’t always count on getting a second chance. She wouldn’t damage anything. She wouldn’t take much, just that little blue book from Montmorency’s desk. It wouldn’t take five minutes.

It would be easy.

It was a moral infraction that wouldn’t matter in the greater scheme of things.

Melissa didn’t believe that for a minute, but she got out of her car anyway. It was snowing lightly, the snow melting on contact with the pavement. There would be no mark of her footsteps—another sign.

She pulled on her leather gloves and turned up her collar. She wrapped her scarf across her face as if she were cold, even though she was perspiring in her anxiety. After all, she wasn’t in the habit of breaking the law. She reminded herself of the power of the greater good. She reminded herself of her debt to a little beggar girl who deserved justice.

Then Melissa marched across the street toward Montmorency’s house, as if she had every right to be there.

In a way, she did.

Daphne would have insisted as much.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Entire series highly recommended particularly if you like dragon series like I do.

    I had been looking for a good dragon series since finishing G.A. Akin's delightful series. I couldn't find one with her particular hilarious sense of humor, but Deborah Cooke's intricate story lines and detailed characters made up for that in spades. The thing I like best about Cooke's series is that we don't loose her characters from book to book. They are not just mentioned, we are able to see how their lives and their relationships have progressed, including in some cases even their children's development. That is so unusual, for me it is a real kick! I love this series. The other great thing for me is that I came upon this writer after she had added seven books to the series. There is absolutely nothing I enjoy more about reading a story than being able to move from one book to the next without having to wait. Needless to say, I am having a ball! My advice to the like minded-join the party.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fans will relish Rafferty finding his muse

    Pyr Rafferty Powell and his enemy Slayer Magnus Montmorency are in a death struggle. Rafferty vows this is the last time as he searches for Magnus. However, Rafferty is taken aback when he observes a mortal female break into the home of his adversary.

    In 2010 in DC, as she visits the morgue human reporter Melissa Smith is irate with a need for vengeance against Magnus the arms dealer. She believes he arranged for the murder of her source Daphne. However, Melissa is taken aback when she observes two dragons in mortal combat as Magnus and Rafferty battle one another. As she takes photos of the fight, her arrival and subsequent touch liberate Rafferty's Firestorm, of which the fire is the ancient darkfire.

    The sixth Dragonfire "Kiss" romantic urban paranormal continues the countdown war between the dragon shifting species the human protector Pyrs and the human (and Pyr) genocidal Slayers. The action-packed storyline grips the audience from the first coin exchange and never slows down as the fight heats up between the adversaries while the human turns the linear combat into a triangle. Although newcomers would be better off reading the previous entries (see Winter Kiss and Whisper Kiss), fans will relish Rafferty finding his muse.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is Rafferty's firestorm, one you can't miss

    The one thing that Rafferty Powell longs for is his firestorm, but when it comes it comes with an ancient omen, darkfire, an omen of change. The question is will that change be for the better or the worse. Melissa Smith is used to disappointments but she's vowed to rise once again like the phoenix from the ashes, only it's not a phoenix that she sees but dragons, honest to God fire breathing dragons and as she's taking photos she tells herself what any self respecting journalist thinks, a picture is worth a thousand words. But she and Rafferty have much to do because with the darkfire comes the uncertainty of not only their future but the future of the entire planet.
    Deborah Cooke can tell a story, let's say a story about fire breathing, shape-shifting dragon people and have her audience not only believe her but want one for themselves. Okay that was me talking. She gives us story lines that comes straight from Marvel comics or from the pages of an Arthurian legend , but then she takes it one step further, she gives them heart and soul and makes it a romance to boot. Now if her story line is over the top how could you possible describe the characters, well that's the easy part, they're Awesome, Stupendous, and best of all handsome devils, uh I mean dragons. The main characters in this episode of the life and times of the Pyr. Rafferty and Melissa make a perfect pair and unlike some of the previous firestorms we've witnessed they don't try to avoid or negate it, in fact they jump in with both feet and darn the consequences and consequences there are. The romance is almost painful to watch because these two really deserve their Happy Ever After and there's so much against them, but when fate prevails you'll be cheering along with the others while drying your tears of joy. The love scenes are, well they're as hot as the fire the dragons breathe, it's lusty and sexy and earthy and yeah you'll need to lower the thermostat to get through it.
    If this is your first dragon experience, have no fear this reads pretty well on it's own, but then do yourself a huge favor and get the rest, find out where they came from and in the process you'll find out where they're going as well. Don't wait until it comes out in May, pre-order it now. You won't be sorry.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Darkfire Kiss

    This book kept me glued to my seat from beginning to end!!

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Great

    Omg, the best series i've read in a long time, we need to discover more dragons

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    OK this one is about Rafferty

    Finally. I would have written it differently, but it's her series. I'll still be buying the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Fun read!

    I'm a big fan of the (dragonfire series) and this is a great sexy adventure like all the rest!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    Enjoyable

    I enjoyed it, mostly, but I didn't love it. I was expecting something more, from all the amazing reviews she has for her books. I just found myself skipping pages ocassionaly in order to finish it.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Another must read!!

    I have been waiting for Rafferty's firestorm since the series started and I wasn't left disappointed. She throws in love, tragedy, and a lot of kicking butt, all to make it a must read. Anyone who likes paranormal, romance, and the good guys winning is going to like this book. I have read all of her dragonfire series and I'm already looking out for the next one. All readers need to try this one out, you wont regrett it.

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    Posted July 10, 2011

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