Burning Bright

Burning Bright

by Chris Cannon

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640635777
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 06/04/2018
Series: Going Down in Flames , #5
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 405
Sales rank: 57,413
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com. Subscribe to her newsletter at http://www.chriscannonauthor.com/connect/ to be notified about new releases.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

It had been three months since the Rebel dragons had attacked campus ... three months since Rhianna had died ... three months since Bryn had released Valmont from being her knight ... three months since it felt like she'd had her heart ripped out of her chest ... three months since anything had seemed normal or right or good in the world.

Summer had passed by in a flash. There had been far too many funeral pyres and not enough contact with her friends or her parents. Despite Bryn's intentions to hang out with Clint and Ivy, her grandparents had kept her hopping from one Blue event to another. And the singular constant at these events had been Jaxon. Not that she hated her former nemesis, but she didn't want to spend all her free time with him, either. Whenever they were together, her grandparents constantly mentioned their impending marriage of doom. She had finally mastered the art of not flinching when people brought up her marriage contract to Jaxon, although she sometimes experienced a tic in her left eye.

Then there was the problem of her parents, or rather, how the Directorate was dealing with her parents. All hybrids and disenfranchised dragons had been shuttled off to a town on the far side of the forest. Sanctuary seemed like an ironic name for the old mining town with rundown cabins. Of course they were building better housing, but that would take time. It was a place where mixed-Clan dragons didn't have to hide their true identity, so maybe the name wasn't a bad choice after all.

Once her parents had settled in, she'd hoped to spend time with them. That hadn't happened because until the Directorate decided that all the dangerous rebels had been rooted out, the citizens of Sanctuary weren't allowed to leave their new town. Which made the place more like a free-range prison. Bryn had been allowed to call her parents, but not visit them in person.

"Bryn, are you ready?" Her grandmother pushed her bedroom door open. "We leave for the Institute in fifteen minutes."

The Institute for Excellence was a school for shape-shifting dragons that masqueraded as an expensive boarding school.

"I'm all packed." Bryn pointed at the suitcases by the door. "But I'm not sure I want to go."

"It's your senior year," her grandmother said. "Not that you'll understand this at your age, but enjoy it, because the older you become the faster time flies. It feels like these past three months went by in the blink of an eye."

"They did," Bryn agreed.

"I know you're disappointed about not being able to visit your mother, but I think that might change in the next few weeks."

"Really?" It was about damn time.

"The Directorate has finished their background checks on almost all of the dragons living in Sanctuary. The students have been cleared to return to school."

That was great news. For the first time, she wouldn't be the only hybrid at school. Of course, she might still be the only Red-Blue hybrid because the middle class and the elite didn't mix very often. On a different note, her parents should have been cleared of suspicion from day one. They hadn't had anything to do with dragons since they'd run away to escape their arranged marriages. Bryn found it ironic that she was legally bound to marry the son of the man her mother had rejected all those years ago. Not that she faulted her mom, because Jaxon's father, Ferrin, was the most loathsome asshat on the planet. Still, fate seemed to have a twisted sense of humor.

"We should go," her grandmother said. "You don't want to keep Jaxon waiting."

Bryn managed not to roll her eyes. but couldn't help muttering, "I'm sure he's counting the minutes since he's last seen me."

* * *

Bryn was thrilled to find Clint and Ivy, her best friends, waiting for her outside the Blue dorm. After spending all summer with the golden-skinned, blond-haired Blue Clan, it was refreshing to see her friends from the Black Clan — dark-haired, ivory-skinned dragons with tattoos and wild hair. She hugged Ivy. "I missed you guys."

"We missed you, too. You were hardly ever there when we called," Ivy said. "What in the heck were you doing?"

"Socializing," Bryn said. "Which means networking, and smiling, and nodding while trying to keep up the facade that I fit in with the Blue Clan."

"Sounds dead boring," Clint said.

"There was usually food, so that was the one saving grace." Bryn opened the door of the Blue dorm. "Come in with me while I put my things away."

"Now that you're all upper class, shouldn't you have a maid do that for you?" Ivy teased.

"I volunteered to take care of this myself," Bryn said. Her grandparents had maids, and cooks, and staff who took care of normal everyday life activities. "I'd rather put my own things away so I know where they are." Plus sitting back and watching someone do something she herself was capable of made her uncomfortable.

Clint and Ivy followed her inside. Most of the students in the first-floor lounge glanced her way and nodded in acknowledgement, which was weird. Last year at this time few of them would have spoken to her except to insult her.

"That was different," Ivy said as they climbed the steps to the second floor.

Clint yawned. "Less talking and more coffee ... and bacon. I feel the distinct need for bacon."

As if on cue, Bryn's stomach growled. "Breakfast sounds good." When they reached her room, Bryn unlocked it with her key. She stepped across the threshold and stared at the couch where she had spent so much time with her knight and former boyfriend Valmont. A spot in her chest ached as the bittersweet memories assaulted her. "I wonder if my grandmother would care if I bought a new couch."

"I could accidentally electrocute that one for you." Clint produced a ball of lightning in his hand.

"I might take you up on that." Bryn carried her suitcases into her room.

"Have you heard from Valmont?" Ivy asked as she followed Bryn.

"No and it's probably better that way." She pointed at the room across the hall from hers. "I still think of that as Rhianna's room."

"When you add Valmont and Rhianna together this dorm room has way too many emotional memories," Ivy said. "Why don't you ask if you can move to a new one?"

"I couldn't do that, because that would show weakness. At least that's what my grandfather would say."

"Blue Clan logic is weird," Clint said.

"You have no idea. The day after all the funerals, my grandmother scheduled me for this whirlwind of events where I had to spend time with Jaxon. When I asked why we were acting like we hadn't just lost people we cared about, she said that was the point. It was our job to show we were strong enough to go on and the Rebels hadn't won."

"That is some screwed up logic," Ivy said. "Black dragons binge-watch television, eat ice cream, and cry their way through several boxes of Kleenex."

"That's what I did after all the stupid parties ... when I was alone in my room," Bryn said. "I'm betting that's what all the other Blues secretly do but they'd never admit it." "I never thought I'd ask this question," Clint said. "But how is Jaxon coping?"

"For the first month after Rhianna's funeral, he barely spoke to anyone, which I understood. Then he went through a robot phase where he talked but showed zero emotion. As of a few days ago, he's sort of back to his normal self but with a hair-trigger temper which makes him loads of fun to be around."

"I wish life would go back to normal," Ivy said.

"I'm not sure what normal is anymore." Bryn's stomach growled.

"You need to be fed," Clint said. "and that is normal."

A knock sounded on Bryn's door.

Please don't let that be Jaxon. And that thought made her feel like a bad person. She opened the door and, of course, there stood Jaxon. "Hello, what's going on?"

"If you'd invite me inside, rather than leaving me standing in the hall, I could tell you," Jaxon said.

CHAPTER 2

Bryn tamped down on her instinct to snark back and waved Jaxon into the room. He spotted Clint and Ivy and frowned.

"Bryn," he said. "We need to talk."

Nope. "We were heading down to breakfast. Whatever it is, it can wait until after I've had coffee and bacon."

"No. It can't." When he spoke to her using his holier-than-thou my-father-is-Speaker-for-the-Directorate tone, she remembered why she had once shot a fireball at his head.

"Do you really want to come between me and my coffee?" Bryn asked.

"Fine. Then I'll accompany you to the dining hall and we'll eat breakfast together." Jaxon said this like he was issuing a challenge.

She could see where this was going. He'd insist on joining them if she didn't give him his way. At this point she'd rather hear him out than spend breakfast with him. "You have five minutes to speak your mind, and then you'll go away so I can eat in peace with my friends. Deal?"

"Deal." Jaxon glanced at Clint and Ivy. "Do you mind?"

"Do we mind what?" Clint asked, like he didn't realize Jaxon wanted to speak with Bryn alone.

"Why don't you guys go to the dining hall and save me a seat?" Bryn said, just to move them along.

"Sure. We'll fly from your terrace." Ivy grabbed her boyfriend and pulled him down the hall.

Once they were gone, Bryn said, "What's on your mind?"

"I think you should change rooms."

That wasn't what she expected him to say. "I'd love to change rooms, but is that what my grandfather would want me to do?"

Jaxon's gaze traveled toward the door where Rhianna used to live when she was Bryn's roommate. "If it was just due to your knight, I'd agree, but I believe he'd understand why I'd wish for you to relocate."

When he put it that way — more about Rhianna and his feelings than about her not wanting to be reminded of Valmont, it made sense. "If you put in the request rather than me, I'd be more than happy to move."

"Thank you." His upper-class Blue demeanor slipped. "Being back here at school ... there are so many memories ... it's harder than I thought it would be."

And now she felt like a total jerk for giving him crap. With a normal person, Bryn's first instinct would be to hug him. She didn't think Jaxon would be okay with that maneuver, though, so she settled for touching him on the shoulder. "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."

* * *

Bryn caught up with Clint and Ivy in the dining hall and explained Jaxon's request.

Ivy opened her mouth to speak and then stopped, blinking her eyes furiously. "I can't even talk about the attack without crying. God forbid if something had happened to Clint ... I have no idea how Jaxon is holding himself together."

"It's our senior year," Clint said. "And not to sound petty, but I never imagined death and destruction would be a part of my high school experience."

Bryn stirred sugar into her cup of coffee while she thought about something. "My grandmother says our job is to remember the ones we lost while moving forward and trying to make the most of what and who we still have."

"Okay. Let's talk about what we have." Clint pulled out his class schedule with a flourish.

"That's not what I meant." Bryn laughed. "But go on."

"Give me yours so we can compare," Clint said.

She and Ivy both passed over their class lists and watched as Clint lined them up on the table.

"We have Mr. Stanton for Advanced Elemental Science first hour. Ivy and I have History second hour. Bryn you have Beginning Quintessential Medicine."

"I can't wait to start learning Quintessential medicine for real." Everything she'd done up to that point had been based on a small amount of training and a lot of instinct. The results hadn't always been optimal.

"Third hour we have Basic Movement," Clint said. "Next is lunch and then all of us end the day with Proper Decorum."

"How many more forks can there possibly be?" Bryn asked.

"Maybe we'll learn something exciting this year," Ivy said. "Like how to fold napkins into origami swans."

Bryn sipped her coffee and tried to be subtle about checking out her fellow students because her grandmother had been on her all summer about staring at people. The tables seemed emptier than normal. Orientation wasn't until tomorrow, so some students might not arrive until then ... still, it seemed like they were missing a third of the normal crowd.

"Why do you think we're missing so many students?" There had been casualties among the students, but not this many.

"Some students finished their college degrees so they won't be coming back," Ivy said. "Plus Orientation officially starts tomorrow, so maybe some students aren't coming until then."

"Not to sound ungrateful to my grandparents for all that they've done, but I couldn't wait to come back to school." Bryn leaned in close and spoke in a quiet voice. "I spent every waking minute with Blues, and I had to constantly be on my best behavior, which was exhausting. I mean, why does anyone care if you put your elbows on the table?" To make a point Bryn put both her elbows on the table.

"You're such a rebel," Ivy said.

"I've been going on about myself," Bryn said. "Tell me about your summer."

"It was pretty good," Clint said, "but it felt like there was a layer of sadness and disbelief floating in the air."

Ivy sighed. "I keep feeling like I can't relax or have fun because that would be disloyal to the dragons who are no longer with us."

Bryn had heard the phrase survivor's guilt but hadn't really understood it until now. "During the battle, if I had been faster ..." She blinked her eyes rapidly to hold back tears. "If I'd managed to intercept the second dragon attacking Jaxon, then Rhianna would still be here."

"You can't think like that," Ivy said. "Rhianna did what she did out of love."

Clint put his arm around Ivy's shoulders. "I'd sacrifice myself to protect Ivy and she'd do the same for me. It was Rhianna's choice."

Bryn nodded because her throat felt too thick to speak. Several nights a week, since the attack on campus, her brain had replayed the battle. Over and over again she'd seen Rhianna fall from the sky. What Clint said was true. Rhianna had thrown herself between Jaxon and the second attacker because saving him meant more to her than her own life.

It was a sad realization that there was no one in the world who cared about her like that, and there probably never would be. She and Jaxon were legally bound together by a marriage contract, but she had no delusions about him ever truly caring for her — or she for him — as anything more than a friend.

"Let's talk about something happier," Ivy said. "We're supposed to be celebrating the beginning of our senior year."

"I'd love to do something fun," Bryn said. "What are our options?"

"We could go to Dragon's Bluff," Ivy said. "And shop for cool stuff for your new room."

Dragon's Bluff was a town populated by humans descended from knights. The town had a symbiotic relationship with dragons and the Institute. They protected the dragon's secret and in return their businesses prospered. But there was more to it than that. Every person in Dragon's Bluff carried a latent magic spell in their blood. If they stepped up to defend a dragon, to protect them from a perceived threat, they were transformed into a knight and became magically bonded to that dragon. Valmont, a waiter in Dragon's Bluff, had performed an act of chivalry and become Bryn's knight. The magical dragon-knight bond she'd had with him had been wonderful, but then they'd fallen in love which had been awesome at first, until everything had gone to hell.

"I managed to avoid seeing Valmont all summer. I don't think I'm ready to see him yet," Bryn said. She may have broken their dragon-knight bond but that was only after he'd broken her heart.

"Are you over him?" Ivy asked.

"I don't know." Bryn played with her napkin while she thought about the question. Part of her life felt empty without him and she missed what they'd had together, but thinking of him no longer caused her physical pain. "I think I am."

"If you saw him with another girl, how would you feel?" Clint asked.

"If you'd asked me that three months ago I would have wanted to roast him, but now I think it would just make me a little sad. I guess that's an improvement."

Clint sat up straight and muttered, "Incoming."

Bryn turned and saw Zavien striding her way. He was no longer the spiky-haired rebel who'd impressed her so much when she'd first come to school. He wore his dark hair short, and his cheekbones were more pronounced than she remembered, as if he'd been ill and lost weight. Dark circles stood out under his eyes.

He approached their table, like he wasn't sure if he was welcome. "Bryn, can we talk?"

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Burning Bright"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Chris Cannon.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Burning Bright 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually tend to finish these books in a couple of hours but the story was just so good that i dragged it for days. You have no idea how long ive been waiting for bryn and jaxon to get together hopefully this isnt the end of the series
Anonymous 7 months ago
Loved it favorite book of all time
WhatsBeyondForks 10 months ago
This is the final book in this series. Please say it isn't so! Although this book wrapped everything up nicely, I'm definitely not ready for it to end! I have to say, I loved everything about this book and this series as a whole. I really can't say more about how fantastic this story was without spoilers. You need to experience it for yourself.I could happily live in this world. As a dragon, of course. ;-) The ARC of Burning Bright by Chris Cannon was kindly provided to me by the publisher for review. The opinions are my own.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Awesome series! I hope it doesn't end here... we need a wedding, so much more
LadyGraymalkin More than 1 year ago
How to review without being repetitious of all my other Chris Cannon gushing? As always well written, awesome characters and DRAGON Shifters. This book 5. If you have gotten this far you know how awesome it is going to be. Does not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An original concept. Loved the dragons and the story Ms. Cannon wove. It has been a lot of fun reading and I'm sorry this appears to be the last book. Perhaps the author will return to this world in the future? I would definitely enjoy more stories!
Danii_045 More than 1 year ago
Bryn is back for senior year and ready for another bumpy ride at the dragon shifter school. Bryn's family want her to be a social butterfly and stand proud. Her engagement to Jaxon means they both have appearances to makes. There is a new threat on campus and it is literally sucking the life out of the students. It means curfews and hall monitors until the situation is under control. Bryn and Jaxon are both stubborn characters. They have their flaws and strong personalities but they also have lots in common. Will Bryn, at last, find the right guy? I read book one first and then this book. It's a continuous story and I did miss key events but Burning Bright had all the catch up I needed. I really like the Bryn/ Jaxon relationship dynamics. It's hot, it's cold and it's so confusing. This is an arranged marriage and I liked this element to the story. It's about finding the middle ground, compromise and maybe more. Burning Bright is a great instalment to this series. Going down in flames is aimed at the sweet teen audience and fits perfectly into this genre. An older audience may find the book a little immature due to the dragon temper. 4 star out of 5. This is the perfect gift for that special teens birthday. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
The World of Bryn! Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Burning Bright by Chris Cannon! Bryn’s story opens three months after the tumultuous events of the last book of the Going Down in Flames series. She’s had the summer break to be proper and forge ahead without anytime to mourn or recuperate since she’s had to spend the whole time with her stoic grandparents. Now Bryn’s returning to school with her friends, Clint and Ivy and Jaxon, her betrothed. As the school year moves forward, a weird and creepy set of attacks occurs, leaving everyone untrusting of each other and scared to go anywhere alone. I appreciate how easily the author brought the world and story background up to speed in Burning Bright because my memory was refreshed like I had just recently read the first four books of the series, even though it has been a while. I enjoy Bryn and her relationship with Clint and Ivy and how they work so well together, personality wise and with loyalty. It’s fun being in Bryn’s world again! 4 stars for the good story; I just felt like the ending flew by too quickly. * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
The World of Bryn! Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Burning Bright by Chris Cannon! Bryn’s story opens three months after the tumultuous events of the last book of the Going Down in Flames series. She’s had the summer break to be proper and forge ahead without anytime to mourn or recuperate since she’s had to spend the whole time with her stoic grandparents. Now Bryn’s returning to school with her friends, Clint and Ivy and Jaxon, her betrothed. As the school year moves forward, a weird and creepy set of attacks occurs, leaving everyone untrusting of each other and scared to go anywhere alone. I appreciate how easily the author brought the world and story background up to speed in Burning Bright because my memory was refreshed like I had just recently read the first four books of the series, even though it has been a while. I enjoy Bryn and her relationship with Clint and Ivy and how they work so well together, personality wise and with loyalty. It’s fun being in Bryn’s world again! 4 stars for the good story; I just felt like the ending flew by too quickly. * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
KendalH More than 1 year ago
I ended up reading this book several times before I could write this review because I didn't want to leave this wonderful world Chris Cannon had built. I knew going into this book it was going to be epic. Not only did Chris Cannon deliver, she surpassed all my expectations. I have been a fan of Bryn's since book one when set her parents kitchen curtains on fire. I loved Jaxon the moment he was introduced at the buffet line talking about the horrible alarm clock. I have been pulling for them to get together all five books. I knew they both had to overcome a lot of issues to be together. I was hoping this book would see that happen. Did it? You'll have to read to find out. The only thing that would have made this book better was if it was longer or not the last book in the series. As I said before, I didn't want to leave this world. It was an amazing ride that I was glad to be a part of and a little sad to see end. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Burning Bright" is the fifth (and sadly, final) book in the "Going Down in Flames" series. This wonderful YA fantasy series has followed Bryn from the time that she learned she can actually shift into a dragon and about the whole society that comes along with that. Bryn's parents were from two different clan colors, Blue and Red, who ran away together and violated the Directorate's rules. This makes Bryn a hybrid in a society which does not interbreed. As we've learned, each color clan has their own special traits and powers. As a hybrid, Bryn has some traits/powers from both clans. The Directorate rules the dragon world with an iron fist and must approve all marriage contracts, which are typically set up when they are relatively young and in the Institute. At the age of 16, they come into their powers and go to the Institute for training and eventually college (if so desired). Bryn has been fighting against the Directorate's harsh laws and has gained some advances for hybrids and people who cannot be confined by the traditional rules. She also seems to be a "chaos magnet" and this book is no different. Bryn is still navigating dragon society, but now, she finds she fits so much better than she ever could have expected. Her Blue grandparents have really taken her in and wrapped her up in the society. Add to this acknowledging the differences from her parent's lifestyle and her marriage contract to Jaxon, someone who started as her archnemesis and transformed into an almost-friend, and Bryn is confronting who she wants to be in the future. On top of that, some dragon-pires seem to have sprung up, sucking out students' Quintessence and leaving them severely weakened. I've actually read this series out of order, but I found that it was easy to find your place because everything is recapped so well as you go through (also helpful for the time between releases, so you don't have to go back and reread earlier books). Bryn has been through a lot in these 5 books, and she is starting her senior year- considering how much there is ahead of her, I feel like there could have easily been 5 more books or 20- this is a great series and I really wish it could keep going! In Cannon's usual style, the book moves quickly and is hard to put down. The writing flows so beautifully and is absolutely action-packed! You can see some maturing from the first to this final book in Bryn, her friends, and the writing style, which has evolved with Bryn. One of the main points of the earlier books was the need for change- to allow people to marry across color/race and to get out of the rigid social structure currently imposed on dragon society. In this book, it felt like that was completely dumped on its head. While they can consider careers outside of the imposed, the marriage contracts are still in full force, and surprisingly, Bryn begins to embrace them. I was expecting a little more calls for change, instead of support for forced marriages within colors/races (supposedly due to creating "bad" offspring) and denial of contracts for unknown reasons (now somewhat concluded that there are good reasons, even though in earlier books, it seems that women are denied more than men to create a pool of mistresses). All of this context seems ignored here. This is now turning into people past reproductive age who never married but are the same color can maybe get married (question has to go to Directorate). I was really hoping for some bigger changes in dragon socie
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
I just need a minute to breathe.....This review is so hard write for several reasons. A) This is my favorite dragon shifter series - and now it's over, no more Bryn and Jaxon (and all the other, too). B) This was a rollercoaster ride from the very first chapter. C) My heart stopped a few times, then I had to laugh so hard I almost cried and then I really cried. As I said, this is my favorite series involving dragons, I love Bryn's snarkiness, Jaxon's snobbiness and I like every other character as well. Even the villains, it's good to have someone you love to hate, right. When the new school year starts, Bryn can only hope that it will be better than the last. She still isn't fully back to feeling like her old self, she misses Valmort, her former Knight, and grieves the students, who lost their lives. That she has to be a, pretend, couple with Jaxon and meet with his family so often, doesn't help her feeling better. The only thing right in her life, are her parents, alive and well in the Sanctury. But, this wouldn't be Bryn's life if there wouldn't be bad guys, threatening to take over and rule the dragon world. So, Bryn and Jaxon have to work together to safe the world - again. And as if this wasn't enough of a challenge, Bryn isn't sure anymore how she feels about Jaxon. Could they be more that friends? Or just friends, playing nice? And why is Jaxon like a ticking time bomb around her? And what about Valmont? Is she sure it's really over? I'm not gonna reveal the ending. But, I can say, that I think it was perfect. I'm very happy with the choice Bryn made (had my hopes up for this relationship since book 1).