The exclusive four-part serial continues with Burning Desire: Part 2, from New York Times bestselling Dark Kings author Donna Grant!
Even though he knows he should keep his distance, Kiril is falling hard for Shara. But when Shara uncovers what Kiril has been looking for all along, she is faced with a choice-hide the information from him? Or tell him the truth, even if it means death should her family learn what she's done? As overwhelming desire builds between them, Shara knows she cannot lie to the one who has captured her, body and soul.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
"Dark, sexy, magical. When I want to indulge in a sizzling fantasy adventure, I read Donna Grant."
--Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author
Read an Excerpt
Burning Desire Part 2
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2014 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
Kiril knew if he remained in Cork he wouldn't be able to remain away from Shara, and he needed to have a clear head if he was going to keep out of any kind of trap. He dressed and left the estate in short order. Kiril didn't have a destination in mind at first until he spotted a sign mentioning the Jameson whisky distillery. Kiril turned down the road and drove toward the distillery.
Dreagan whisky was the most sought-after Scotch in the world, but he wanted it to be the number one whisky — Irish, Scots, or American. It was Dreagan that began making whisky well before any human ever thought to. Because the Dragon Kings didn't like to leave Dreagan, and because their methods for whisky were proven, they hadn't taken any other company seriously.
Yet Kiril needed his mind occupied with something other than midnight hair and red eyes. If he had to visit every distillery in Ireland, he would. It was imperative that he get a handle on himself.
Kiril drove down the winding roads with the top down. His mind drifted to Shara as he wondered what she was doing.
And wished like hell that he could trust her.
He pulled into the Jameson distillery and parked. The sheer size of the distillery was impressive. The tour didn't take as long as he'd hoped, and the fact that he couldn't focus on what was being said didn't help. Even when it came to tasting the whisky, he couldn't remember it since his mind was so ensconced with Shara.
After three more distillery tours, Kiril gave up and just drove. Hours passed as he meandered around Ireland, never venturing too far from Cork — and Shara.
Kiril eventually pulled over and chuckled as he found himself at a tourist spot. He shook his head as he took in the view of the beautiful cliffs. They weren't of Scotland, but they were majestic just the same. Across the wide expanse of dark blue waters of the Celtic Sea was Wales. It wasn't near enough to being Scotland to calm his restless heart however.
"It's pretty enough, I suppose, but it isna Scotland."
Kiril briefly closed his eyes as the voice registered as belonging to Phelan. Kiril turned his head to look at the Warrior. "What are you doing here?"
"No hello or anything?" Phelan asked with feigned hurt. "I should've expected that from a Dragon King."
"Phelan," Kiril said in a low voice, his anger rising by the second.
Phelan sighed dramatically. "Tristan called, but never said why. A day later so did Con, giving me the same response. It was Rhys arriving at my home that got me worried."
"What did Rhys tell you?" He prayed it was nothing about Shara, though if anyone could understand it was Phelan. He had taken a drough, or evil Druid, as his mate.
Aisley had saved her own soul from Satan and reverted back to being a mie, a pure Druid, but before that happened Phelan caught all kinds of hell from his fellow Warriors and their Druid wives.
Phelan crossed his arms over his chest and faced him. "It wasna so much what Rhys said as what he didna."
"So you came because you think I'm in trouble? Please remember that I've been alive since the beginning of time."
"You think way too highly of yourself, Dragon," Phelan said with a flat stare. It vanished a moment later. "The truth is, all three are worried, but when they wouldna tell me why, I knew then it had to be bad."
"I can no' find out anything on Rhi."
"I might care for Rhi as if she were my sister, but that's no' the entire reason I came."
Kiril watched the continual roll of the sea hoping it would help calm him. It didn't. It was Rhi who had found Phelan and told him he was part Fae. They had developed a strong, unbreakable bond, a bond Kiril understood fully.
"The Dark are onto you," Phelan stated. "Everyone is worried."
"I've been handling things."
"No doubt. It's just ... things can get out of control quickly."
Kiril narrowed his eyes as he swung his gaze to Phelan. His words held a deeper meaning. "Rhys told you about her."
"Only after I pestered him. He's concerned. The Dark managed to get their hands on two Dragon Kings recently. It was by pure luck and strategy that both Kellan and Tristan were able to get away. And here you are smack in the middle of the Dark Fae nest, almost daring them to try something."
Kiril shrugged. "Dreagan must be protected, as all the Dragon Kings should. Our enemies are growing, and I can no longer sit idle and hope that the few allies we have discover something for us."
"Your fellow Kings want to be here with you, but it isna safe. No' the same for a Warrior. I'm no' saying what you're doing is wrong. I'd be doing the same." One side of Phelan's lips quirked in a smile. "Besides, I loved to irk Charon as often as I could."
Kiril laughed. He couldn't help it. Phelan had spent most of his immortal life away from MacLeod Castle where the Warriors resided. He had a different take on life than they did, but he also understood what it meant to be a part of a family.
They sat in silence listening to the wind swoosh around them and inhaling the sea air. Kiril closed his eyes and relaxed for the first time in days. He didn't know if it was because Phelan had arrived, or if it had something to do with Shara. Either way, it allowed him to push past the blinding need and clear his mind.
"Who is she?" Phelan asked. "More importantly, how significant is she?"
"Her name is Shara, and she's a Dark Fae." Kiril met his gaze to see a frown form on Phelan's brow. "She tried to use glamour to hide that fact, but I saw through it."
"So you knew she was Dark?"
"Did you walk away?"
"Nay. I took her to dinner."
Phelan nodded absently as he dropped his hands to his sides. "I imagine because you wanted to see what she was after."
"That's how it began."
"You've seen her since?"
Kiril rubbed the back of his neck, debating how much to tell Phelan. No other Kings could be there to watch his back — or remind him he was treading on dangerous ground with Shara. But Phelan could.
"Aye. I went looking for her. I had to."
Phelan let out a slow breath. "She ensnared you already?"
"It only took one look at her."
"Damn. Have you slept with her?"
Kiril paused a beat too long.
Phelan let out a string of curses as he paced away. When he turned back to Kiril, his face was hard as stone. "How deeply are you in? I'm going to stay regardless if you accept my help or no'. The more I know, the more I can assist you."
The fact Kiril knew he needed aid told him just how far he had treaded on risky ground with Shara. He wanted to believe everything she said, but it could all be a lie to lure him into a trap — a trap that would be useless since he didn't know the location to whatever it was Con had hidden.
Kiril considered Phelan's words for long moments before he said, "I'm in too deep."
"That's what Rhys thought. Let me help in whatever way I can."
Kiril looked around him to see the many tourists stopping to see the cliffs. "Where is your car?"
"I doona have one. Fallon jumped me here."
Of course Fallon would teleport Phelan. It was the quickest mode of transportation, damn them. "How are you going to get back to Cork?"
"I'll figure it out. Does this mean you'll accept my help?"
Kiril didn't spot any Dark observing him, but that didn't mean they weren't there. "They watch me always. We can no' be seen together again."
"How do I contact you if I need to?"
"We'll figure it out as we go. I bought an estate no' too far from Cork. Doona come there. I go into the city every evening for dinner and then to the Dark's pub an Doras."
Phelan nodded and turned so his back was to Kiril. "Understood," he murmured and walked away.
Kiril walked to different spots along the tourist location, and just as he hoped, others spoke to him as well. He thought his plan was working until he saw two Dark out of the corner of his eye standing behind a tour bus.
There was no way the Dark could know about Phelan. Kiril pivoted and started toward the bus. If the Dark knew what he planned they would teleport away before he could reach them. The tourists milling about didn't help, but their attention was on the majestic scenery, not him.
Kiril stopped to talk to the bus driver as he covertly swiped one of the canes set against the outside of the bus. He then walked around the tour bus and spotted the two Dark. They were facing each other, one with his back to Kiril, talking.
He threw the cane, pegging the Dark who faced him squarely in head, knocking him to the ground instantly. Kiril moved with lightning speed to get behind the second Dark as he began to turn around.
Kiril grabbed the Dark around the back of the neck. Before he could break the Dark's neck, the glint of sunlight off the blade of a push dagger caught his attention. Kiril leaned to the side to avoid the small but lethal blade and grabbed the Dark's hand that wielded the weapon while continuing to apply pressure around his neck.
Kiril kicked his feet out from underneath him, dropping him to the ground on his arse. He had more leverage since he was kneeling and used that to his advantage as he used his strength to turn the Dark's hand toward his own chest. Kiril ground his teeth together and gave a shove, sending the push dagger right into the Dark's chest. The Dark jerked, his eyes widening as the life drained from him.
Kiril pulled out the push dagger and looked at the blade to realize it wasn't just any weapon. It was a weapon from a Light Fae, forged in the Fires of Erwar. It was a weapon that would kill a Fae — any Fae.
He flipped the dagger in the air and caught it deftly as he stalked to the second Dark and plunged the blade into his throat before he had time to wake. After tucking the push dagger in his pocket, he pulled in a deep breath and called forth his dragon magic. As the breath passed his lips, it was pale blue, making ice coat his lips.
When his breath touched the two Dark, they were frozen instantly. Kiril heard the approach of footsteps and punched both of the icy corpses, shattering them into millions of tiny pieces. He stood and walked to the back of the bus, a smile on his face as the strong sea wind lifted the shards of ice and scattered them.
There was no trace of either Dark, and neither had then reported back about Phelan. Not to mention Kiril had worked off some of his aggression. It was a win-win in his book.
He returned to his car and started the drive to his estate feeling much more in control of things.
* * *
Shara was surprised at how orderly Balladyn ran things in his compound. She tried to see everything, but spending an entire month there wouldn't reveal everything. There were too many passages, too many rooms even X didn't know anything about.
After passing so much time on her own while her family was dealing with Dark Fae politics, wars, and who knew what else, and then being locked away for her screw-up, she was so out of the loop of what the Dark were doing. Because she knew it was much more than just taking the souls of humans. The Dark were always planning something, always trying to take over one realm or another.
It was odd to see the Dark in all their sinister beauty, lounging on the floor amid huge pillows and reclining on chaise lounges while the music of Pitbull thumped through the speakers and humans — male and females — either begged for attention or prayed to be ignored.
"We're going to rule them," her companion stated when he caught her gazing at a human male.
Shara nodded absently. A human male with wheat-colored hair caught her attention. He was handsome enough, and at a quick glance resembled Kiril. The more she looked, however, the more she spotted the differences.
The human was thinner, not having nearly the bulk or definition of Kiril. The human's hair was short instead of having Kiril's long waves. The human's eyes were a plain brown and not the shamrock green of Kiril's.
The differences continued, but Shara stopped noticing them. Her heart had accelerated at the thought that Kiril could end up in the compound, and that alone, alarmed her.
She wanted to be a part of her family. It had been all she thought about those six centuries of her imprisonment. She was willing to do anything to once more belong instead of being locked away. Already she had put herself in an untenable position by telling Kiril the things she had and keeping other things from her family.
If her family discovered where she was and what she had planned, anything could happen. They might praise her for taking action, but most likely she would be punished for thinking she could make her own decisions.
How was she to follow the wishes of her family so blindly after living over a thousand years on her own? She craved her freedom, yearned to make her own choices about what she wore and who she spent time with. Most of all, she wanted to decide who would be her husband. That shouldn't be her father's choice. She should have the final say, regardless of whether it was Dark tradition or not.
Her father thought confining her for six hundred years would rein her in, and for the most part it did. Until she was back out in the world. Until she met Kiril.
Kiril made her hunger for things she had forgotten, to desire the one thing she was meant to betray — him. How had she gotten into such a horrible position?
Choices. Her choices. That's how she had ended up there. That and the fact of who her family was. To go against them would be like declaring war on them, and in order for her to live, she couldn't do it alone. She had to have allies, strong allies.
"Are you all right?" X asked her.
Shara swallowed her fears and flashed a bright smile. "Fill me in on everything and everyone. I want to know who are the strongest Dark, the ones everyone fears. I've been away for so long."
X hesitated, a look of uncertainty filling his face. "But your brother —"
"Isn't master here," she interrupted him. Shara stopped and faced the Dark. "Who do you answer to? Balladyn or Farrell?"
"Balladyn, of course," X hastened to answer. "But Farrell is coming up through the ranks quickly."
"Quickly enough to defeat Balladyn?"
The Dark laughed low and deep, a sinister smile upon his thin lips. "That will never happen. If anything happens to Taraeth, Balladyn will be the one to lead us."
"Then why are you afraid of my brother? If you serve Balladyn, then he will protect you."
"I will protect X from what?" came a deep, gravelly voice behind her.
Shara's heart plummeted to her feet as she turned and found a tall Dark with red eyes narrowed at her. His hair was long, hanging midway down his back, with thick strips of silver running through his black hair.
His bare arms, crossed over his chest, showed chiseled muscles. As menacing as he looked with his black leather vest and pants, his strength couldn't compare to that of Kiril's. Thinking of her Dragon King, Shara found her heart calming, her breath evening. She had an opportunity here. She couldn't let it slip through her fingers.
"I'll ask you again, female, why are you declaring that I, Balladyn, will protect X?" he demanded, his arms dropping to his sides as he took a menacing step toward her.CHAPTER 2
Shara couldn't speak for a full minute. She'd never expected to come face-to-face with Balladyn during her first visit. She wasn't prepared to speak to him, but she had no choice. Most Dark in his position didn't mix with the hangers-on that littered his fortress; the fact he did was another revelation.
She wanted to run back to the doorway that would take her home. That was the girl she used to be. Her family had forced the woman to come forward. If she were going to take her life into her own hands, then she needed to begin to act like a Blackwood.
"I'm Shara Blackwood."
His angry demeanor vanished. It was replaced with a look of delight and satisfaction. His gaze raked her head to toe in a slow perusal. "Your family allowed you to come here?"
"I didn't ask their permission."
Balladyn chuckled, his body relaxing. "A female who knows her mind. That's not like a Dark. I like it."
"It shouldn't come as a surprise if you know my family."
His gaze flared with desire. "There is talk that you will marry soon."
"So I've been told. Apparently, there are some who wish to align with my family."
"And have you as a wife."
Shara's smile was slight, barely turning her lips upward at the corners. "There are very few worthy of my family. Or me."
She wasn't sure what she was doing. Flirting with a male like Balladyn who served as Taraeth's right-hand man was as mad as being attracted to a Dragon King. Maybe that was her problem. She was crazy. It was the only explanation for her recent actions.
Balladyn's gaze shifted to the Dark next to her. "Leave us."
X bowed his head and hastily walked away. The power and respect Balladyn had was remarkable. People feared her family, and therefore feared Farrell. All around her she could see the admiration and influence Balladyn had. If there was ever a Dark who would dare to go against her family besides Taraeth, it was Balladyn.
Excerpted from Burning Desire Part 2 by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2014 Donna Grant. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Title: Burning Desire- Dark King Book 3 Part 2 - A Dragon Romance Author: Donna Grant Publisher: St Martin's Press Published: 9-14-2014 Pages: 80 Genre: Romance Sub-Genre: Gothic; Paranormal; Shifters: Dragons ISBN: 9781466866218 ASIN: B00ILX6J44 Reviewed For NetGalley and St Martin's Press Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars Even though he knows he should keep his distance, Kiril is falling hard for Shara. But when Shara uncovers what Kiril has been looking for all along, she is faced with a choice-hide the information from him? Or tell him the truth, even if it means death should her family learn what she's done? As overwhelming desire builds between them, Shara knows she cannot lie to the one who has captured her, body and soul. Shara is faced with the choice of lie and remain faithful to her people or to tell Kiril exactly what she is up to and her peoples plans tht she knows. Kiril's and Shara's time has come to a head. Where each goes from here wil be decided by their own morals and beliefs. Donna Grants characters continue to be captivating and scenes that have you trying to sneak a peak at what is going to happen next. The perfect quick read. My rating of "Burning Desire -Dark King Book 3 Part 2" is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
In this instalment Shara begins to question all that she knows as she begins to take an active part in deciding her future. She is taken with Kiril but realises that their relationship has no future in its' present form, so she sets about trying to gain her family's trust while protecting Kiril. All she wants is the acceptance and approval of her family but when she realises that her family will never value her and her life will always be in danger, she needs another way out and a way to end her part in the hunt for Kiril. She put herself on the line and became involved with Balladyn, thinking this is the answer to her dilema. Little does she know that it is akin to jumping from the frypan into the fire. I admired her guts and spunk for embarking on this path and the courage she showed turning up on Balladyns doorstep and even after when she realises the precarious position she is now in. As Kiril goes further into the world of the Dark Fae on his quest to find Rhi, he puts himself in more danger but his overwhelming desire for Shara has him searching for more than just Rhi. I absolutely loved the whole deepening intrigue with Kiril and his plan, his need to find Shara and his loyalty to find and rescue Rhi. No fear, just pure alpha badass confidence and savvy. The power play between Farrell and Balladyn was tense and dramatic and it was a joy to see Farrell gets some of what he deserves. Balladyn intrigues me and without knowing his full back-story, he intrigues me in and I feel the need to know more about this Fae and how he came to fall. The last scene in this novella with Shara and Kiril is fierce and intense sex, hot and steamy and then leaves us with the hint of their plan. I am really loving their relationship as it grows, as they learn to trust each other and I really felt the emotion on both sides. Also at the end of this part we see more of Ulrick and begin to see his role in this whole storyline. More characters are introduced that have obviously been in previous novels, but as with part 1, I was given enough information to not feel lost. I haven't read a lot of paranormal but i've been lucky enough to find some really good stories as my introduction to this genre and Donna Grant has just gone on my watch list. I will definitely be going back to acquaint myself more fully with the Dragon Kings.
Oh how I love this series! While I don’t usually enjoy serial’s, I just can’t seem to get enough of the ones by Ms. Grant. Each book, while it is similar in some ways, stand out from each other in massive degrees as well. I’m really enjoying the back and forth between Kiril and Shara in this story. And add to that the forbidden love? Oh yeah, you got me! I also like how the past characters are brought into this story as well. They are all adding to the suspense and drama, and leaving me with a ton of questions that I know Ms. Grant will answer, but it is also fun while reading. Overall, I think that this serial is going really well and I can’t wait to read more! *Copy provided for review* Reviewed by Crystal Marie for Crystal’s Many Reviewers
BURNING DESIRE: Part 2 by Donna Grant marks a great continuation of the story of Dragon King Kiril and Dark Fae Shara. It's the second serialized installment in the third book in her Dark King series featuring the stories of a clan of seriously sexy Scottish dragon shifters. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Dragon King Kiril. He is swoon worthy as heck - an old, very smart alpha male whose Scottish brogue makes me melt. Shara, our Dark Fae heroine, is likable also. She doesn't seem like other nasty Dark Fae. I'm still on the fence as to whether Kiril should trust her. It's still not looking good for Rhi who was captured by Balladyn, a Dark Fae now, but previously Rhi's Light Fae role model and friend. He's super creepy now. I'm still holding out hope that our good guys will figure out a way to save her. I'm normally not a fan of serialized books but I just couldn't wait for the full book to be released. All in all this was a very good read and I highly recommend Donna's books. I'm addicted to her books. She's a must-read author for me! Book 3 could be read as a standalone but the reader's enjoyment would be exponentially enhanced if the prior books had been read previously as there are interconnected characters and a continuing story thread beneath Kiril's and Shara's story. Besides that, all the previous books are fantastic... so why skip them? I will be posting a full review of Burning Desire, Book 3 (inclusive of all four serialized parts) to Reading Between The Wines Book Club. I will update this post with the link once my full review is live. 4 1/2 Wine Glasses!
Part 2 of 4: Reviewing a storyline in serial format is difficult without giving away too many spoilers or sounding repetitive with each instalment. As the storyline builds, each episode reveals a little bit more information as well as the continued growth of the hero and heroine-their relationship and their love. And because each portion, in and of itself, is not a complete storyline it is difficult at times to be selective with the information passed along. Because BURNING DESIRE continues the Dragon Kings storylines, the series should be read in order. Most of the characters from the previous storylines, and the original series and spinoff play a secondary role throughout. The Dark Kings is a spinoff from Donna’s Dark Warrior series which in turn is a spin off from Donna’s Dark Sword series- all set in the Highlands of Scotland. Each novella is approximately 70-75 pages in length. ~~ BURNING DESIRE part 2 finds Kiril still deep in Dark Fae territory King of Kings Con (Constantine) tries desperately to bring Kiril home but Kiril has made a promise to himself to find Rhi. There is also the matter of the Dark Fae female Shara who has been on his mind day and night. With a war on the horizon between the Dark Fae and the Dragon Kings, Kiril is hoping to gather information about who is behind the release of information regarding the Dragons but he finds himself focusing on Shara more than his task. Shara has found Rhi but it may cost her more than she is willing to give. Part 2 uncovers a little more history about the Dark Fae and their possible connection to the Dragon’s demise. Donna Grant continues her fast paced storyline with a little suspense and mystery, and the possibility that two men are after Shara’s heart but only one will be the keeper of her soul.
3.5 - "I'm a Dragon King. I've been alive since the dawn of time. We're the biggest bada***s around." Stars! Part 2, of Burning Desire literally picks up from where part one finished (bearing in mind this is the full version of the book, just cut into 4 parts, hardly surprising!) Kiril is joined by one of his dragon brothers Phelan, in the search for kidnapped Light Fae Rhi. Still wholly entranced by Shara, Kiril is less than impressed when he thinks that she has turned her favors towards fellow ‘Dark’ Balladyn, who is believed to be the aforementioned kidnapper. His red eyes blazed with a craving a blind woman could see. I am still enjoying this story, but I will say that as the story develops and with the addition of further characters it is becoming more and more apparent, that the reader would benefit greatly from having read the previous books in the Dark Kings series. My appreciation for the whole PNR genre has increased quite a lot over the last couple of months, and it is also apparent that Donna Grant is an author whose work I am going to enjoy, and even more-so when I actually start reading her books in series order! ARC provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.