Dragons Against Them

Dragons Against Them

by Kyra Jacobs

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Overview

Adelaide Miller’s life changed forever when she gave up all she knew to stay with Prince Zayne Godfrey. In his alternate reality, she’s the eldest princess of the prince of Edana’s rival kingdom, Forath. But royal life isn’t what she’d hoped it might be. And it’s even more suffocating since Rosalind has gone missing.

Prince Zayne eagerly anticipates wedding Princess Addie, but their fathers are dead set on keeping them apart. And the longer Rosalind stays missing, the more both sides suspect the other of something malicious.

But both kingdoms are at risk in the face of a new rival, one foretold by an ancient prophecy. In order to protect their future, Zayne and Addie will be forced to join forces with the person determined to destroy it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640630802
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 07/31/2017
Series: Kingdoms of Fire and Ice , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she's likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan. Be sure to stop by her website www.KyraJacobs.wordpress.com to learn more about her novels and ways to connect with her on social media.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Adelaide Miller stood at her chamber window, watching the hive of activity below in awe. Servants of all shapes, sizes, and ages milled about, dutifully fulfilling their roles assigned by the Forath Monarchy. She'd heard the phrase "it takes a village" before, but had no idea how much truth was in it. Not before she'd moved into a castle of her own, anyway.

Technically it wasn't her castle, though. It belonged to her family, the Bennetts, this kingdom's ruling family. Up until a few weeks ago, she hadn't known they existed either. But that was before she'd traveled from Indiana to Hertfordshire, England, taken a tumble during a jogging mishap, and landed in an alternate, medieval-like realm where men could transform into dragons, sparring monarchs ruled its two kingdoms, and powerful wizards watched over them all.

At first, she had every intention of finding her way back home. No electricity, no denim, no Maroon 5 — who would want to live like that? But then she'd fallen head over heels for a man who, by every definition, was way out of her league: Prince Zayne Godfrey of Edana, the last golden dragon shifter and heir to his kingdom's throne. Edana had been thrust to the cusp of war when Zayne chose Addie over his betrothed, Princess Rosalind of rival kingdom Forath. As would be expected, Rosalind hadn't taken kindly to coming in second to Addie. Had taken it even harder when, after ordering Addie be kidnapped, she'd discovered the shocking truth that Addie was actually her long-lost — and presumed dead — half sister.

In a single afternoon, Addie had regained a father, discovered she had a twin brother, Tristan, and unintentionally driven off a half sister. A sister who yet remained on the lam ... and had the rest of Addie's family worried sick.

Her gaze shifted to the dense woods that surrounded the castle. Wherever could Rosalind be?

"I have come to recognize that look in your eyes, daughter, but I hold fast to my decision. It is too dangerous for you to venture beyond the castle walls."

Addie turned to spy her father, King Jarin, approaching and offered him a sheepish grin. She still wasn't quite sure how to act around the man — he was a king, after all. And though the resemblance between Addie and her twin brother, Tristan, was undeniable, her father's coloring was vastly different. Where her hair was pure blonde, his was the darkest of browns. French roast, hold the cream. Deep hazel eyes, so different from her own light blues, stared her down now, imploring her to heed his words. But following the rules wasn't a trait Addie came by naturally.

"I know. I just ... everything is still so new to me. I want to soak it all in, learn as much as I can."

"And you shall, once Rosalind has returned and my peace of mind is restored."

He came to stand beside her as his focus shifted to the tree-lined horizon, and Addie felt a fresh pinprick of guilt. If it weren't for her, Rosalind would still be here. Heck, she might even be married to Zayne by now and the treaty of peace between the two kingdoms already signed.

But Addie's planned wedding to Zayne would still ensure a pledge of peace between the lands, so that couldn't be the reason Rosalind had run off in a huff. And since there was no love lost between Rosalind and Zayne, that couldn't have been her reason for running off either. So why go? Did she really hate the idea of having a sister that much? Or was Rosalind still too embarrassed about having Addie kidnapped, intending to exchange her for Zayne's hand in marriage?

Addie thanked her lucky stars for the millionth time that Zayne and Edana's high wizard Berinon had arrived before her imprisonment had gotten any uglier. Being chained to a wooden rack overnight had not and never would be her idea of fun. But this was a different realm, run by different rules — something Addie was still getting used to.

As were her family's dynamics.

"I've made a mess of things, haven't I?"

"No, Adelaide." Her father sighed. "Your sister ... she has my temper. Though while I presume her initial disappearance was of her own doing, I fear returning may no longer be within her control."

Addie took a step back from the window, her gaze shifting to the horizon too. It seemed like every time she started to settle into this place, something tried to reach out and bite her. First the wolves that had attacked her when she first fell into this realm, then the kidnapping ... What other enemies might be lurking out there, waiting for any of them to make a wrong move? A shiver zigzagged down her spine.

"You think she's been captured?" she said.

"Until Rosalind either returns to us or is found, I must consider the possibility."

His hand cupped her chin, and though it was a fatherly gesture, Addie made a conscious effort not to flinch from his touch. The father she'd grown up with, the one she'd believed to be her real father until learning the truth in this very castle only weeks ago, had never been gentle with her. Or affectionate. No, theirs had been a relationship of convenience — it was convenient for him to punish her for merely breathing, so she'd found it convenient to remain out of his reach. Photography had become her frequent companion, a pastime that had grown into a lucrative career before she'd tumbled into this world and into the arms of Prince Charming.

Or rather, Prince Zayne Godfrey of Edana.

"Be patient, my child. We shall find her soon enough. Then may you resume your dances among the wildflowers."

He offered her one last smile, then strode from the room, leaving Addie alone once more. But alone wasn't how she wanted to be right now, not while fretting about possible dangers lying in wait beyond the castle walls.

If Zayne was here, she wouldn't be worried about a thing — having a fiancé who could transform into a giant golden dragon certainly had its advantages. Unfortunately, he was stuck in another castle a kingdom away, dutifully answering every beck and call of his yet-healing ill father. And while Addie longed to get their happily ever after underway, she knew better than to assume he could just walk away from his royal responsibilities.

Didn't mean she had to like it, though.

With a sigh, she left her post at the window and padded across an elegant hand-sewn rug of silvers and purples, missing Zayne. Missing blue jeans and underwire bras. Missing going wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted, without worry of medieval torture devices or lethal, flying arrows. Welcome to the new normal ...

Ah, but the new normal was also chock-full of adventure. While she might have been too big a scaredy-cat to venture outside alone, that didn't mean she had to sit and twiddle her thumbs either. Not when she still had half a castle left to explore.

She'd been given a cursory tour her first few days there. But several rooms on the upper floors had been intentionally passed by, their doors kept tightly shut. Her brother had promised to play tour guide as time allowed, but so far that'd been next to never. It seemed he too was just as consumed with worry about their missing sister as their father. That, or he was naturally uptight. She hoped it was the former, not the latter.

On the off chance he was around and in good spirits, Addie's first stop was at his room across the hall first. She'd only been in her twin's room a few times and always when he was with her. But yesterday was the first time she'd ventured in far enough to spy the beautiful, wall-sized tapestry of a woodland landscape surrounding their family crest: a silver shield inlaid with a royal blue cross, the base of which was encircled by a black dragon's tail. Addie had reached for it, wanting to feel its silky, jewel-toned strands, but Tristan barked at her to stop. The piece, he advised, had been handed down for countless generations and was both easily stained and quite fragile.

Disappointed, she'd withdrawn her hand and stepped back. That was when she noticed movement at the artwork's base. It had gently flared from the wall as if moved by a breeze or draft, which struck her as odd since the room's windows were shut and a draft in that space was unlikely.

Sure, she could have just asked him if drafts were more common in the castle than she'd assumed. But this was Tristan, and a question like that might send him running off in a tizzy to their father as so many of her other questions had. Which was sad, really. When she'd discovered she had a twin, Addie was thrilled. Finally, someone who would understand how her mind worked, be wired the same as her. But where she was a rebel without a cause, he was Mr. Goody Two-shoes through and through, always following their father's commands, always doing everything expected of him, always so freaking perfect.

And always so very opposite to her.

Addie stopped before his door, took a deep breath, and gave it a light rap.

She listened, waited. After several seconds, she carefully pushed the door open and poked her head inside. "Tristan?"

When nothing but silence answered, she maneuvered her way inside as quietly as the heavy wooden door would allow and slid it shut behind her. Inside, the room was brightly lit by the afternoon sun. But aside from the drifting and floating dust motes that danced in the air at her hurried entrance, nothing else stirred.

Nothing, except the slightest flutter along the bottom hem of that grand tapestry to her right.

Unable to help herself, Addie drew closer and reached out to touch it. Tightly stitched silken thread greeted her fingertips as she marveled at its intricate patterns. How long must it have taken to make something like this? In the modern world, a machine could be programmed to do it in a matter of minutes. But here? Unless magic was involved, this had to have taken months, maybe even years.

A cool draft tickled her ankles, and she looked down to watch the tapestry drift out from the wall by an inch or so, then settle back into place. Drift and settle, drift and settle. She squatted in her princess-y attire as best she could — damn these poofy gowns and corset-like undergarments! — and placed a hand on the floor. A cool, steady stream of air passed beneath the artwork's hem and kissed her knuckles. But where was it coming from?

Addie moved to the tapestry's left edge and carefully drew it away from the wall. Instead of stone or lumber, a dimly lit tunnel came into view.

"A secret passage," she breathed, giddy with excitement. No wonder Tristan barked at me not to touch it.

Addie eased behind the tapestry and followed the tunnel a short distance, its path lit by small windows set a story higher in the castle's outer stone wall. The corridor appeared empty and clean, not a cobweb in sight. Someone was keeping it clean, but why?

She shook her head, frustrated that Tristan wouldn't share this delicious find with her, and continued on. Soon she found herself staring at the back of a matching piece of artwork and paused to listen for movement or voices on the other side. Again, silence greeted her. Addie gave the artwork a gentle push. It swung from the wall in a gentle swoosh, leaving space for her to step into the room beyond.

A thrill ran through her as she realized this was indeed a place unfamiliar to her. At first glance, it looked quite similar to the royal parlor on the castle's main floor, in terms of both layout and furnishings. But one corner of the room held an object the other parlor did not: a bookshelf of sorts, one lined with old, unrolled scrolls that had been crudely bound together into what looked like large reference books.

Was this the castle's library, perhaps? And if so, why on earth would they hide it from her?

She stepped toward the shelves, eager to see what tales they might hold of her family history. Maybe even something about her mother, whom she still knew so little about. Addie had overheard one servant whisper in passing that she was her mother's mirror image, but there had been no portraits for her to compare, no sketches that she had found on her prior explorations. Maybe there would be a sketch of her mother in here, though. Or some scrolls written by her very hand.

Addie tugged from the shelf a bound collection that looked less dusty than the rest, laid it out on a nearby table, and carefully turned to the first page. Elegant script greeted her, full of words and spellings that looked nearly foreign to modern-day English. After struggling through a few sentences that made little sense, she flipped the page. And then another. And another.

Poems, she soon came to realize. All of them. Retellings of battles won and battles lost. Of princesses stolen, and princes slain. Nowhere was her mother or father mentioned, nor any of the current members of their extended family (the ones she could remember, anyway). Bedtime stories, perhaps. Nothing of real interest, though she decided they might be entertaining at a later date if she became truly desperate for something to do.

With a sigh, she closed the book and lifted it from the table, intending to scope out another. But the bound scrolls were heavy, their bindings large and awkward, and Addie felt them begin to slip from her hands. She adjusted her grip, shifting its weight from one arm to the other, and watched, helpless, as the cumbersome thing flopped open once more.

"Pesky book," she grumbled as she worked to close it again. But a quick glance at the open pages found one scroll to be different from the others, its parchment a slicker, shimmery material. Addie set the book back onto the table and watched as prisms of light reflected off the unique paper, casting a small rainbow across the room. The page itself, though, was badly frayed, its bottom third completely missing. And while the script remaining seemed larger and easier to read than the previous pages, it was the title that caught her attention: The Legend of Fire and Ice.

Two kingdoms kept behind the veil,
If ever? If ever
what? With a frown, she lifted the page to see if more was written on the back, but that side was bare. The end of the poem was simply gone.

"Well, that sucks."

Muffled voices sounded in the hall outside the parlor. Addie clamped a hand over her mouth and shot a glance at the room's closed door.

"Thank you, Mary. I had forgotten how bloody heavy this gown could be."

"Aye, but the girl will be stunning in it, just as her mother was before her. Shall we put it in here, then?"

Addie scanned the room for something to hide behind, but the furniture was mostly low-backed items and side tables. Nothing that would sufficiently hide her or this ridiculous, poufy gown. She eyed the dozen or so steps between her and the tapestry. Could she make it there in time?

A rattle sounded at the door, spurring her into action. In a flash, she crossed the room and slipped beneath the enormous artwork. Safe on its reverse side, she paused to listen for any indication the others knew of her presence.

"... can be hung in here for now. I plan to have her try it on tomorrow, to ensure we have enough time to alter it before the wedding."

Ah, now Addie recognized the voice. It was Ellen, her handmaiden. The other woman must be Mary, who also assisted with the royals throughout the day.

"Do you believe a wedding shall actually take place this time?" asked Mary.

"Aye. Unless you know of any other missing princesses who might come walking out of the forest to claim Prince Zayne's attention."

The women shared a chuckle at her betrothed's expense. Addie scowled at them from her hiding place.

"Oh dear. It appears His Majesty has been reading again."

The book. Addie thumped a silent palm to her forehead. She hadn't thought to replace it.

"A waste of time, if you ask me," said Ellen. "Stories are all they are, not a scrap of truth to any of them."

"Do not allow the king to hear you speak such blasphemy of the prophecies."

"'Tis a good thing he cannot read my mind, then."

More chuckling ensued as the women drifted off. The door in the parlor swung closed once more, leaving Addie to chew on this new tidbit of gossip. What she'd read wasn't just a legend but ... a prophecy?

A large shadow blotted out the sun from the high windows overhead then, and a familiar double screech rang out.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Dragons Against Them"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Kyra Jacobs.
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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Dragons Against Them 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Lost-N-Love-N-Hopeless More than 1 year ago
Advisory. . . Reading book one is essential to the total enjoyment of book two. Book one give up some secrets, previous deceptions, connections, current battles, and more. I did not read book one and I was lost and confused and felt a bit cheated that I did not read the first book of this series. My fault. I was not aware that this was a continuation of the first book of the series. I was able to muddle my way through and find love for both Addie and Zayne. I enjoyed Tristan both sides of him. Rosalind did not find a good place in me during my read. The parents needed to have their reign removed to be so irresponsible and to have that kind of power was just . . . I guess the signs of the time. I found the book with a more up-tempo pace. The suspense engaging. The why was evident, power. Or was it really? There was a vivid world of shifters, dragons, magic, royals, power, deceit, lies, family rivalry, family drama, What more can be added to make the next one just as, if not more captivating, alluring, enthralling?
RhennaMorgan More than 1 year ago
I was really curious where things were going to go after book one in this series. Unlike most series where you either get one couple throughout all books, OR new couples for each book, this one gives you a little of both. Zane and Addie are still the main couple, but I love how Kyra wove in lots of other romantic elements with the exceptional world plot. And when I say exceptional, I mean it. I truly had no idea how things were going to play out, and Kyra kept the intensity moving and building from page one to the end. The best part (aside from the romance, obviously) was the fantastic world building. The details were not only beautifully creative, but rich and easy to envision. If you haven't picked up this series yet and you're a fantasy lover, I highly recommend it.
RhennaMorgan More than 1 year ago
I was really curious where things were going to go after book one in this series. Unlike most series where you either get one couple throughout all books, OR new couples for each book, this one gives you a little of both. Zane and Addie are still the main couple, but I love how Kyra wove in lots of other romantic elements with the exceptional world plot. And when I say exceptional, I mean it. I truly had no idea how things were going to play out, and Kyra kept the intensity moving and building from page one to the end. The best part (aside from the romance, obviously) was the fantastic world building. The details were not only beautifully creative, but rich and easy to envision. If you haven't picked up this series yet and you're a fantasy lover, I highly recommend it.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4 - Welcome to the new normal... Stars! Kyra Jacobs returns with the second book in her Kingdoms of Fire and Ice series; Dragons Against Them. this is very much a series with a story running through it, and as such should be read in order to avoid confusion. A huge amount happened in the first book, and if you haven’t read it I would say that my review is likely to offer spoilers in relation to my talking about this installment in the series and general development of the plot, so if you haven’t read it yet you have been warned. Secrecy and lies were often the ways of royals… And that was very much the case with the end of the last book Princess Rosalind of Forath, had high-tailed it into the forest when it was exposed that she had been keeping Addie Miller in the dungeons under the palace. After being rescued by Prince Zayne of Edana, who is also Addie’s lover, all manner of secrets and lies were exposed, the biggest one being that Addie was actually Rosalind’s long-lost elder step-sister. "It pains me to be away from you, my lady." So we take up in this book with Princess Addie now a virtual prisoner in her father’s Castle, which bearing in mind she has been a modern, independent woman for many years is something of a struggle for her to deal with. Zayne back in Edana dealing with the pressures of being the successor to the throne, and covering his father’s duties while he recuperates from illness means that their time together pre-wedding is limited and often not alone. "Take good care of my beloved." Where to start, there was so much going on in this book, with a lot of POV’s coming into play as it progressed, the author held my attention from the offset, and even though it has been a while since I read the first book of the series; Dragons Among Them it took me no time at all to get my head back into the realms of Forath, Edana and all of the characters associated with them. "Life… is always a gift." I can’t really liken this series to anything else I have read previously, and that for me is a huge compliment for the author, because it is not often I am able to say that about a book or series that I am reading. The plot just kept throwing up one surprise after another, and I loved that I literally did not know where the story was going to take me next. The series while still about Addie and Zayne and their love for each other, takes in so many other characters and plots involving them, that at this point and at the stage where Dragons Against Them ended I really couldn’t tell you how the author is going to proceed, and finish the story. "May our allegiances indeed be enough to save us all…" Whilst questions were answered, even more questions were raised and stories/characters were developed, in the telling of this book, and I am eager to see where the author takes it all in The Dragon Within; due for release in late November. ARC generously provided, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
RATING 4.5 STARS Dragons Against Them is book two in the Kingdoms of Fire and Ice series by Kyra Jacobs. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the author. I fell in love with Addie and Zayne in book one of this series and was so excited to see what comes next for them. Addie is trying to adjust to her new life in this alternate realm. There are no modern amenities here. But she gladly gave up everything that was familiar to her to be with Zayne. Not only did she find the love of her life, her one true mate, but discovered she has a family, a father, twin brother, and half sister. Even if her sister tried to kill her and is now missing. Zayne is a prince, next in line for the throne. But he is also a fire dragon. The first time he laid eyes on Addie, he knew she was different. The pull towards her was immediate. Now, she is the love of his life, his true mate, his future. Addie and Zayne are to be married in just a few weeks. But they find themselves pawns in a chess game for power. Princess Rosalind, Addie’s half sister, wants Zayne for herself so that she may be the future Queen. With her missing, both Addie and Zayne’s fathers suspect each other’s responsibility in her disappearance. Was she kidnapped, being held against her will? Or is she hiding? Addie’s twin brother, Tristan, doesn’t know who to trust. He actually annoyed me a bit in the beginning. I thought he came across as wishy-washy. But fear not, he redeemed himself. I actually loved him by the end. There are some new revelations exposed in this book. New family ties are revealed that change everything. And there is a new villain in the mix. Someone else that is also on a quest for power. But, through it all, Addie and Zayne’s love for each other holds strong and true. There are some pretty dark moments but the bond they share helps them through it. “Ah, sweet Adelaide. Wherever she was, so was his heaven.” This was a fast paced, suspenseful, and sweet book. I just love these two and so want them to get their happily ever after. I can’t wait to see what happens next in book three, The Dragon Within.