Grigori: A Royal Dragon Romance

Grigori: A Royal Dragon Romance

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Overview

Grigori: A Royal Dragon Romance by Lauren Smith

"Lauren has created a new series that will capture you from page one! Grigori is exactly what a dragon should be. Smoking hot, sexy, and wickedly dangerous. You're going to love this book!" - New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy

He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250142542
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Series: Brothers of Ash and Fire
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 18,961
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Here there be dragons.

— NOTE ON A MAP FROM THE AGE OF EXPLORATION, REGARDING TERRA INCOGNITO.

Blue and silver scales whispered against grass as the giant beast crawled across the field toward Madelyn Haynes. Rain lashed her skin and lightning laced the skies. Smoke billowed from the beast's nostrils, and his amber eyes narrowed to dangerous slits as it crept closer. There was no escaping. The creature had finally found her and would destroy her. It had already killed tonight and would kill again. Ash infused the air, the scent of smoke choking her. Fear and rage filled her, drowning her with the overwhelming sensations until she was torn between two instincts: fight or flight. Her skin tingled, the feeling building until it felt like she was on fire.

A man was shouting ... "Run!"

The beast turned away from her, searching for the person who'd cried out a warning but it was no use. The creature would kill her too once it found her.

There was no way she would survive. She was going to die ...

"No!" The word was a silent scream upon her lips as she tried to run.

Boom!

Madelyn jolted upright, her mouth open in a strangled shout. The covers of her bed were wrapped around her legs, and she kicked out trying to free herself. Panting, she clutched her head as a dull throbbing ache beat behind her temples. She breathed in and out, focusing on each breath and the tranquility it gave her before the headache subsided and her heart stopped pounding against her ribs.

Then she turned on the light by the bed in her small hotel room and reached for her sketch pad and pencil. Using pillows to prop herself up she flicked to a fresh page and began to draw. The lines came easily, as they always did when she had the nightmares of the beast. It left such a vivid image in her mind that she had no trouble bringing it to life on the page. As the sketch began to develop, she knew what she would see. A serpentine creature with an elegant snout, two large wings and a long tail that could snap back and forth like a whip.

A dragon.

For as long as she could remember, whenever it rained, she dreamed of that same dragon. Rain, scales, lightning, and a crashing sonic boom that rattled her awake.

Madelyn studied tonight's dragon. It was blue and silver with a deep sapphire underbelly. The webbing of its wings was a fainter, almost icy blue. It had a large, almost lizardlike frill that fanned up around its head like a lion's mane which was that same glacial blue as its wings. It was an eerily beautiful creature with fierce eyes and sharp talons and was in a predatory crouch as though ready to hunt her down. Madelyn's hand trembled as she set the pencil down and stared at the dragon. A part of her had hoped that leaving the United States — and changing her surroundings — would make her feel less trapped, less hunted. But the nightmares had followed her.

She was still being hunted.

She'd come all the way to Russia to save her career. As a professor in medieval mythology, she had been reading and researching dragons for the last five years. But lately she'd become convinced, as insane as it sounded, that dragons might have been real at some point in history. She was hoping to prove that some remnants of dinosaurs had remained alive into the time of humans, and that could explain the unique collection of global mythology around dragons. How else could dragon myths around the world have such eerie similarities? Something told her there was a kernel of truth to each myth she'd come across, but she had to find a way to prove it.

Or else I'm fired.

Ellwood University had given her a three-month sabbatical to either pursue her theory and prove it, or drop it and attempt to tie her research to more traditional projects. Madelyn had collected her meager savings and rented this hotel room by the month in the Tverskaya district of Moscow.

Outside her window she could see the distance lights of the city and hear the low steady hum of traffic. Moscow was so different from her small town of Shelby, Michigan. Instead of a Russian concrete jungle and tangle of complex cityscapes and police sirens at night, the Midwestern air was filled with the hum of crickets and the throaty songs of frogs in the ponds. Some nights the breeze from Lake Michigan would slip through the windows and soothe her as she slept. Even the winters in Michigan felt pure, clean, not like the dark, dirty snow-covered streets of post-soviet Moscow.

With a shiver of longing for home, Madelyn set the sketchbook aside and glanced at the clock. It was 6 AM. There was little point in staying in bed for another hour. She had to visit the Russian State Library and a few small antiquarian bookstores which could take up most of the day. She'd been here one week and had settled into a routine. Sleep. Research. Eat. Research. Home. Sleep.

She had come to Moscow alone and was hesitant about going out on her own after dark. She spent most of her evenings cuddled up in the armchair by her bed, reading. It was certainly safer than going out. Madelyn need to feel safe. She feared the unknown, and what might be around the corner.

A therapist had once diagnosed her airily with a generalized fear of the unknown, citing trauma from her parents' deaths. She had been two years old, too young to remember the details though she'd been with them when they'd died. Too young to know her own name or where she came from. Neither of her parents had IDs when the police found her in the wrecked car that had rolled into a ditch during a storm. Her name, "Madelyn", had come from the name stitched onto her baby blanket. Her adoptive parents, the Haynes's, had wanted her to keep that name.

Thoughts of her birth parents always made Madelyn sad and oddly helpless. She wished she could have done something to save them from the car crash. She knew that there was nothing a baby could have done, but it didn't erase the helplessness. For a long moment, Madelyn watched the rain outside and rubbed one hand absently on her chest where her heart ached. And then, she did what she'd always done. She buried the memories and the pain and turned her thoughts to her research. It was the best distraction. There was nothing like wandering through the stacks of a library and letting the musty scent of ancient books overwhelm her. It was one of the reasons she'd been drawn to history when she was in college. Surrounding herself with the past, she knew what had happened, and couldn't be shocked or surprised ... was comforting.

Madelyn crawled out of bed and stripped out of her clothes before she jumped into the small shower, cringing as she expected the icy blast of the spray. There was only so much hot water before it turned cold she couldn't stand a cold shower in October in Russia.

Two hours later, she was dressed and had filled her backpack with notebooks and other research related materials. When she stepped out on the street in front of her hotel, her nose twitched as it picked up the harsh scents of the city. People bustled past her in a frenzied haste to reach their jobs, and for a strange moment Madelyn felt rooted in place as humanity flowed around her. An eerie sense of being watched made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck raise up.

Of course she was being watched. This city was home to millions of people; someone would always be looking at her no matter what. The uneasy sensation inside her didn't disappear, even when she hailed a cab and headed for the Russian State Library.

The State Library was a beautiful architectural cross between Soviet era design and classical design, which called back the days of the Czars. The smell of musty texts and recently cleaned marble steps were a welcome mix of aromas that always calmed Madelyn.

She walked up the white stairs to the upper decks of the library, her eyes dancing from the blue marble columns to the endless shelves.

17.5 million books were here ... Her heart sped up at the sheer thought of having a world of infinite stories at her fingertips. But she wasn't here to see their vast array of novels. She was here for one book. A heavily guarded tome that required supervision whenever it was handled.

She kept walking and left the modern rooms behind before reaching a wing of the library that housed antiquarian collections. One of the collection areas was a beautiful two-story room with gleaming walnut bookcases illuminated by hanging golden globes of light. A slightly domed ceiling was painted with scenes of Greek mythology, the gods on Olympus displaying their power and might.

A security guard stood at the back of the room by a small reception desk and he waved her over. He greeted her with a warm smile and spoke something in Russian which she thought sounded like hello. She was still listening to her Russian audiotapes and hadn't picked it up as quickly as she'd hoped.

"Good morning," she greeted back. He was different than the guard from yesterday.

"Ahh, English, I help you?" he asked in with a heavy Russian accent.

Madelyn smiled. She'd been relieved to discover that many of the guards were fluent in English to a degree. She knew enough of modern Russian to get by but her specialty was the rare dialect East Old Slavic which she used to read older Russian primary resources.

"I'd like to check this book out please." She retrieved a small piece of paper with the name of the edition in English and Russian and its location on the shelves. The guard read the card and then his brown eyes looked from it to her face, studying her.

"This volume? You are sure?" he asked, his voice was oddly hushed and his face drained of color. He stroked his security badge on his chest with one finger as though he'd done it a thousand times when nervous. He glanced around the room, which was almost entirely empty save for another researcher, an elderly man, who was buried in a stack of what looked to be medieval texts. The man glanced up at them, squinted, and pushed his glasses up his nose before returning to his work. The guard stared at the man for a long moment before he turned his focus back to Madelyn.

"Please, miss, I could get many other books for you, but this one ... Are you sure?" It was the second time he'd asked that question, and it made her skin prickle.

"Yes. That one." Madelyn assured him. Why was he so protective of this one? This entire room was filled with ancient texts that with proper care could be viewed by researchers. The guard sighed slowly, his face turning red as he nodded to himself and muttered in Russian.

Now she was feeling really anxious. She'd checked out several tomes yesterday but hadn't discovered this particular text until she was pouring over the ancient collection of card catalogues that looked as though they'd been written half a century before. There on the yellowed paper of the cards, in ink that was turning brown, she'd read the name of the volume My Year With Dragons. The library had been about to close and she only had time to scribble down the book's information before a guard politely escorted her out of antiquarian collection area. Surely today this guard would let her check it out ... it was just a book after all.

The guard stared at the card again and then nodded. "Dah, okay, we get you this one. Sit, please." He pointed to a small research table near one of the vast glass windows. Then he took a card and walked over to the shelves on the opposite side of the room.

While he retrieved the book, Madelyn set out her notebook and pens with shaking hands before she donned a pair of library-approved white gloves to handle the books safely. Why was the guard so hesitant to give it to her? From the text's description in the card catalogue that she'd be able to translate, it was a memoir of an English man who had spent time in Russia. There was no political or social discourse in it that could prompt a Russian security officer to be concerned ... But he had been. The man had looked ill at the thought of fetching that tome.

She peeped at the guard from the corner of her eye. He unlocked a glass case on one of the shelves, his head cocked to the side as he squinted at the titles on the spines. Then he used his index finger to gently tug a shorter leather-bound edition free of the case. Once he had it in his hands, he didn't immediately come over to her. For several seconds he stood there, holding the book and staring at her. His lips were pressed tight in a grimace as he finally walked over to her.

"Please be careful. This is special book." He held out the leather-bound tome and Madelyn accepted it. Her skin tingled again as she felt the smooth leather in her palms but she hid her reaction. The guard nodded at her again and then walked back to his station.

Madelyn's skin continued to tingle as she lifted the leather tome to get a closer look. The cover was made of thick leather, bare of any titles or identifying marks except the initials J.B. in the bottom right corner. Madelyn smoothed her fingertips over the initials and opened the front cover. The title was written on the front page in pen and ink. Not in typeface.

My Year With Dragons — A personal collection of observations about my time spent with the Barinov family, by James Barrow. Dated 1821.

Madelyn whispered the words. It was written in English, and James Barrow could be English or American. She held the text in one hand and made a note in her notebook before she turned to the next page.

Her heart stuttered to a stop in her chest.

Three pencil sketches depicted the faces of three different men. Names were scrawled beneath each intimate portrait.

Mikhail, Rurik and Grigori. The Barinov Brothers.

The first man, Mikhail, seemed more brooding, his hair dark and his eyes almost black. He seemed worried, but he was attractive and even the shadows that haunted his eyes were enchanting. In the second drawing, the man named Rurik had dark hair and mischievous eyes, with a playful, charming grin on his lips that outshone the white scar drawn from above his right eyebrow down to his cheek as though he'd been slashed. He looked like a bit of a troublemaker but the thought made her smile.

Her eyes lingered longest over the sketch of the man named Grigori. Something about him stilled her, like the moment she stood outside on the first snowfall of winter. There was a strange whispering at the back of her mind, a collection of hushed voices that she couldn't seem to hear clearly enough to understand. She was fascinated by the man's handsome face, the pale hair and light eyes. There was a melancholy beauty to his lips, and an almost rueful smile barely hinted in the drawing — as though he had sat still long enough to assist the artist but as soon as he was able, he'd move again.

While all three men were intriguing, it was Grigori that Madelyn's eyes came back to over and over. Something about his face ... Like a half-remembered dream. Deep inside her, there was a stirring, as though a part of her she never knew existed had awoken. The voices didn't stop that whispering and Madelyn couldn't help but wonder if she was going mad. Between the dreams at night and now this ... She drew a deep breath in and let it out, slow and measured, calming herself.

Stay focused on the research.

"Grigori." She tested his name upon her lips, finding she liked the way it sounded, the syllables strong and yet soft.

She wanted this sketch. The compulsion to possess his likeness was too strong. She glanced about the room and saw the guard was on his phone, texting and not looking her way. Sneaking her cell phone out, she flicked on the camera and snapped a hasty picture of each of the brothers before she put it back in her purse. Hands trembling, she turned the page again, forcing herself to look totally calm and not like she'd been taking photographs of a protected manuscript.

The next page was a diary entry dated March 16, 1821.

"Dragons are real ..." The first words of the entry made her body shiver and a sudden chill shot down her spine. She forced herself to keep reading and couldn't help but wonder what James Barrow meant. Dragons weren't real, at least not in the fire and brimstone sense. She was convinced that some extinct reptile species were behind the legends, but there was no such thing as real dragons.

"I met the Barinov brothers in Moscow and learned they were not mortal men ... they were possessed of strange abilities. The touch of fire, the breath of smoke, the eyes that glowed ..."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Grigori"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Lauren Smith.
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.

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Grigori: A Royal Dragon Romance 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great dirty story line.. Great characters with a wonderful adventure.. sigh, enough so I could ignore the "instant" "fated" "I should be terrified but he is the one" love line that makes me sorta crazy.. I was very happy with the "rest" of the story and an looking forward to the next one
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
This story kept me turning pages. Madelyn was a sweet, determined woman with a sketchy past. She has her fears but kept going anyway. I loved that, despite her misconceptions, she was willing to believe the unbelievable. Grigori was the protector of the family secrets as well as the eldest of the Barinov brothers. His soft heart as well as his fierce protectiveness for family and Madelyn, made him a hero for me to adore. There is plenty of action to keep the story moving, and I look forward to the rest of the brothers. I highly recommend this story. I received this story as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.
sportochick More than 1 year ago
What an unusually different read! I really enjoyed it. Now how to explain it is another matter. This book mainly takes place in Russia so the author does a great job of making the reader feel like they are not only in that country but amongst the Russian people. Her presentation of the people and how they do or don't understand each other due to the language barrier is well executed. Grigori holds an air of mystery and it enhances the interaction and conflict between Madelyn, his brother and himself. His character though alpha strong does show a softer side allowing the reader to fall in love with him and understand why he is such a hard nose. Madelyn is full of surprises and at times she is so stubborn and inflexible that I want to shake her and knock some sense into her. Eventually she sees reason and as the book gets further along her character becomes more confident and stronger willed in a positive manner. I give this 4 STARS because of it's unique storyline. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Katie-Face More than 1 year ago
There are so many reasons that I love this book! 1 - alpha dragon shifters (alphas, possessive, strong, proud....and HOT!) 2 - Lauren talks about the Romanov family, whom the dragon brothers personally knew before the Russian empire fell (history buffs squeal in delight!) 3 - surprises, twists, and turns just keep coming! You never know where Lauren is going to take you, but I can 100% guarantee you will enjoy the ride! I am always recommending Lauren Smith to my friends as an author you can depend on for excellent storytelling, characters you can relate to on a deeper level, plots that keep you guessing, and and an overall sense of satisfaction from every single one of her books. I have NEVER been disappointed by a book from Lauren, and I don't think I ever will be! Did I mention the hot dragon shifter brothers? Seriously....if you like your hero tortured just a bit, with a dragon's natural instinct to hoard and protect his "treasures" (including his woman!), and an ancient feud between various shifting species that threatens the world as we know it....you need to check out this book! I couldn't put it down. :)
Steph_B More than 1 year ago
Original and Exciting! Grigori is a wonderful introduction into this fascinating world and the exceptional beings who hide their lineage for self preservation. They just need to watch out for those pesky humans who will ultimately steal their hearts. Madelyn has dreamed of dragons her entire life and has always been interested in proving they are or were real. In Moscow she finds a book that indicates they may be but finds herself in jeopardy as a result of reading it. Grigori is an exciting, action-packed debut! This is my first read by Ms. Smith, but her Barinov brothers have me hooked, and I can't wait to see what happens next. Thanks to the publisher for offering me the opportunity to read this book!
Momscookingthebooks More than 1 year ago
Great start to a new series! This author is new to me and I can’t wait to continue on with this series! I am new to the dragon shifter trope as I usually read wolves, bears, etc, so now I can move dragon shifters to the top of the list! The story starts off with Madelyn on a 3-month sabbatical to do research on her PhD. She has always had a fascination with dragons since she was a child. She also has recurring nightmares about a dragon. Her thesis is to prove that dragons did really exist and they are not a myth. Madelyn travels to Russia and delves right in. She finds herself at the library and is looking through ancient books and runs across a journal written hundreds of years ago about a man who spent a year living with dragons. He chronicled his life with not only words but pictures that he had drawn. She was intrigued and she wanted to take the book out of the library, but it was forbidden, so while the guard wasn’t looking, she took pictures. The guard caught on and he immediately called the guardian of the Barinov family, Grigori Barinov. The guard tried to stop Madelyn from leaving the library until Grigori had a chance to find out what she was after. Madelyn escaped. However, her scent lingered and Grigori and his dragon were convinced she was special. Now the adventure begins! This book took me on an adventure of self-discovery and acceptance for the characters. The scene was set and I was totally captivated. Especially that it was set in Russia. I don’t know what it is, but I like Russian heroes! I loved the dragon mythology and Russian history that was added to the story. I knew something big was going to happen and the twists that were added along the way only intrigued me more. The story flowed well and I loved Grigori and Madelyn’s love story. I look forward to the brothers Mikail and Rurik’s books and the journey they will take me on. If you love shifter romance, give this book a try you won’t regret it!
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Wow! I loved Grigori. This paranormal romance had a bit of everything; great and sexy couple, exciting, action and a beautiful romance. I can't wait for the next book.
annie2015 More than 1 year ago
I love shifter/PNR books, especially ones with dragons, so I was very excited to read this book. Grigori is a dragon and, as the eldest of his royal line, has sworn to keep his family and its history, safe. When he learns about a book containing information about his family, he goes looking for it. What he finds is Madelyn, a human who should not know about dragons but has been dreaming of them for years. She needs to prove the existence of dragons to vindicate her beliefs against all of her peers who have ridiculed her for years. Grigori needs to get the book away from Madelyn by any means necessary...including seducing her. He doesn't mean to start caring for her. I enjoyed Grigori and Madelyn together and the twist and turns of this story and thought it was a good start to a new series. I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin's Press, via NetGalley. My opinions and reviews are honest and my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Dragons Very good dragon mystery,suspense,romance. Love Grigori who finds his mate Madlyn who always believed that dragons did exist. If you like dragon stories you will like this one.
CelticDragonBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this story! First off, I’m a HUGE dragon shifter fan. So when I found out one of my favorite authors, Lauren Smith, was starting a dragon shifter series I was so there. And what a start it is! This story grabbed me from the first page. Grigori is full of intrigue, action and enchanting characters. I love that it's set in Russia, it's a new setting to me. I can't wait for the next in the series. I would recommend this book to any dragon shifter readers! I was given a copy for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Arch_Angel More than 1 year ago
Grigori is an exciting, action-packed debut to the new Brothers of Ash and Fire series by Lauren Smith. This is my first read by Ms Smith, but her Barinov brothers have me hooked, and I’m sure this will not change. Grigori is the eldest brother and therefore feels the need to solve all their problems and protect the family secrets too. SO it’s not surprising when the mystery of their heritage falls into a mortal’s hands, that Grigori acts to shield his brothers. Grigori is a wonderful introduction into this fascinating world and the exceptional beings who hide their lineage for self preservation. They just need to watch out for those pesky humans who will ultimately steal their hearts.
christy-womack More than 1 year ago
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book I LOVE paranormal romance especially Dragon Shifter's One of my all time Favorites is Donna Grant's Dragon Kings and Coreen Callahan's Dragon Fury. WOW this book fits right into there for me. What an amazingly HOT sexy steamy exciting read. The chemistry between Grigori and Madelyn was amazing He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline … Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia. She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world… Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'Grigori' by Lauren Smith is the First Book in a New Series called "Brothers of Ash and Fire". This is the story of Grigori Barinov and Madelyn Haynes. Madelyn has always been fascinated with Dragons and now has taken it so far as her job. Madelyn set out to prove that dragons did exist at one time. While working on her PhD in mythology in Russia she happens upon a book about Dragons by a author a first she thinks is do real research but then in his book he showcases a family that are dragon shifters. Madelyn gives the book back because she knows that book is not about a real siting. Grigori has been alerted that some one requested his family book from the Library. Grigori rushes over to the Library to try and catch the person who is interested in his family. Grigori thinks there is a threat there and wants to know who is trying to look into Dragons. Grigori tracks down Madelyn who he feels a instant attraction too and his Dragon doesn't want to let her go. Madelyn is afraid of Grigori at first. Who wouldn't be when someone enters your hotel room demand answers from you and then you are taken to his home. But it doesn't take Madelyn long to start to feel something for Grigori but how will she react to his big secret?I appositely love Ms. Smith writing and try to read ever book she puts out. I totally enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next book about one of Grigori brothers!"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Rainn2978 More than 1 year ago
This is a brand new author to me. I wasn't sure whether I would like it but it sounded really good, so I thought ok why not. I am so glad that I read this book! It kept my attention from start to finish! This is the first book in a new series about dragons, and I do love some dragon books! This one is about Madelyn Haynes and Grigori Barinov. Madelyn has been having dreams about being hunted by a dragon since she was a child. She made her career all about mythology but in order to keep her position with the university she works for she needs to actually find proof that dragons (or a form of them) may have been real. That modern legends are based off fact and not fiction. To that end, she goes to Moscow to do research. And while at a library she comes across a book that talks about the Barinov brothers and that they are dragons. She thinks this is just a fanciful old diary. And then enters Grigori. He is called to say a woman checked out the book about him and his brothers. He goes to library to get the book and pick up her scent. And he is infatuated with her scent. And once he see's her, he decides to seduce her instead of killing her to keep their secrets. Not realizing exactly what she is or what she will become to him. Even after he kidnaps her, they manage to fall in love. Never knowing that there is someone in the background just waiting for that moment to strike. I really liked this book. I liked the relationship between not only Grigori and Madelyn but with his brother as well. I loved how they all interacted together, how there was more to Madelyn than what she even knew, and how they manage to overcome the obstacles in their path. It was an excellent read and I really can't wait to read about the other brothers!!
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Grigori by Lauren Smith Brothers of Ash and Fire #1 Madelyn has dreamed of dragons her entire life and has always been interested in proving they are or were real. In Moscow she finds a book that indicates they may be BUT finds herself in jeopardy as a result of reading the book and photographing what was in it. Grigori Barinov and his two brothers are the last of their dragon line and need to create progeny or they will all die out. Little does he know that taking Madelyn home with him might prove to be the best thing that ever happened – for both of them. There are fights and enemies and a mating and a revelation related to Madelyn and a few other fun events before the book ends with a lead into the next book which will be the story of Grigori’s brother Mikhail. My guess is that Rurik will be the third story in the series. This was an easy read about a dragon and the mate he ends up with. There was nothing new in this paranormal romance but it was an enjoyable read. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press – Swerve – this is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
ReaderLoverKV More than 1 year ago
Duuuuudddeee...this book. This book was....Gah! I can't even...I just can't even. 5 Rip-Roaring Fire Breathing down your throat stars!!!! Amazing. So freaking AMAZING!!!! I LOVED THIS BOOK. LOOOOVVVEEED IT!!! I have a thang, you read that right, a thang for dragons and this book delivered it. Totally did it for me. I want a Grigori. Please, oh please, can I have a Grigori Barinov? Pretty Please? Wow! In this book we have the Barinovs, ancient dragons from Russia and there are only 3 left of this wonderful and strong family, Grigori, Mikhail and Rurik. The heroine, Madelyn Haynes is a medieval mythology professor from Michigan and has been researching dragon history for years, she cannot quite understand the pull that she has, but she knows that there is something to this story. She travels to Russia, going to visit the Russia State Library to check out a book about dragons by Barrow. When she gets to the library the guard is hesitant in releasing the book into her hands. What happens from that moment on and throughout the story is nothing short of amazing. I commend the author on weaving a beautiful tale, full of history in regards to these dragons and their ancestry..There is something happening to Madelyn, she has been dreaming about a dragon, bearing down upon her, his intent to kill her but she does not know why. As the story moves forward, Grigori is notified that Madelyn has read some of the book and was seen taking pictures of those dragons in the book. Grigori and his younger brother Rurik, set out to detain Madelyn and find out what she knows. Grigori is really an old dragon almost close to 3000 years old and finds his true mate in what he believes is the mortal woman, Madelyn. Madelyn is a virgin but she knows that Grigori, though frightened at first, is her one and true mate. I cannot say enough of what a gentleman, passionate, brave, and a beautiful hero that he is. Once he knew that Madelyn was his, she became his everything. *sigh*. I fell in love with Grigori. There is action, the proverbial bad guy, Dimitri Drakor, that wants to annihilate the Barinovs, and love in this story. I can't say anymore without giving away some huge spoilers, suffice it to say, you will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed this read and am eagerly anticipating the next book, Mikhail, hinted at the end, to release. 5 stars!!!
sweetpotato101 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I've been craving a new dragon shifter series to love and obsess over, and I have found it. Lauren Smith's Grigori had me up for hours, and I didn't stop until I had finished the book. The characters caught my attention, the mystery needled my inner Nancy Drew, and these dragons had the fire, spice and everything nice to keep me wanting more. Grigori Barinov has been hiding a book within the Russian State Library detailing the lives of him and his brothers. Him and his immortal, dragon-shifter brothers. It's safe and sound until someone checks the book out... To keep her job, Madelyn must prove her thesis: that dragons exist. She doesn't expect a dragon quite like the one she gets. The Grigori variety. What exactly has she gotten herself into? Okay, so secret immortal dragons? Check. Hot as hell brothers? Check! Kidnapping and lust-filled glances between captor and captee? Double check! Who's with me?? So, Madelyn's an inquisitive bee. She loves digging through old books and the one she runs across really has her intrigued. Dragons shifters couldn't be...real, right? The last thing this academic expects when checking out a book is to be kidnapped for checking out that book. The story just kicks into overdrive from there, and I didn't have time to catch a breath. Grigori is such a delicious combo of intensity while still being such a sweet-hearted man. The guy's got class in his three-piece-suit (My weakness!), but underneath it all, he's a fierce-as-hell dragon. He doesn't know what to make of Madelyn, doesn't know if she's an enemy to him or his brothers, but what he does know? Madelyn's got his attention. I mean, at one point he's referred to as a Russian King Arthur. Need I say more? All that being said, I have to say that the whole virgin thing was a little overdone. The dude's got a nose that's creepily all-knowing. The ending was also rushed, and a few things left me wondering how it could have worked out. I still enjoyed the hell out of these dragons. Enemies abound, secrets crop up, and passion ignites giving us a story that's decadent in its execution. I'm dying to get my hands on book two. I NEED IT IN MY LIFE, LIKE, NOW! I am a new addict of Lauren Smith, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
As the oldest in the Barinov family line, Gregori carries a heavier burden than his brothers Rurik and Makhail. After Rurik kills Ruslan, Gregori, as the oldest, must agree to a challenge by Dimitri, Ruslan’s father. Dimitri gives him two weeks to prepare for the fight. While this may seem generous, Dimitri has ulterior motives. This was paced well and kept me intrigued. I was engaged right from the beginning with Madelyn. The lengths she was going to to try and prove that dragons used to exist. Her years of dreaming about them, her background with her parents deaths and how she was naturally paranoid about her surroundings. This had me trying to figure out if they played a part into the overall story. I liked how true mates were identified in this story and the twist the author threw in there about our main couple. It was unique and I look forward to more in the series. ARC provided by NetGalley.
cjr1 More than 1 year ago
Lauren Smith has traveled to Moscow to do research in dragon lore. She finds a centuries old tome about a family of dragons, takes some pictures of some of the pages and, ends up running out because the guard comes after her. Grigori Barinov receives a phone call from the library, notifying him that someone has shown interest in his book that he thought was well-hidden. He and his brother find and kidnap Lauren and she is astounded to find that, not only does he look exactly like one of the men in the book but, something happens to her when he touches her. Finding out that dragons are real is bad enough but, the dreams that Madelyn has been having all of her life are starting to make sense. Other things are happening to Madelyn, too and, she is not only trying to figure out what her dreams mean but, why her and Grigori are so acutely drawn to each other. This was another book I did not want to put down!
ZR1000 More than 1 year ago
Here there be dragons… This is the first book in the Brothers of Ash and Fire series that can be read a stand-alone. As the oldest of three brothers, Grigori Barinov is responsible for the preservation of everything that pertains to his family, a task not taken lightly and requires much discretion for he’s a dragon shifter, an immortal creature living hidden among humans. He’s been alive for close to two thousand years yet he hasn’t met his true mate, after centuries of searching he’s given up on the possibility and then there she is, a human female and a danger not only to his family but to his race of beings with the information she seeks and wishes to publish to a world filled with people who don’t understand things that scare them. Alone in Russia following an academic trail to ancient books in an old library, Madelyn Haynes is working on proving the thesis for her PhD based on mythology, that dragons once existed in the animal kingdom. She believes that underlying the various legends there’s some semblance of truth, her belief was born of the vivid dreams of a terrifying silver dragon she’s had since childhood. Adopted after her parent’s death when she was two years old Madelyn’s always felt outside of life, that she did not fit in and she’s never known why just that she’s haunted by dreams that drive her to prove a theory rejected by colleagues. A forbidden ancient book tells all but it can’t be real or can it? Is she ready for the truth of what she seeks? This was an interesting start to a new paranormal suspense series, a world where the creatures of mythology abound among humans unknown yet watched by hunters we learn of but don’t meet here. The attraction between the protagonists was instantaneous, the romance a seductive slow burn, she’s human which was unexpected. Dragons mate for life and die with their mate’s death. Will Grigori need to give up immortality to be with his true mate? Perhaps not. An atrocious act in the past set in motion the meeting of these destined mates and the hand of fate is wickedly twisted, rectifying an injustice by entwining sworn enemies. She who was lost and alone, apart from the world until she met her mate will awaken to the true being that she is, a worthy mate to a dragon. The story was a bit slow in pace at the onset due to the level of world building necessary but it’s a fascinating complex historical tapestry that builds in momentum to a decidedly explosive ending. The reader is given dual points of view, intriguing characters with a palpable passionate connection between the main ones and dialogue that was often amusing as they navigated their budding relationship, there was also much intrigue surrounding the dragon clans to keep things exciting. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
“Here there be dragons” Ever since she was a little girl, Madelyn Haynes has had nightmares when it rains; nightmares about dragons. Madelyn, now a professor in medieval mythology, is determined to prove that dragons once existed. Her university is not so keen on the idea, and Madelyn was told to take a three-month sabbatical and produce some results, or else she can kiss her tenure goodbye. So she flew to Russia where she plans to do some research at the Russian State Library, where she founds the book that had her asking herself more questions. Madelyn’s theory is that dragons once existed, most likely some dinosaurs that had mutated, and are now extinct. But “My Year with Dragons” by James Barrow has her re-evaluating everything, especially after she is kidnapped by a man who looks exactly like one of the supposed dragons in Barrow’s book: Grigori Barinov… Given how Madelyn first encounters Grigori, I was a bit wary of how the romance would develop from there. She is, thankfully level-headed if rather naïve, and she wonders about her attraction to her captor, she’s thinking some twisted Stockholm Syndrome; she’s a bit scared, but intrigued as well. What would a god of a man like him want with an ordinary girl, curvy girl like her? I have to admit, at the beginning the predator in Grigori made me rather uncomfortable; his inner dragon lusts dangerously after the human virgin… However, it made sense when it was explained later on. Madelyn is a pretty intriguing character who grows a lot throughout GRIGORI. From a young and rather timid woman who feels she doesn’t belong to … well, you’ll see when you read it. While the Barinovs’ story is interesting; Grigori is a study in contradictions and I ended up really liking him; he was much more than he first appeared, it’s really Madelyn who captured my imagination. The paranormal sequences were dazzling explosions of colours, the world building is very well done and the possibilities are nearly endless as there are so many angles to explore, such as the Brotherhood of the Blood Moon… Lauren Smith’s flawless writing is well-known, and she lives up to her reputation. GRIGORI is a surprisingly quick read and a very entertaining way to spend an afternoon or a sleepless night! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
5 - Here there be dragons... Stars! Lauren Smith turns her already talented hand to Dragon-Shifters with the first book in her new Brothers of Ash and Fire series introducing us to the Barinov brothers, with Grigori up first. It’s no secret that I am a fan of this author, her Historical titles are like Catnip to me, but dragons… well she has pretty much written a series that sits front and center proudly on my reading Nirvana shelf. "I always knew a love of reading was a good thing." Madelyn and Grigori’s story, was as easy to slip into as a warm fragrant bath, the heat levels between them grew as they got to know each other better, and I really liked that Madelyn had her own secrets to tell as the book developed, just as much as Grigori did. "People always fear what they do not understand…" Having had a fascination with Dragon’s her whole life, finding out that Grigori can shift into one and then learning all about his families history is like a dream come true for her, especially when the sexy-shifter makes it very clear that she is the only woman for him. But the Barinov Family have enemies, and discovering that Grigori has found his mate, brings them out of the shadows looking to take advantage of his distracted state. Mate a mortal… It was a terrible idea. Grigori was a quick read, I loved that the author actually wove true Russian history into the Barinov's past, it was done really skillfully and although fiction made me sit there and think,'that could have happened', and it hit all the right notes with me. You are also introduced to Rurik Barinov and I loved his dry wit and sarcastic humor. You are also given a small glimpse of exiled brother Mikhail, whose book is up next, Lauren has set the scene well, given the reader an epic love story to open it up, and I am looking forward to seeing the direction she takes in the future books. "You dragons do like to hold onto things don’t you?" Not long to wait, as Mikhail is due early 2018, and I cannot wait!