A dragon shifter and exiled king gets more than he bargained for when he discovers a fiery and passionate phoenix in this paranormal romance.
Brand Astarot, a dragon shifter and rightful heir to his family's gold throne, is driven by a single goal. He seeks revenge against Uther Hagan, the man responsible for the murders of his parents and siblings and the loss of his clan's throne. For centuries, Brand has worked as a mercenary for King Ladon Ormarr, accepting the toughest assignments while developing a plan to avenge the killings. His latest mission takes him to a medical facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and a young woman described as a "supernova" by a staff member. The patient is Kasia Amon, a rare phoenix whose powers include prophetic visions. If Brand brings Kasia to Ladon, he will secure the support of the king's clan and have the leverage he needs to defeat Uther. But Kasia is accustomed to life on the run, and she escapes from the facility. Undeterred, Brand pursues her, and they embark on a harrowing journey to Ladon's clan in Ben Nevis, Scotland. Along the way, they discover they share a powerful and profound physical and emotional connection. Although Brand promised Kasia to Ladon, his desire to claim her as his mate leads him to reconsider this scheme. When Uther discovers Kasia is a phoenix, Brand is locked in a race to protect the woman he loves. This first installment of Owen's (The Rookie, 2019, etc.) Inferno Rising series is an engaging and compulsively readable love story with the right mix of action and eroticism. Kasia and Brand are appealing protagonists whose slow-burn romance is punctuated by passionate chemistry and spirited and witty dialogue ("Who put you in charge?" "I'm your mate." "That doesn't mean a damn thing, lizard boy"). They are surrounded by a large and well-developed cast of supporting characters and a panoply of supernatural beings, including Brand's friend and protector Ladon; Hershel, a demon who runs a very unusual biker bar; and Pytheios Chandali, a king who wanted Kasia's mother, Serefina, and ultimately murdered her father. The sprawling narrative takes Kasia and Brand on a long journey from Wyoming to Scotland, but the author's confident storytelling keeps the narrative moving at a brisk clip. The novel is perfect for fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kelley Armstrong.
An irresistibly sexy suspense tale.
Kasia Amon knew time was running out. As a mythical phoenix shifter, her abilities would guarantee the throne of the High King of the Dragons to the dragon king she mated…if she didn't hate and fear dragons for killing her parents, and if she could control her abilities. Brand Astarot, a rogue dragon sent to bring Kasia to his king, is focused on revenge on the rival dragon king who murdered his family. Kasia is the key to his acceptance into his new clan and to achieving payback. Neither expects to like each other, and both have forgotten the oldest truth of their races—the phoenix chooses its mate and anyone who tries to interfere will die. VERDICT Owen's "Inferno Rising" series launch crosses over with her "Fire's Edge" series (The Boss), featuring dragons and their difficulties in finding mates. Edgy and intense, this romance will appeal to fans of paranormals from Cynthia Eden and Donna Grant. Recommended for all libraries.—Melanie C. Duncan, Washington Memorial Lib., Macon, GA