Sunday, November 8, 2009

Review: Kiss of Fire

Title: Kiss of Fire
Author: Deborah Cooke
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Dragonfire/Book 1
Published: February 2008

From the back cover ~

For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have lived peacefully as commanders of the four elements and guardians of the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth's treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin…

When ace accountant Sara Keegan decides to settle down and run her quirky aunt's New Age bookstore, she’s not looking for adventure. She doesn’t believe in fate or the magic of the tarot cards, but when she’s saved from a vicious attack by a man who has the ability to turn into a fire-breathing dragon, she questions whether she’s losing her mind—or about to lose her heart.

Self-reliant loner Quinn Tyrrell has long been distrustful of his fellow Pyr. When he feels the firestorm that signals his destined mate, he's determined to protect and possess Sara, regardless of the cost to himself. Then Sara’s true destiny is revealed—and Quinn realizes he must risk everything—even Sara’s love—to fulfill their entwined fates.

Dragons - I'm not exactly drawn to dragons, I can only recall reading a few books where the shape shifters are dragons. But I read some positive comments about this series and thought I'd give it a try. It took me a bit to get into Kiss of Fire, but the dragons turned out to be a nice change from the vamps and weres that seems to be running rampant in PNR lately. I did find myself more curious about how the men looked in their dragon form than in their human form. LOL Cooke's descriptions of the dragons makes them seem fierce, dangerous and beautiful all at the same time.

Sara Keegan, our heroine, is an an accountant by trade and an odd choice for running the New Age bookstore she inherited from her aunt. She likes order and doesn't believe in the mystical the way her late aunt did. But she's decided that she will give it a try. I thought Sara was an okay heroine. I wouldn't say I really liked her but I didn't actually dislike. I found myself a bit bored when it was only Sara on the page. She was someone that I might sit and politely listen to while I'm actually day-dreaming about being somewhere else. Fortunately this book wasn't only about Sara. Things definitely perked up when Quinn showed up.

I love the loner, bad-boy type. Now I wouldn't call Quinn a real bad boy, he's more of a leave me alone and I'll leave you alone, unless you get in his face. Then all bets are off. Quinn appealed to me in the way he shunned the Pyr and all their traditions. He didn't want anything to do with the other Pyr shape-shifters. He wanted to be left alone, to work in peace at his metal shop. But he couldn't deny the pull of his firestorm. Nor was he too proud to ask for help when he really needed it. He's the kind of guy that makes me want to help him. You know the type that you think shouldn't be alone and all he needs is "The Love Of A Good Woman." LOL

There's this thing called the "firestorm" that each Pyr goes through. This is when they find their destined mate. I know some reader don't like the whole destined mates idea so if that puts you off, well then you might have a problem with this series. Personally I'm okay with it as long as the author shows me that the hero and heroine belong together. So Quinn feels his firestorm coming and goes in search of Sara. The problem with the firestorm is that it works like a beacon for all the Pyr and the Slayers. The Slayers show up to kill the destined mate of that Pyr's firestorm. The Slayers are the Pyr that have crossed over to the dark side. They basically want to kill the good Pyrs and humans and take over the world. They try to kill the destined mates of the Pyrs so no more new Pyrs can be born.

Quinn and Sara meet but Sara doesn't know anything about why the heck sparks are literally flying when they touch. She of course finds out that this hot guy that she's so attracted to is actually a dragon. Okay... Seeing is believing and Sara seemed to take it all in stride, especially after her life is threatened and Quinn is there to fight off the Slayer trying to kill her.

The world that Cooke has created is interesting with all it's ceremonies, history and the whole good vs. evil thing going. Cooke does a good job explaining the world and how the shape shifters co-exist with humans. I do have what seems to be an ongoing problem with how the sightings of the dragons are explained in regards to humans. When the dragons shift and fight they are often in the sky, because they're dragons and dragons fly. :) They do have the ability to control what humans see but not on a large scale and they can't be expected to know which humans might have seen them fight. They are too busy fighting! While I like the fight scenes the believability does detract from them.

The main thing Kiss of Fire did was introduce me to this fascinating world and make me want to read more about these dragon shape-shifters. Which is why I read the next two books in the series and have every intention of continuing with the series.

Deborah Cooke, aka Claire Delacroix aka Claire Cross, and her dragon shape-shifters can be found here.

Rating: B


  1. I'm so glad to see this review, Leslie. You reminded me how much I enjoyed this book. I read it a while ago, and loved the series mythology and the characters, but do recall being disappointed in the way the romance sort of stuttered and fizzled out at the end. I did enjoy it enough to buy the next two books, though. I just have to pull them up from the bottom of the TBR. I love the cover art for the most recent (or is it upcoming?) one... I'm a sucker for book covers with snow.

  2. Christine ~ for me the enjoyment came more from the world building and secondary characters than the romance. For a first book in a series it did it's job - got me hooked. LOL

    Ah, the cover of Winter Kiss is pretty. I think it came out last week. I still need to get it.

  3. I got this one as a gift from my daughter (apparently she liked the cover). It just sits in my TBR. I don't know why, it's just not calling to me yet. I really do like Claire Cross/Delacroix though. She has very good characterization and I usually enjoy her characters.

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the story enough continue with the series. The first book was okay... but it did it's job and dragged me into the world. :-)

    As I've mentioned, I liked Donovan more.

    And what makes the "destined mate" thing different in this series is that the guys aren't so overly obnoxious in their "you're my mate" attitude. They're reluctant to follow their kind's "love 'em and leave 'em" ways of the past. That's a nice change from much of the shape-shifting sub-genre.

  5. You sure enjoyed this one better than me, Leslie. I started it, but never got into it :(

  6. Jill ~ I like all the covers so far in this series - very pretty. Haven't read any of Cookes' historicals etc. I think I might have a Delacroix or two on the TBR pile.

    Christina ~ Yes, Donovan's book was better IMO. I liked the guys in this series. Cooke writes them with very different and unique characteristics.

    nath ~ awe nath, no love for the dragons? LOL I was surprised at how much I liked the dragons, wasn't expecting that.

  7. It's not the dragon I didn't like... just the setting/tone I guess. Wasn't engrossed in the book.