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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kiss of Fire

**** Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke. Contemporary paranormal romance.

Boy, am I rusty at writing about books. I'm also extremely behind. So I'm starting with the book I just finished, on the theory that this will be faster/easier if I don't have to refresh my memory first. My apologies if this isn't terribly coherent.

This is the first book in a new series by Deborah Cooke, more familiarly known as Claire Cross/Delacroix. I absolutely love her Claire Cross books, so I've decided to try her other pseudonyms as well.

Sara Keegan is an accountant (nice plus) in Ann Arbor, Michigan (very cool). She's running her aunt's quirky new-age bookstore (in the Nickels arcade!), which is a little fanciful for her practical soul, but things are about to get odder.

She's mugged, rescued by... a dragon?... no, that must have been her imagination... metal artist Quinn Tyrrell.

Turns out it wasn't her imagination. Quinn is a dragon, in the throes of a firestorm--a mating urge--and Sara is his mate. Which would be enough for anyone to deal with, but as it turns out, there are two kinds of dragons: Pyr (the good guys) and Slayers (the bad guys). And the Slayers are trying to kill Quinn and Sara because of a prophecy. Only Quinn isn't really sure which side some of the dragons are on.

According to the prophecy, Sara is The Seer, but she insists she has no psychic abilities. But then she starts having these dreams...

I absolutely loved that Kiss of Fire took place in A2. Ms. Cooke did a wonderful job of definitely placing the story in the city... and despite what Sara says in the story, it is a small city, not a small town. You really can't call someplace with a population of over 100,000 a small town. Anyway, despite the fact that it's been 17 years since I last lived there, I could recognize landmarks, and it was a nice treat.

I liked Sara's practicality, bravery, and intelligence. So often in this subset of this subgenre (paranormal romance with an ordinary human heroine and a preternatural hero), the heroines are... well, they're spunky, which means they tend to blunder ahead without thinking and then get stubborn about it. Sara doesn't do that. She never abandons logic, even when she's terrified. And she uses all the resources available to her--including the dreams and the books from her aunt's store. My only objection to Sara is that she adapts a little too easily.

Quinn is a tortured hero--orphaned, brutally, at a very young age, then he spent years wandering homeless until he was taken under the wing by a dragon who may or may not have been a Slayer. His past comes out in bits and pieces, partly in Sara's dreams, and they solve the puzzle of what really happened and who he can trust together.

It was definitely a first-in-the-series book, with perhaps a few too many elements thrown in. The plot threads about artificial claws, various types of healing, hiding clothes during shapeshifting, controlling different elements... and there might have been a couple more I'm forgetting... weren't all fully developed. I'd have been happier if they'd been either expanded or saved for a future book instead of cluttering this one.

Still, the good parts outweigh the bad, and it's an entertaining story. I have the second book, Kiss of Fury, on my to-be-bought list.

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Glad to read your reviews on this. I thought about reading these books, but want to wait to hear from someone else. I never knew that this is the same author who wrote books under Claire Cross. Is the Dragon's books told in first person?
No, it's not in first person.

I didn't know Claire Cross = Deborah Cooke until I signed up for CC's newsletter. Remind me to sign up for more authors' newsletters. They're great!
Of course, I will remind you to sign up for other authors Newsletter...that is if I know what other authors you want to sign up for ;)
That's the good thing about adding the author's website when I do reviews--if they have a link for a newsletter on the front page, it'll remind me to sign up for it.
I add authors' website link to my reviews too *grin*...I learn it from someone I know... *staring at her blog right now* tee-hehe.

Sometime, you might find authors link to their website at the bottom of their newsletter too. So don't forget to look under there :)

I hope to get back to my books buying soon. With all the hurricane damaged, I have no times to buy books. But then...with hurricane IKE coming...and you may want to call your daughter/son to make sure they plan ahead and are they okay. In case IKE come through Texas this weekend.
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