Ember's Kiss

Deborah Cooke
October 2012, Paranormal Romance
Signet, $7.99, 416 pages, Amazon ASIN 0451238257
Part of a series

Grade: C
Sensuality: Warm

When I first saw this book as an option for a review book, I got very excited. I leapt at the chance since the series had been near the top of my TBR for a while. Maybe it should have stayed there a little longer to age to perfection, like fine wine.

In Emberís Kiss we meet Brandon, the reluctant dragon shapeshifter. Though he is well aware of what he is, his fatherís abandonment makes him wish he werenít a dragon. What he really wants to be is a surfer dude. So he heads down to Hawaii to become the surfing king. Doing this, however, walks him right into his firestorm in the marine biologist Liz Barrett. In the Dragonfire world, the firestorm signals the commencement of mating. It means the dragon has met his destined mate and he will be drawn to her like a magnet Ė shooting out electric sparks on contact Ė until she conceives a child.

Though Brandon is undeniably attracted to Liz, he isnít ready for the firestorm. To acknowledge it will mean he acknowledges his dragon side, so he wants to avoid that at all cost. Of course fate isnít going to go that easy on Brandon though. He has the attention of the evil dragon, Chen, who wants to use Brandon and steak his powers. It will take a reunion of dragon shifters to protect Brandon and his firestorm and to protect the world from the nastiness of the Slayers.

I canít quite believe I am saying this, but by this time, the firestorm just was no longer working for me. It is supposed to be a sign to the shifter of his destined mate and to tell him that this is the one woman that he belongs with. You would think that by now they would know the signs and stop trying to avoid it? Yes. But although Brandon has convinced himself that he was avoiding it for altruistic reasons Ė to protect Liz Ė the result was the same: Turn tail and run. And that plus his surfer dude mentality just irritated me way too much.

Liz is also a possessor of magic (she is a witch with abilities) but other than that, she isn't particularly unique in any way. When you add her to the fact that the romance was good, but forgettable all around, I realize that the book as a whole is the same - good, but forgettable. I finished it last night, but writing this today, I still had to go back and check things because it just didnít stick with me. To me, that says a lot about how engaged I was with the story while reading it. If it starts to blend with mediocre paranormals in less than 24 hours, it is probably because it belongs right there alongside them.

To me, what started as a strong series has been reduced to a fizzle. It is too bad. It has such potential and promise Ė who doesnít love a good dragon shifter? But without bringing anything new to the table, this series isnít one to wait in line to buy the next one.

-- Louise VanderVliet

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