by Donna Grant
Series: Dark Kings #1
Published on April 29, 2014 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romance
The Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But one of the most powerful warriors of his kind will be put to the ultimate test. Is he strong enough to resist his greatest temptations? Or will he be forced to surrender - body and soul?
Her beauty is a weapon
Denae Lacroix is a beautiful MI5 agent on a deadly mission. Sent to the Scottish Highlands to spy on the mysterious Dreagan Industries, she discovers too late that she’s been set up - as human bait. She is an irresistible lure for a man who has not seen or touched a woman for centuries. He is a man with a destiny - and a desire - that could destroy them both...
His passion is a curse...
It’s been twelve hundred years since Kellan has walked among humans - and there’s no denying the erotically charged attraction he feels for Denae. But as a Dragon King, he is sworn to protect his secrets. Yet the closer he gets to this smart, ravishing woman, the more her life is in danger. All it takes is one reckless kiss to unleash a flood of desire, the fury of dragons…and the fiercest enemy of all.
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So I think I found a new paranormal romance series to binge.
That first book always sets the tone and I think Darkest Flame did a great job of introducing the world. Now, there IS a book prior to this that is a collection of three shorter works detailing some of the Dragon Kings that appear in this book. I definitely think reading it beforehand will help but it’s not a necessity.
Now… this book wasn’t perfect. Few very are. And it was a bit formulaic for the genre but it didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Denae and Kellan kind of had an enemies-to-lovers thing going on which I always love. She’s a MI5 agent and he’s a Dragon King so that was an interesting combo but I liked that she was a strong character but not over the top. Denae couldn’t do everything but she could hold her own and didn’t back down in a fight. Kellan took a while to grow on me with his constant “humans suck” mentality when it was clear that he didn’t truly believe that anymore. But they had a decent romance. Most of it was banter so I’m hoping for a bit more depth shown, perhaps, in later books, but for this one it was enjoyable.
Darkest Flame doesn’t stick to just their points-of-view, though, bouncing between the other Dragon Kings as well. I was surprised there were more of other characters compared to the lead of the next book, which is Tristan, but the added perspectives definitely had me needing more.
I never really figured out WHAT the Dragon Kings are from this book because there were dragons mentioned in some alternate dimension but these guys are more dragon shifters? But, I mean, I rolled with it because DRAGONS.
Honestly, this book reminded me a LOT of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward (if you’re a fan of those) except this read much quicker (which is a good thing, in my mind at least). There’s definitely a strong world-building focus and I didn’t realize until after that this is actually book #15 in this world (following Grant’s Dark Swords and Dark Warriors series). It’s also established that there are Fae in this world, as well as this Warrior race that’s still vague and Druids. So, a lot, and now I’m really curious and totally going to try out the other series after I get through these books because I’m pretty much hooked already.
More of a side note but I’m going to want a book for Rhi. You’ll meet her. She’s pretty awesome. She kicks butts and takes names all with a great manicure (but really, her love of nail polish is kind of insane). Reminded me a lot of Lindsey from the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill (though it took me forever to make that connection XD).
All in all, I’m hooked. Already have book 2 waiting to be read and excited to binge all the books out so far (which is a lot). Perfect series for paranormal romance readers looking to shake things up from the usual vamps and werewolves.