by Donna Grant
Series: Dark Kings #5
Published on March 31, 2015 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romance
That one simple kiss slayed him as nothing in his very, very long life had ever done. It physically hurt him to release her and turn his back on everything she offered, but it was for the best.
A KING WHO WALKS IN DARKNESS
The Rhys who has existed for centuries is gone. Stripped of his ability to shift forms, Rhys can no longer embody the majestic, powerful dragon he was at birth. Cut off from his heritage by one of his own, this Dragon King must remain a man, haunted by demons who torment his every waking moment. The darkness would swallow him whole . . . except a woman so beautiful and haunted becomes the one beam of light in his world...
A DESIRE THAT WILL NOT BE DENIED
Lily Ross is taking the first step in building a new life for herself. Still reeling from a relationship that nearly broke her spirit, Lily is wary of her attraction to brawny, brooding Rhys. The passion burning so brightly between them is a potent temptation, but any entanglement is destined to end in disaster. Yet when a spectre from Lily’s past threatens their growing bond, Rhys is forced to choose with his heart, or lose this woman who has become his one chance at salvation...
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Alright, things are finally starting to shift from the typical formula to something more.
It only took 5 books…
As usual, Night’s Blaze follows the patter of a Dragon King finding his mate. This time around it’s Rhys which was heavily hinted at in the previous book so not a shocker there. As was his intended mate, Lily, who works for Dreagan and has a troubled past that’s come back to haunt her.
Where this book differed from the previous ones was both the content but also the way the romance played out. I felt like Rhys and Lily had a more realistic relationship than those in previous books. Their initial attraction had already been established in previous installments so Night’s Blaze focused more on them expanding that into something deeper.
I liked the change in Lily, how she chose to be who she wanted to be versus what the past had made her. She had a lot of inner strength that came out more and more as the book progressed. Rhys had his own troubles that he also had to overcome, and I liked that they were able to help each other. This wasn’t a flash romance. Theirs burned a lot slower than what I’ve grown used to with this series, and I liked that.
There are potential triggers with physical and emotional abuse in this book, primarily with Lily thinking about the past.
Night’s Blaze wasn’t just focused on the romance, though. Honestly, I don’t even think it made up the majority of the pages. Grant took the story and finally gave it more substance. A LOT happens this time around and there’s a huge reveal that makes so much sense looking back on what’s happened so far but also left me with a number of questions. The romance definitely took a back seat to everything else which is likely why it was more of a slow burn.
With that said, you definitely can’t read this book without reading at least a couple prior to it (unless you want to be confused). The whole Dragon King history gets recapped EVERY BOOK (I skim it now because nothing new is revealed) but the inner workings and actions of some of the characters aren’t covered so the story, especially in this one since it played a larger role, will likely not make sense in part.
I do wish that the Kings would actually take the offensive in the conflicts. So far all they do is play protector, not coming in until they have to and when they do, they only solve THAT problem and don’t bother eliminating the issue. It’s been a constant back-and-forth that has gotten old.
I’m still waiting for my Rhi book. I don’t think she’s going to get one at this point but I do hope that her story is revealed through future installments. So far her Dragon King lover has STILL not been identified. There are hints dropped but nothing to point to a specific King which is kind of frustrating and better be well worth the wait.
This was my favorite of the books so far but will see how it goes in Soul Scorched.