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Review: Ember’s Kiss by Deborah Cooke

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Ember’s Kiss
Author: Deborah Cooke 
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2012
Publisher: Signet
Dragonfire Series #8
ISBN: #978-0451238252
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (393 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
For centuries, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have hidden themselves from mankind, defending the earth’s treasures in secrecy. But as the final reckoning with the Slayers–who are determined to eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them–heats up, even the most ancient secrets will be revealed….
Brandon Merrick is determined to banish his shifter nature forever. The charismatic tattooed surfer is on the cusp of the ultimate challenge–to prove himself on the whitecaps of Hawaii and secure his future as a pro surfer. But his dragon isn’t prepared to be tamed so easily….
One look at marine biologist Liz Barrett ignites the spark of a firestorm: Liz is his destined mate and his chance for happiness. While Brandon sees their first night together as just the beginning, his dragon seizes the upper hand. Awakening in the company of a raging dragon challenges Liz’s ability to believe her own eyes.
Can Brandon accept his inner beast in time to make it work with Liz? Neither one realizes Brandon is caught in an ancient Slayer’s scheme to enslave him. When the deadly plot ignites, the very island will be at risk…and Brandon and his mate could be the ultimate sacrifice.
What G & U are talking about:
Ember’s Kiss is the eighth installment in the Dragonfire series.  All in all, it was an enjoyable paranormal romance.  There are a few issues we had, but overall Ember’s Kiss was an entertaining way to spend a weekend.
Although we felt that Ember’s Kiss started slow, it does pick up with the help of an earthquake.  The progression of the plot was slow for the first hundred pages, but then the story started moving.  The deception between Jorge and Chen, between Chen Brandon and Liz was really interesting.  The influence of the released darkfire adds to the richness of the overall story arc.  
Gikany and Una enjoyed Liz, our heroine.  What makes her stand out in this series is that she isn’t just a human Pyr mate.  She is a daughter of Hecate, a firedaughter.  She is much more open to the existence of the Pyr and Brandon’s nature.  We enjoyed Liz’s stubbornness and her determination to work towards what she wants.  However this means we spent a great deal of time being a little frustrated with Brandon.  Liz suffered some trials and tribulations of her own, but she takes her life with both hands and makes a change.  She wants to be happy and goes out to achieve it.  Brandon seems to waffle about working to achieve what he wants and lamenting and whining about how his dragon nature has ruined his life and all chances for happiness.  Here is a great excerpt that illustrates our point:
“What were you even doing in that surf?” she said when he didn’t say anything, and heard her voice rise.  “I don’t know whether to kiss you or chew you out.”

Brandon almost smiled.  “I vote for option number one.”  He still didn’t come closer, as if he thought she was unpredictable.  “And it’s a long story.  I’ll tell it to you if you’ll hear me out.”

But Liz already knew part of the story.  “You’re a dragon shape shifter,” she said.  “One of the Pyr.”

Relief lit his eyes.  “You know!”

“I guessed.”

“But you’re here.”  This seemed to astonish him.

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

Brandon gave a hoot of joy and flung his fists into the air.  He laughed as he scooped her up and swung her around in triumph.  Liz couldn’t help but smile at the exuberance of his reaction.  “You’re here!  You’re not afraid of me.”


Even after this touching moment, Brandon continues to waffle between accepting his Pyr nature and abhorring it.  It became a little distracting.  Especially being able to compare him with Liz, it made this characterization stick out like a sore thumb.  However, Brandon does have several sweet moments.  Although he is a surfer “dude,” Brandon is remarkably tender-hearted and protective of people.  It is this part of his personality that leads him to distrusting his dragon nature.  
There is much that is resolved within this story, and it is a touching story about second chances and destined love.  If you have enjoyed the Dragonfire series, you will enjoy Ember’s Kiss.
Their Rating:

Liked it, but we had some issues – recommend (B)







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