Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Grigori (Brothers of Ash and Fire #1) by Lauren Smith

He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…

Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast

 ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

4 Dragon Shifter Book Stars
Don’t knock it until you try it. Yes, I like shifter books. I’ve read aliens, wolves, panthers and even a buck (that’s a thing) and I love a good Dragon one too.

It’s really no different from wolves to be honest, just a touch of something else and that’s good.
I took a chance on this author and it’s mainly because I liked the cover. It’s a bit shallow, but it really does a lot for a book and I think (a tiny part of me) made me like the book a little more.

Madelyn is a boring person. She’s in Russia researching for her paper. What is she researching? Well, dragons of course. Her theory is to prove that dragons once existed.

The beginning of the book is a little slow paced, but it sets up the tone of the characters. We get a feel to who Madelyn is and the author does a great job in character buildup.

Grigori is a dragon. Shocker! He’s rich, successful and powerful. He thinks Madelyn is coming in too close to his dragon world and what does he do? Well he kidnaps her course and don’t you love a good kidnapping book?

The chemistry between Madelyn and Grigori is a bit forced and I wished it was a little more organic, but after the first rush of lust, they start to get to know each other. And eventually it’s explained why the feelings are so heightened.

Parts of the book can be a little repetitive, but it helps you not get lost. Like any other fantasy book, there’s a lot of world building. The thing I enjoyed most about this book was the world building. It was interesting to read the rules, the history and what makes a dragon a dragon. It never seemed too far out of reach (you know when the author writes a solution for the purpose to only having a solution).

There are two clans of dragons in this world and they hate each other. Think of mafia book with two rival enemies. Grigori’s job is to protect his family and figure out his feelings towards Madelyn.
Overall, this book was decent, easy to read and I read it in one sitting. I like trying new authors and I’m happy to move forward with the series.

An ARC was provided

Born and raised in Tulsa, Lauren Smith spent the first twenty-two years of her life in Oklahoma, bridging the worlds between urban girl and cowgirl. After high school she attended Oklahoma State University where she earned Bachelor of Art degrees in history and political science. Drawn to paintings in museums and obsessed with antiques, she has satisfied her fascination with history by writing andexploring exotic, ancient lands.

Over the years, Lauren’s studies have opened doors throughout the world. From spending two summers at Cambridge to attending classes at such divergent places as Ireland and Chengdu, China, she has discovered fascinating opportunities for enrichment wherever she goes. After completing college, Lauren moved to Michigan to attend law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy and University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Armed with two Juris Doctorate degrees from both countries, she returned to Tulsa and became an intellectual property attorney.

Since third grade when her English teacher proposed that all students should craft a story for a young writers’ conference, Lauren has been hooked on writing. Her first self-illustrated manuscript described the mysterious disappearance of rare brown bats that were being captured by scientists bent on using them as carriers for an incurable disease. The immense sense of joy in sharing that story with others, and discussing plots and characters, made it clear to Lauren that writing was her true passion.

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