ARC Review--Awakened by Fire by Erin Kellison

Get lost in a world of danger, secrets, and desire in the newest installment of bestselling author Erin Kellison’s action-packed Dragons of Bloodfire series.

Billionaire dragon shifter and Bloodkin Triad member Warrick Voclain is no stranger to power. But when his trusted steward’s beautiful granddaughter—all grown up and successful in her own right—seems to be using illegal magic in his presence, he is thrown for a loop. And the fact that she’s doing so to protect him? Alarming.

Samantha Vine needs to stay under the radar, or her secret gift will get her and her granddad killed. She didn’t intend for her quick visit home to stretch into weeks in Warrick’s company, but anyone striking at Warrick would also hurt her granddad. Only she has the ability to see what’s coming…though she’ll need Warrick’s help to stop it.

The use of such magic is punishable by death, and Warrick’s position on the Triad requires that he adhere to the rule of law. But the attraction between them is electric, stirring his blood and straining his control.

Adversaries wait in every shadow, and the easiest way to strike down a powerful dragon is to go for the heart…in Warrick’s case, Samantha. With fire and blood, he’ll reshape the world into one that’s safe for her. And those that don’t bend to his will? They will burn.

75k words / no cliffhanger


I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Awakened by Fire is Erin Kellison’s second book in the Dragons of Bloodfire series and I was ecstatic to read yet another book after the awesomeness of the first one. Though it has been a long while since I read that one, I think I might have forgotten some details. What made it even harder to get into this one at first was that we are brought a new cast of characters. I can’t remember if they were mentioned in the first one, so it felt like a whole new start and that was a little disorienting for awhile, but it didn’t last that long because I was soon absorbed into the new story!
Samantha returns to her home to visit her grandfather who just so happens to be a steward to a very powerful dragon family. His “master” is Warrick Voclain, the dragon that Samantha crushed on during her early years. Her grandfather raised her after her mother died. There’s some more backstory to that, but because it leads to spoiler territory, I’m avoiding going into details. Samantha has worked hard in life and she now has her own budding company that she runs with two friends designing apps. Their photo app is really starting to take off too. But when family obligation beckons, Samantha returns home to be in her cousin’s wedding, a dragon wedding on top of it all. Her cousin is human but is marrying a dragon and is a part of a dragon family. Just a few details to give you an idea of the chaos about to ensue!
Soon enough Samantha finds herself staying longer than necessary when someone is clearly gunning for the people she cares about. She will have to use her special gift in order to figure out who’s the bad guy. Samantha’s talents lie in Time. She’s able to go back in time, but she’s not able to really interact or interfere, she’s more so just there and able to witness things; which becomes incredibly helpful on the road ahead.
Then there’s Warrick, the dragon whose life just might in danger. And Samantha is obligated to help, since her grandfather could be effected too by being his steward.
There was plenty of action in this one, what with all the multiple threats against Warrick, her grandfather, and ever herself since she’s with them most of the time. It made for a thrilling read! There’s also a good deal of dragon politics to get into, which for the most part were pretty easy to get through. Politics has never been something I could understand, still don’t really! LOL! But at least in fiction, it makes sense!
All the while of chasing down leads and possible threats, Samantha and Warrick start to grow closer to one another. I’m really digging these “adult” dragon books I’ve been reading! The YA ones are still awesome too, but with the adult ones, you get the sense of who the dragons really are and most of them are very protective of their hoards. Then comes the heroine and soon enough we start to see the dragon falling for her and needing her in his life. It might seem a little possessive in some ways, but the way Erin executes it, it seems rather romantic in a way. For one, it’s not a one-sided attraction, and secondly, the heroine is usually pretty independent and strong on her own and the dragon dude (since they’ve all been dudes so far) has to really work at winning her heart! And I always enjoy that!
There’s an ever present of danger in this book, which really antes up the momentum of pacing. People are always in danger it seems and then soon the danger is directed at Samantha. So there’s hardly ever a dull moment. I really liked this one, but then at the same time, I was struggling to see how it was supposed to connect to the first book, other than dragons still being among us and having their own set of politics. And then finally…in the last chapter, epilogue really, we get that connection! And I loved it! I finally felt like we had some solid ground beneath us. There might have been earlier name drops, but again, poor memory from reading too much (ha!) makes it hard to remember all the little details like names and such. So maybe name drops happened and I was left unaware. But no matter. We have that connection in this last little piece of the book and it definitely made up for my missing Thane and Emerson.
And I did something I never do before, I read the sampler of what’s to come next time, just to see what direction we’re headed in for I got the feeling it would be with yet another new cast of characters. And it is! But isn’t! Yes, we haven’t formally met them but we have gotten a name drop of sorts from this book regarding them. It does make it a little hard to dive back in, I totally enjoyed Erin’s Reveler series where we kind of focused on the same group of people. There would always be connections, like  book one had couple A and introduced you to the who would turn into couple B, then in book two you see couple B and foundation is laid for couple C. See where I’m going with this? We don’t really have that clear-cut introduction thing going down just yet here. We do in a small sense, but not as well as Erin’s last series. But hopefully things will pick up and with my meticulous notes I’ve taken, I will remember things better. We shall see.
If you’re a dragon loving reader and have been itching for an “adult” dragon read, then I highly recommend checking out this new series by Erin Kellison! Best yet, we’re just getting started, as this is book 2, so it’s the perfect time to dive into a new series!

Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars—just nearly a 4 but a little off the top since my memory struggled to grasp onto these new characters. I was legit trying to remember if Warrick or Samantha made an appearance in the first book and couldn’t get myself focused on the story in the now as much as I tried. Since I now have an idea of how this series will roll, hopefully my transition to the next book will be a bit more smooth!




 

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