Thursday, 23 October 2014

Soulfire (Nightwing #1) by Juliette Cross: Review + Giveaway

Soulfire (Nightwing #1)
by Juliette Cross

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press
Date of Publication: October 20, 2014
Number of pages: 109
Cover Artist: Renee Rocco

In a world divided by prejudice and hatred, only love can bridge the chasm.

Tensions are rising in the Gladium Province. The boundary between humans and Morgons has begun to blur. While the human aristocracy strives to maintain distance between their daughters and the dragon-hybrid race, fate has other plans.

As the daughter of the corporate king, Jessen Cade is duty-bound to honor her arranged marriage to a man she detests. Feeling trapped by family duty and a loveless future, she longs for more, straying to the Morgon side of the city.

Lucius Nightwing is the eldest son of the powerful Morgon clan, and the greatest enemy of Jessen’s father. When a bar-room brawl thrusts Jessen into his arms, his dragon roars to the surface, craving to sate his carnal hunger in the brown-eyed beauty. The beast in Lucius recognizes her as his own, even if the man refuses to admit the truth.
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 Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories.  

She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. 

  Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes.

 Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.  



Thousands of years ago, Radomis, the dragon king of the Nort
h, took flight on the last full moon of winter. Beating great, black wings, he soared away from his mountainous kingdom, lured by some unknown force to the sultry lands in the west where humans dwelled. Dragons and humans had always lived apart.

On this same night, Princess Morga honored the fertility rite of bathing under the full moon the night before her wedding. As she stepped from the natural steaming pool, rivulets of water glistened over milk-pale skin, ebony hair slicked over her breasts and down her back. The dragon king saw her. Instant desire ensnared his beastly heart. He descended.

Shifting into human form, a man of might and beauty, he murdered her guards and handmaidens. Horrified, Morga could do nothing when the dragon king took her in his arms, hard lust in cold eyes. The moment his tongue licked into her mouth, she felt the burning of soulfire—the dragon elixir meant for his one and only mate. Golden heat melted through blood and bone, filling her with euphoric pleasure, bonding her to him forever.

Radomis took her on the ground among bloody bodies and moon-shadows, intent to sate his hunger. One night would never be enough. Shifting into dragon form, he carried her in his claws back to his kingdom. She would be his queen, trapped in a gilded cage of opulence as the object of his endless desire.

From their union, a child was born—an abomination. A human body with dragon wings and dragon strength. The boy, Larkos, was outcast among dragonkind, including his father. Only Morga showed him any love.

When Larkos reached manhood, he wielded his rage with an avenging sword, tracking and killing all of dragonkind. Even in beast form, his father could not match him, finally falling to the forgotten son’s sword. What Larkos did not know was that soulfire bonded his loving mother to the beast in such a way that when his dragon-heart stopped beating, so did hers.
This is the tale I’d been told when my body began changing from child to woman, a warning for young girls to beware of Morgon men.

“Never stray from your own kind, Jessen,” my mother would say, “or you could end up like Princess Morga, a slave and outcast to be abhorred.”

The problem was, I’d never been a very obedient daughter. Never the one to do exactly as I was told. And fairy tales have no meaning when the stars align and Fortune spins her wheel, weaving her own story for your heart.

4 out of 5 stars!
Dragon hybrid?  Yes, please!  Anyone who knows me knows that I love anything dragons, shifters, Hades, or any combination thereof.  I'm sure that's not an exhaustive list, but it's good for the time being.  Soulfire, the first book in the Nightwing series, is the story of Jessen and Lucius.  Lucius, beautiful, sexy Lucius, being a dragon hybrid.  How fabulous is that?  

 Jessen, human, is the kind of female role I love.  She is spirited and lively.  Seen more as a commodity than as a daughter to her father, she did not seem to have much say in her own life.  However, she takes control and does what makes her happy, despite the consequences. 

Lucius, the dragon hybrid (did I mention that awesome tidbit?), tries to stay away from humans, for reasons that become clear within the story.  But he meets Jessen and cannot stop thinking about her.  He is very protective of her, but tries to fight it.  He tries and tries…Between the two of them there was a lot of chemistry, right from the first meet. 

There was also a lot of prejudice in this book for the characters to overcome, humans hating the Morgon, the Morgon wanting nothing to do with the humans.  It makes it complicated to live in proximity to one another…or to be in love.  But sometimes, that love is worth all the troubles. 

Of course, having the privilege of being the opening of a new series, this book was also required to give us some backstory.  What we got here was a relatively short story (just a little over 100 pages), but the author did a great job creating a believable and well-developed world for her characters.  The story was unique and well written.  I'm looking forward to more in this series.

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  1. Thank you for having me on today and for the lovely review! :)