Book Reviews Books

Review: Flame (Dark Kings #17) by Donna Grant

book cover for Dark Kings book 17 - Flame by Donna Grant

Flora reviews… Flame by Donna Grant. Book 17 in her bestselling adult paranormal romance series, Dark Kings.

Read: 16th – 22nd June 2020

Publication Date: 30th June 2020

My Overall Rating: 4/5

Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 4/5 – Character Development: 4/5 – World Building: 4/5

Quote from Flame

“This was suicide. Noreen knew it.

But there wasn’t another way. Which left her no choice. No matter what happened, she would pay for the consequences of her actions.

It was the least she could do.”

heading so what's this book about?

Flame is an adult paranormal romance book (approx 352 pages) and the seventeenth novel in Donna Grant’s hugely popular Dark Kings series. The various species found inhabiting Donna’s world include dragon shifters, dark and light fae, fae Reapers (who work for Death). There are also magic welding druids. The mies use light magic, droughs use dark and druid Warriors who have the powers of the old gods. Many of these inhabit our world as well as in their own magical realms hidden from the knowledge of humans.

The Synopsis:

I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.

Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.

Flame is the next Dark Kings book in New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s series.

If she believed in destiny, she would believe they were meant for each other.

But that fire was put out long ago. . .

Living among the Dragon Kings, Cain has spent lifetimes learning to distrust both mortals and Fae. He is a warrior born—and every instinct demands that he fight to keep his own kind safe. But when a fringe member of the Dark Fae contacts the Kings with an urgent warning, Cain is torn for the first time. How can he trust this beautiful creature when resisting his primal attraction to her is battle enough?

Noreen is horrified by what her kind and the malevolent Others are planning for the Dragon Kings. Dark Fae or not, there are lines she will not cross—even if it means risking her life. But she never imagined that she would risk her heart until she meets Cain. She wants him with a soul-deep desire that frightens her…and endangers them both. Is saying goodbye to everything Noreen has ever known worth a love that will span time and realms?

ARC Disclosure:

ARC received from the Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I was given an unedited ebook for free from the publisher (St Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence or affect my review in any way. These are my words; I’m giving you my candid opinion.

header so what did I like about it?

I really enjoy the way that Donna tells her stories. The pace her plots develop, the characters she introduces us to and the fantasy world she has created. Although I haven’t read this series from the beginning, I’ve quickly become enthralled and engaged in the adventures.

I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this story.

The way that all of the characters were working together to try and solve it. I appreciated the various twists, turns, subterfuge and surprises that Donna weaved into this paranormal romance story. Not only with Cain and Noreen’s romance but through the other story threads too.

There are a few storylines running alongside the Cain and Noreen romance which I like. The disappearance of Rhi, the continuing mystery and threat from The Others. Who are they, how will they strike next and what can the Dragon Kings do to protect themselves and vanquish them?

I also love that we have different sorts of bad guys. Downright evil sods, misunderstood rogues, friends turned into enemies and bad-turned-good heroes. I love that. It keeps us readers on our toes and reminds us about the complexities of humanity. I appreciate it when an author writes multidimensional characters that aren’t good or bad but a multitude of greys.

And while we’re talking about characters. You know I enjoy a story more when the female protagonist displays certain characteristics. Intelligence, resilience, self-reliance, and gumption. I wasn’t disappointed here. Noreen ticked all of my boxes plus she was willing to admit her mistakes and actively try to rectify them. I was completely engaged in her story.

Flame gave me all the feels that I’m looking for.

It made me chuckle out loud, wipe the odd tear from my eyes, had me on the edge of my seat with tension and gave me yummy flutters of arousal. In short, I was hooked from the first page to the last.

header title for Reviews - So ummm was there anything I disliked about it

As you can tell by my rating, I really enjoyed this book. However, there were a couple of niggles that took the shine off for me.

Donna does a good job of giving the relevant information within these pages about past events. However, I should warn newbie readers that a lot has happened in this series up until this point – a heck of a lot. Each of Donna’s books build on the ones before. I feel that new readers will miss something, a connection perhaps, that existing fans will have built up.

There is a HEA for Cain and Noreen. However, Flame while this book progresses existing storylines, we are left with more questions than answers. There’s a bit of a cliffhanger ending too. Although it’s not a life-or-death situation for our romantic couple, it still niggles me.

heading title for Reviews - So basically what I'm saying is

I really enjoyed this book. Flame has got everything that I look for in a gripping story. Action, romance, mystery, passion, humour and enough titillation to keep me blushing on the bus. I couldn’t stop reading!

Content Warning:

This book has graphic violence and explicit sex as well as some darker themes. Therefore, I’d only recommend this book to adults who are OK reading material of this nature.

I’d recommend Flame to adults who are fans of relationship and romance stories with oodles of fire and passion.

Has my review of FLAME (DARK KINGS #17) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope so. Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the series and the author.

Dark Kings Series

The Dark Kings series is a spin-off from the Dark Warriors series and Dark Sword series.

Called the Dragon Kings a millennium ago, these men of power and magic can shift into dragon form and have ruled over all other creatures. When humans appeared, they protected them until they were betrayed and thousands of dragons were killed. The betrayal was made worse when they discovered that it came from a woman who had vowed to love one of the Dragon Kings. The Dragon Kings withdrew their power from the world, from humans, some of the dragons choosing to sleep away the passing millennia. But now a new evil is beginning to awaken the Dark Kings and they are reluctantly being pulled into a war not of their choosing. What they never expected to find is a love so powerful it threatens to change everything they have ever known.

  • Darkest Flame (Dark Kings #1) (2014)
  • Fire Rising (Dark Kings #2) (2014)
  • Burning Desire (Dark Kings #3) (2014)
  • Hot Blooded (Dark Kings #4) (2014)
  • Night’s Blaze (Dark Kings #5) (2015)
  • Soul Scorched (Dark Kings #6) (2015)
  • Passion Ignites (Dark Kings #7) (2015)
  • Smoldering Hunger (Dark Kings #8) (2015)
  • Smoke and Fire (Dark Kings #9) (2016)
  • Firestorm (Dark Kings #10) (2017)
  • Blaze (Dark Kings #11) (2017)
  • Heat (Dark Kings #12) (2018)
  • Torched (Dark Kings #13) (2018)
  • Dragonfire (Dark Kings #14) (2018)
  • Ignite (Dark Kings #15) (2019)
  • Fever (Dark Kings #16) (2019)
  • Flame (Dark Kings #17) (30 Jun 2020)
  • Inferno (Dark Kings #18) (due 25 Aug 2020)

Purchase Links

Buy DARK KINGS in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:

 Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US ¦ Audible ¦ The Book Depository

About The Author

Author image of Donna Grant

Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a hundred novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

In addition to her novels, Donna has written short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.

She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.

Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.

Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore. Or buying makeup. And shoes.

social media links graphic

Website ¦ Blog ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram ¦ Tumblr ¦ Pinterest

Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my review. I hope I’ve tempted you to start reading this series. Read my other Dark Kings posts HERE.


About Author

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

(4) Comments

  1. This is a series I hope to start as soon as I wrap up on some of my other back series.

    1. Flora says:

      I haven’t read them all, Kimberly. I jumped in at Heat #12 and it took me a couple of books to get the characters straight in my head. But I’m loving it now.

  2. Great I love it

    1. Flora says:

      Thanks Natalie x

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