Flora Reviews… Heat (Dark Kings #12) by Donna Grant
Read: 5th – 12th February 2018
My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
So what’s this book about?
Heat is a paranormal romance tale (approx 336 pages) and the twelfth novel in Donna Grant’s hugely popular Dark Kings series – a spin off from her Dark Warriors Series and Dark Sword Series – featuring supernatural/mythological beings including dragon shifters, dark and light fae, fae Reapers (who work for Death herself) and magic welding druids (the mies who use light magic, dark magic users the droughs and the druid Warriors who have the powers of the old gods). These various species can be found inhabiting our world as well as in their own magical realms hidden from the knowledge of humans.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers or reveal plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Nikolai is a dragon shapeshifter who knows well the meaning of loss. Orphaned and raised to be a Dragon King, he never accepts defeat. Now, Nikolai prefers his solitude . . .until a beautiful, irresistible woman calls upon him for help—and Nikola’s whole word goes up in flames.
Ever since MI5 agent Esther woke to discover her mind taken over with magic, she feels like stranger to herself. She looks to a notorious dragon, one who has the power to help her find her memory. But as she and Nikolai come closer to discovering what really happened to her, a dangerous passion ignites between them. Can this lone Dragon King help the woman he’s grown to love to uncover the truth about her past—or will a deep and fiery danger tear them both apart?
I have read Heat as a standalone story; yes, this tale features many characters from previous books, has multiple existing story arcs that continue through this book and beyond and has many references to the past adventures of our main romantic couple but Ms Grant makes sure her new readers aren’t completely at a loss by weaving pertinent information into this story without slowing the pace. Having said that, as with most long standing series, I understand that I will have missed the nuances of experiencing past relationships, plot lines and knowing the characters jumping in cold like this.
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a digital version of this book for free from the publisher (St Martin’s Press) after making a request via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review.
The publication date was 30th January 2018.
Thanks for the advance copy.
So, what did I like about it?
I haven’t read any of the Dark Kings books before, in fact, Donna Grant is a new-to-me author but I liked the way Ms Grant told this story, the pace her plot developed and the fantasy world that she crated. I liked that she gave us a prologue to set up what happened in the past to our hero, Nikolai, as well as an epilogue to establish what will be continued in future books.
I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this story and the way our lead couple were trying to solve it. I appreciated the various twists and turns that Ms Grant weaved into this paranormal romance story, not only with Nikolai and Esther’s quest but within the other plot lines too.
I liked that there are a few plots running alongside the romance aspect in this book; Nikolai and Esther’s quest to find the Druid and restore Esther’s missing memories, the threat and power struggles within the Dark and Light Fae, the impending leadership battle of the Dragon Kings between the current King of Kings Con and the banished Ulrik plus the various mysteries concerning the druids and Reapers.
Having not read the previous books I may be able to view the story’s characters differently than existing fans; what I’m enjoying is that we have different sorts of bad guys here; downright evil sods, misunderstood rogues, friends turned into enemies and bad-turned-good heroes. I love that, it keeps us readers on our toes. 😉
As a newbie to this series, I’ve gotta say, I really like Ulrik. I know he murdered mortals in past books and wants to kills all the so-called good guys but I can feel his pain, I hope my suspicions of romance on his horizon pan out by the end of the series. I also like the Druid, Eilish, she’s intelligent and resilient. I appreciate an author who writes multidimensional characters that aren’t good or bad but a multitude of grey.
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
As you can tell by my rating, I did like this book but there were a few things that took the shine off for me.
For example, I found the phonetic Scottish dialogue used throughout this book annoying and although it wasn’t a deal breaker it certainly didn’t help.
Jumping into a well established series, I was prepared to encounter background story arcs that continue from previous books and even go on to subsequent books. But although Ms Grant does a good job of giving the relevant information within these pages I should warn other newbies that a lot has happened in this series – a heck of a lot! I am sure that Heat is the sort of book that existing fans will love but as a new reader I felt as though there were too many cliffhangers by the final page.
And finally, I’m still in two minds about how I feel after reading our first sex scene with Nikolai and Esther. The sexual anticipation was being built really nicely but I just felt that we were rushed to sex; it felt too porno-film-esque and out of character, it unfortunately jarred for me.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I liked this book; it was good. I love it when a story keeps me guessing, makes me chuckle, puts a lump in my throat, warms my ole romantic heart and sends tingles of titillation to my nether regions. Heat had me gripped and kept me turning the pages.
So, has my review of HEAT (DARK KINGS #12) encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.
Buy the Book
Buy HEAT (or catch up with the whole series) in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:
Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US ¦ Audible ¦ Book Depository¦ iBooks ¦ Kobo ¦ Google Books
See HEAT on Goodreads.com
About the Author
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.