This dragon shifter paranormal romance plays out in a world of immortals. The Dragon Shifters are a proud race, and the Ascendants are just as proud.
The narration demonstrates great use of active voice, which is sometimes lacking (at least in my own writing :)), and while I wanted to see more of Jason, Aaron and Hope realize the power of fated love.
Duty-bound to someone else
As a dragon shifter, Hope feels compelled to mate with Jason, another dragon shifter she’s known all her life.
I actually really liked Jason, and at first, I thought he was going to be the hero.
But it turned out to be Aaron, the immortal Ascendant.
Hope is, like most shifters, struggling with the animal inside her. When she comes across Aaron, she’s not sure what she feels. She only knows that her dragon wants him.
A combination of fire and ice characterizes her relationship with Aaron. One moment, she and Aaron kiss and the next they curse each other.
His tongue plunged in, dancing with hers, owning her mouth and plundering it as if she already belonged to him.
Too shocked to hide her response, Hope kissed him right back. Or perhaps it was the fact that they’d almost died that had her resistance crumbling.
Under her fingers, his heart thrummed with a passion that rippled over her skin, the sound of it harsh and reassuring.
Then, she was free.
Aaron slid to his feet with that characteristic fluid grace of his that drew her attention to his hips, his muscled thighs.
It was only when he grasped the back of his chair that she realized he wasn’t as steady as he looked. He, too, was still recovering from their journey back.
“I am not letting you go. So, you better get used to it.” His voice was hard, uncompromising, showing none of the weakness he must be feeling inside.
He stalked off.
“Stupid, arrogant man,” Hope mumbled.
If you are okay with relationships featuring a lot of conflict between the hero and heroine, then you’ll like Hope and Aaron.
But if you don’t like heroes and heroines who constantly rub each other the wrong way, then you might want to give this one a miss.
The psychic caught up in his own emotions
Aaron is a warrior. He is an immortal who belongs to the race of Ascendants, and he shares a telepathic network with the other members of his race.
When Aaron meets Hope, he has no problem treating her as an equal. He’ll take her down in a fight, but he’ll also claim her as his mate.
He has a sensitive side. Aaron feels unsure he is ready to fall in love because he is grieving over his brother.
But Aaron also becomes angry when Hope wears revealing clothing. I have to admit I didn’t like this trait very much, but I guess this represents an imperfect character.
I wouldn’t say he is controlling, but he is possessive. The jealous kind that succumbs to “that primitive part of his brain which he [draws] on in fights …”
I didn’t really want to see a hero getting angry about what his love interest is wearing because he hasn’t yet claimed her and he’s afraid that some other guy might see her body.
To me, that’s not heroic; that’s the behavior of a man-child who throws a tantrum because the girl he likes is wearing something he thinks is too revealing.
With the light behind her, the shadow of her figure was visible through the cloth.
He didn’t want anyone else to see her figure, not until he’d claimed her and told the world that she was his.
I won’t go on, but this left a bad taste in my mouth.
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And while Aaron and Hope wade through their tumultuous feelings, the Elysians need shifters who can add their emotions to the Elysian network, because they’ve lost essential empaths.
This network is similar to that of the Ascendants, only the Elysians can’t live without their psychic network. Without it, they become unbalanced.
At first the Elysians ask for a volunteer to donate their emotions to the Elysian network, but when that doesn’t fly, they kidnap Hope’s friend, Mira.
And of course, Hope nearly dies rescuing her friend, and in the process, Hope realizes the extent of Aaron’s sacrifice for her.
Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.
The storyline keeps the reader interested. And I learned some important features of dragon shifters through this book, so that was a good thing.