Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: Waking the Dragon by Juliette Cross

Title: Waking the Dragon
Author: Juliette Cross
Series:  Vale of Stars #1
Pub. Date:  June 9, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Pages:  248
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

The Gladium Province is on the verge of civil unrest as humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, clash once more. But amid disorder can also arise passion…

When the bodies of three human women are discovered in Morgon territory—with the DNA of several Morgon men on the victims—it’s just a matter of time before civil unrest hits the Province. But for ambitious reporter Moira Cade, it’s more than just a story, and it may mean risking her own life.

Descending into the dark underworld of Morgon society, Moira is paired with Kol Moonring, Captain of the Morgon Guard, for her protection. Fiercely independent, Moira bristles at his dominance, and defies his will at every turn. Yet resistance proves futile when passion flares between them, awakening powerful emotions within both, body and soul. But as the killings continue, can their fiery newfound bond survive an even greater evil—one that threatens all of humanity, Morgonkind, and Moira’s very soul?…

I love a good dragon book, and my friend Deanna (from Deanna's World) has mentioned Juliette Cross a few times so I thought I would try this one out. Unfortunately, I did not note that this was a series spinoff before reading, so part of the time I felt a little lost or like I was missing some information. So if you are reading this review, I recommend that you read Soulfire and Windburn before you start Waking the Dragon.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! From what I could tell, it feels like Ms. Cross has built a really cool world where dragons and humans are commingling after a history of segregation. I will be going back to read the earlier books now that I enjoyed this one so much. There are various dragon clans which are denoted by the color of their wings and other features. And as you might expect from dragons, they all seem to be alpha males a little close to the beast side. Yum!

Our heroine in this book is Moira Cade, a girl to admire. It seems that her family is stinkin' rich, but she has refused all financial support from her father and is trying to make it on her own. She is only 20 years old, which made me cringe when I first read it, but thankfully she is a very mature 20 year old. Ms. Cross proves that you can write a young heroine without making her a horribly immature whiny brat. Yay! Moira hopes to be an investigative reporter and is covering the best, and sometimes dangerous, stories for her college newspaper. When Moira starts investigating what appear to be ritualistic murders of human girls by Morgons (the dragons), she puts herself in the line of danger. 

In steps our hero, Kol Moonring, captain of the Morgon Guard. Kol is a broody alpha male to the extreme, just like I like 'em! Kol recognizes his mate in Moira, so instinct kicks in with a fierce need to protect her and possess her at the same time. This makes for some very steamy and endearing moments between the two.

The plot follows a good vs. evil type story line, evil dragons vs. good dragons and their human partners. While this trope is typical for paranormal stories, I found the plot engaging and well-paced. This is certainly a book that you can and will want to finish in an afternoon. 

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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.

Visit Juliette’s website.
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