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Reviewed by Riley

Dragon in the BloodAbout Dragon in the Blood

When desire bites, there’s no patience for a slow burn.

While all seems quiet in Gladium Province, the Morgon Guard—the global justice force for the dragon hybrid race—knows their enemy is rebuilding its forces in the underground.

Valla Moonring, an assassin for the Order of the Morgon Guard, is ordered on a mission into the Wastelands of Aria—a formidable, icy wilderness fraught with all manner of dangers, including outlaws, deadly weather, and big-game predators.

To her great distaste, she’s partnered with a Nightwing Security operative, Conn Rowanflame, a Morgon with the aggravating ability to get under her skin. While she takes her mission seriously, Conn’s confident charm throws her off balance, a dangerous place to be in conditions like these. Especially when cold nights require close contact.

Sensual attraction binds them ever closer, igniting a passion of unexpected force—the soulfire. But when the hunters become the hunted, their bond could prove perilous. Even fatal…

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Review of Dragon in the Blood

Valla Moonring wants nothing to do with the Conn Rowanflame. They have a bit of that love-hate relationship thing going on. Yes, Conn is not unattractive. And he can be charming. Trouble is, Valla doesn’t want a relationship at all. She will maintain her independence first and foremost.

Conn, on the other hand, realizes early on what is happening between them. He knows he needs Valla and plans to convince her that she needs him. Valla is a little slow on the uptake. Make that a lot slow. Like I said, no relationships for her. None.

In this story, Valla and Conn are teamed up, along with Bowen Hunterguild on a joint Morgan Guard/Nightwing Security mission to gather intelligence that may help track down the Blood King. The mission will have the team travelling through less than friendly lands, meeting all sorts of characters, and getting into and out of danger. And for Valla and Conn, the added complication of mutual attraction will make the mission even more challenging.  (And the book all that more fun to read!)

In chapter one, the author does an excellent job of bringing in all the details and backstory of Galadium, including the recent events, that you need to know to keep up with the Vale of Stars story line. So whether you need to be reminded about what happened in Waking the Dragon, or you are joining the story for the first time, read chapter one.

After that, enjoy the story. I love these characters. I liked how the first person point of view shifted between Valla and Conn. Viewing Valla through Conn’s head and vice versa was entertaining. Conn sees Valla as strong and stubborn. Valla sees Conn as cocky and overprotective. As these characters get to understand each other better, it is easy to see what is going to happen, even if you can’t see exactly how it will happen.

Other characters of interest are Bowen Hunterguild, who’s human sisters were kidnapped by the Blood King and Bastien Silverback, who is in hiding, accused of killing his family. They are, respectively, the strong silent one and the engaging wanted criminal. Both have great roles in this story and I can’t help but wonder if I won’t see more of them as the series continues. I also like Bastien’s wulving pet Razor. Razor is just the kind of vicious beast that make a good pet for an outlaw.

The other character of interest is represented by her own first person point of view. The priestess also has a role to play that is bigger than just the story in Dragon in the Blood. But pay attention to her story.  Especially if you want to know the source of the title.

The overall story in the Vale of Stars series is what will keep me coming back for more I am quite sure. In Dragon in the Blood, the intelligence gathering mission will become much more. There will be bad guys versus good guys conflicts. There will be more about the Blood King and the kidnapped women. And there will be prophecy. What the prophecy means is only apparent to author Juliette Cross. But I am looking forward to figuring it out for myself in future books.

When I read book 1 in the Vale of StarsWaking the Dragon, I decided that Morgans are my favorite among all the fictional paranormal beings in all the books I read. I believe my comments were:
“All the accessible aspects of humanity combined with the beastly benefits of dragonhood. Then there is that ability to fly. I’d like to leave my car in the garage and fly from place to place. Of course I’d need a landing pad on my roof. Better yet, I could be harnessed to a big gorgeous Morgan with his strong arms around me.”
Dragon in the Blood only adds to my fascination of Morgans. Conn Rowenflame has the ability to shape and direct fire. In fact, many clans have their own unique talents. The Starfell clan are gifted singers of songs with divinely inspired lyrics. Yes, these are lovely creatures, nearly human, but so much more.

Morgans are still my favorite paranormal creature.

In Dragon in the Blood, there is a scene where the mission team of Valla, Conn and Bowen play a game called Truth or Lie while enjoying Arian moonshine. It is a drinking game. One person decides the topic and then everyone makes two statements, one of which is a lie and the other a truth. There is guessing about which is the truth and there is drinking penalty for someone depending upon the results of the truth guessing. In the book, the game has the effect of revealing personal details about each of the three members of the mission team. I don’t have any Arian moonshine, but I do have some Jameson’s. I’ll take a drink if you can guess which statement is the truth. Subject: Book Reviews

  1. Based on my readings of the first two books of the Vale of Star series, I don’t think I will read book three.  Or…
  2. The author provided a copy of Dragon in the Blood in exchange for an honest review.

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Links

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Purchase the Vale of Star series from Amazon:

Dragon in the Blood

Waking the Dragon

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