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GRIGORI (Brothers of Ash and Fire #1) by LAUREN SMITH

Standalone in a paranormal shifter series.

SYNOPSIS

He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …
Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…
Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

GRIGORI is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

“All that matters is that I found you. After nearly two thousand years of being alone, I found you.”

After coming off an intense and angsty read, we were in the mood for a story to lose ourselves in, a chance to suspend reality for a moment in time and Grigori, the first book in the Brothers of Ash and Fire by Lauren Smith, a new to us author, provided exactly that! We were captivated by this book! We love our PNR and easily devoured this read. We’ve read all kinds of PNR books but have to say, a Dragon Shifter is a first for us, and well, after witnessing those spectacular dragons on Game of Thrones, we were pretty excited to see what this was all about!

“Here there be dragons,” he echoed in a husky whisper.”

The series explores the Russian Barinov Brothers; Mikhail, Rurik and Grigori, the last three in a line of centuries old, Barinov dragon shifters. Grigori Barinov is the first brother we meet and his story sets up the series (which we’re dying for more of) perfectly. We were immediately drawn into Grigori and Madelyn’s fierce and fast romance. Yes, things do move very quickly for these two but the author does a splendid job of creating her world and providing reasoning for the intense and rapid feelings experienced between Grigori and Madelyn.  There’s a familiarity between them that is later explored and explained.

‘The little human was bringing out old instincts in him, ones he thought he’d mastered long ago.’

Madelyn Haynes, a professor of medieval mythology, has been reading and researching dragons for years. Her studies take her to Russia on a fact finding mission to uncover the mythology of the dragons that have consumed her thoughts. Convinced they’re real, she uncovers a manuscript detailing the brothers Barinov and soon she meets two of the Barinov brothers first hand, confirming her beliefs.

‘He may have worn an expensive suit and looked like an Armani model, but he acted like an ancient warrior – one who took what he wanted. God help her, she liked it.’

Grigori has gone to great lengths to ensure his family secrets do not become public knowledge so when word hits him that a woman from America is seeking information, he acts quickly to find out more about this nosy American woman and veer her off their trail.  What he didn’t count on was the fact that he may have just found his mate, the woman he has been searching for his whole life. But, Madelyn is human, he’s a dragon shifter – he’s immortal and couldn’t bear the thought of outliving Madelyn. After all, dragons are so connected to their mates, they grieve so deeply and don’t live much past the passing of their one true love, so Grigori must tread carefully.

‘Holding her like this felt right, natural, just like it felt to fly. In that moment he wanted to share himself with her, open his heart to her.

Of course, the heart rules the head in this case with Grigori providing so much of what we love about paranormal escapism. The one true mate, the intense attraction and chemistry, the alpha possessive male, the woman who his heart beats for; and let’s not forget the epic battles, the threats and problems that plague them. It all went into making this a fabulously entertaining read.

“It doesn’t matter what you are. You are mine and I am yours. The fates brought us together for a purpose and I will not forsake you.”

For us, this gave off a Twilight meets Game of Thrones vibe – oh don’t worry, it’s very tame (not murder GOT), but the dragons were very reminiscent of the series and their history the author provided was fascinating! If this first book is anything to go by, we’ve just found ourselves a new PNR series to fawn over and you can bet we’ll diving straight into Mikhail’s books when it releases in January. Oh, won’t his be a tale to tell! There was so much mystery surrounding this man who had lived a lot of his life in exile.  If, like us, you love the mystery, history and romance of these types of stories, you can bet you’re gonna love Grigori!

“What I promise you is a vow of love and loyalty. A vow to never leave you. Mates become one beating heart, one infinite soul.”

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Filed under 4 Stars, Lauren Smith, Pick an Author

WOLFSONG by TJ KLUNE :: REVIEW

5 Epic Stars!
Standalone MM Paranormal

SYNOPSIS

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

WOLFSONG is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I’m not a wolf.”
“No,” he said. “But you’re something.”

Be still our book loving hearts because we just read a story that catapulted itself to a place in our heart where our all-time favourite books live. T.J Klune captured every single one of our breaths, every heart beat and every nerve ending of our emotional being as our body mind and soul became completely tethered to a story of love, loss, grief, family and friendship. Of responsibility, honour and integrity. Of war, redemption and personal sacrifice. Stunningly written as if we were reading a journal, its unique and almost poetic prose astounded us. This is unlike any paranormal we’ve read in a long while and we took all the characters into our hearts.

‘But hearts are a funny thing; they beat strongly in our chests, even though they can shatter at the slightest pressure.’

No word from us can ever do Wolfsong any justice. This is the story that is everything, a story that was everything. A story that every reader needs to experience. Even if you’re not a reader of paranormal nor m/m we highly encourage you to give this story the chance to open your heart to a brilliance that will light you up with exquisite book love.

‘Sometimes, when your heart gets so full, it takes away your voice and all you can do is hold on for dear life.’

Wolfsong was an epic compelling read of grand proportion. We never wanted it to end and whilst this was a long book it felt like time barely passed from the turn of the first page to the last. Vivid imagery, powerful scents and an exceptional emotional grasp, it captivated us, thrilled us and left us awestruck.

“You confuse me. You aggravate me. You’re amazing and beautiful, and sometimes, I want to put my teeth in you just to watch you bleed. I want to know what you taste like. I want to leave my marks on your skin. I want to cover you until all you smell like is me.”

Wolfsong is primarily about Ox, a beautiful young man who has grown up being told he’s nothing by a Father who acts like anything but. Ox is different but not in any way other than the fact that he has a huge heart, a sweet vulnerability and an immeasurable emotional strength despite his home life.

‘Here was where I felt most at home. Here was where I wouldn’t be judged.’

Unbeknownst to him things are not what they seem around him and more exists than that of which he’s aware. His Mum is the only person he has in his life, their bond sweet and loving. Their life a hardship a lot of the time.

‘Joe was overwhelming. Everything was him. He was all I could hear and see and taste and smell.’

Everything changes when a family descends and moves in close by. A world is opened to Ox and he becomes part of something bigger he never dared dream existed. Ox meets a young Joe Bennett and he’s immediately pulled into a life where his eyes are opened to what exists in between of what is known. Ox and Joe’s story is one of laughter, tears and suspense. We fell in love, we laughed and we cried uncountable tears. It was thrilling, epic and awesome. It smelled of pine cones and candy canes. It grabbed our heart and soul.

‘It should have been obvious. It should have been obvious what they were, but then I wasn’t looking for the incredible buried in the ordinary.’

 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Pick an Author, T J Klune