Review: DARK EMBERS by Tessa Adams

Review: DARK EMBERS by Tessa Adams

Prince Dylan MacLeod is one of the last pure-blood dragon shape- shifters-and ruler of a dying race, the Dragonstar clan. It falls to him to protect his people and their ancient magic. But he has one important duty: to provide an heir...

Like all dragons, Dylan, who has a dark, rampant sexual appetite, can only procreate with his destined mate-for whom he's searched for the last five hundred years. But his quest is delayed when a disease sweeps through the Dragonstars, and Dylan must venture to the human world to find a cure. He tracks down bio-chemist Phoebe Quillum, never imagining the beautiful scientist would be the mate he's been seeking. But even with the fate of the clan on their shoulders, Phoebe and Dylan are overcome by their sexual desire.

Their passion turns to something truer, but when Phoebe is kidnapped by Dylan's oldest enemy, he must risk everything for his love and his clan...


Publisher: NAL Heat, A Division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Single Title/Series: DARK EMBERS is book one in the Dragon's Heat Series.

Cover Thoughts: There's a lot of elements that coincide nicely with the plot on this cover but unfortunately, I'm not feelin' much love for the cover model. In my mind, Dylan is waaaaaaay hotter but the desert landscape and the swirling magic of the colors, all convey the tone, paranormal plot and setting perfectly.

Why I Read It: DARK EMBERS was a must read for me after the novel was brought to my attention way back in March 2010. When it arrived on my doorstep, I put my other reading efforts on hold and dived in.

My Review:

Dylan MacLeod, dragon and King of the Dragonstar Clan, is unwillingly leading his people straight towards Death's door. During his four and a half century existence, Dylan's fought and won many a blood-soaked battle but the microscopic entity that's currently destroying his dragons is one battle he can't conquer. As if he wasn't under enough pressure, Dylan still has yet to find his mate and provide the clan a much needed heir. As the last pure-blood dragon, it's his duty to continue the line but despite the copious amount of sex he's engaged in throughout his four hundred plus years, his rampant efforts have yet to yield a mate. Now, after the recent loss of his sister to the disease that's succeeded in striking down his family one by one, Dylan concludes that it's time to take his fight outside the clan and solicit the help of humans.

Phoebe Quillum is no stranger to tragedy herself after loosing her family to first abandonment then violence and finally to disease. Now, after dedicating the last six years to the study of incurable diseases, more specifically lupus with a verging breakthrough, Phoebe is suddenly met with a financial roadblock that could potentially derail her studies forever. Unable to find new funding for her research, Phoebe is desperate and in the prime position to be plucked from reality. When Dylan approaches her about a strange disease that's killing his people, Phoebe is more than wary. While a lot of Dylan's story doesn't make much sense, when the gorgeous man offers her three million dollars to help him attempt to cure this unknown disease, Phoebe would be stupid to say no. It also helps that a burning hunger has ignited for Dylan on such a scorchingly hot primal level, that Phoebe's hormones won't let her say no.

Not since adolescence has Dylan been unable to control his dragon half but Phoebe's close proximity, lush figure and astounding intellect has the dragon within clawing to break free. Now is obviously not the time to be distracted from his mission to find a cure for his people but Dylan's fighting a losing battle as he's consumed with a burning need that will not be ignored. Knowing it'd be foolish to get involved with a human when he owes it to Dragonstar to find a dragon mate, Dylan tries hard to resist but his need and his dragon will not abide.

Never has a man affected Phoebe the way Dylan can. He's aggressive and domineering which would generally cause her to bristle with contempt. Instead Dylan invokes an uncontrollable lust that leaves Phoebe terrified but craving more. Trying desperately to resist falling in love with someone after learning that to love means to loose, Phoebe buries herself in the lab with the hope uncovering a cure to the mysterious disease that's killing people in the most heinous of ways. As gaps begin to widen with missing information, information that Dylan has purposefully withheld, Phoebe forces the truth from him and discovers a whole new realm of possibilities. While the news of Dylan being a dragon should rationally terrify her, Phoebe's scientific brain that relishes new discoveries, is overcome with curiosity and delight. But that interest also is emotional and endearing as Dylan reveals himself to her and Phoebe can't help but fall more and more in love with the infuriating man.

Unfortunately, when the sinister origins of the disease eating voractiously through the Dragonstar clan is unveiled, Dylan's and Phoebe's romance is put on hold. While Dylan was first to withhold information about his dragon heritage, its Phoebe's resistance that may prove to be deadly.

My Thoughts:

DARK EMBERS is a steaming hot and wonderfully entertaining erotic romance with the perfect balance of sex and plot. Too many times I've read an erotic novel and the worst has happened: I've become bored with the overabundant and redundant sex! It's true and I'm sure others have had a similar experience at one time or another. Certainly its a tenuous line between too much and too little sex and finding that balance must be more than difficult but when an author hits that perfect stride and sensual flow, she receives the result of a happily satisfied reader. With DARK EMBERS, the paranormal elements, animalistic dragon natures and understandable scientific aspects all make the perfect background for a high intensity ride of sex and romance. Lovin' it!

Another aspect that I'm lovin' about DARK EMBERS is its villains. They're not vampires, fanatical humans or any other mythical creature. They're dragons! Surprisingly, with dragons as the Dragonstar enemy, it humanizes the book and gives this paranormal read a realistic touch. It also allowed Ms. Adams to focus entirely on her dragons and really build their history and world rather than spending time creating another mythical enemy.

Sadly, there was one draw back to this book and that was the Happily Ever After. And before anyone gets scared, no, it wasn't that DARK EMBERS was lacking an HEA but rather that it just felt too easy. After both Dylan and Phoebe grapple endlessly with the reasons why they can't be together, the resulting outcome left little sacrifice on either of their parts. Of course while my inner reader is satisfied that they're happy, I wanted more of a dramatic finish. I'm also hoping that book two, HIDDEN EMBERS, doesn't have the same result. *fingers crossed*

For erotic romance fans that love and want an engaging paranormal plot, uber alpha males, and explosive sex, DARK EMBERS is a must read.


More Reviews:

Smexy Books: 3.5/5
No Such Things As Too Many Books

Coming Soon:

HIDDEN EMBERS by Tessa Adams

Dragon's Heat Series Book Two

Releases January 2011

In her ten year career with the CDC, noted hematologist Jasmine Kane has been in many of the world’s hotspots. Fiercely dedicated to her job and filled with a wanderlust that can’t be denied, she’s spent most of her life with her bags packed and one foot out the door. So when an injury puts her on extended medical leave, keeping her out of the field and locked in her Atlanta apartment, she nearly goes stir-crazy—until a call comes in from an old friend, asking her to visit a lab in New Mexico and help isolate hemorrhagic properties in a strange, engineered disease. Before Phoebe can so much as say dragon, Jasmine’s out the door and on her way to Las Cruces.

Quinn Maguire is an ancient dragon shapeshifter—and healer for his clan. For hundreds of years he’s worked to keep his people safe, sacrificing any kind of personal life in his quest to keep the Dragonstar clan from dying out. And for centuries it’s worked. He’s lost friends and lovers because of his obsession, but at least the Dragonstars have not perished as so many of the dragon clans have in the last three hundred years. But now he’s faced with something he can’t solve, a disease engineered by his clan’s mortal enemies and one that may do what war, difficulty in childbirth and an encroaching human population hasn’t—wipe out his people for good. Desperate to stop the disease, he’s willing to try anything—even working with a human hematologist, one whose very presence sets him on fire…


Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) said...

I have this one in my TBR pile. Great review.

Leontine said...

Trade pb is ruining me in the finance department *sigh* I really want to read this and I love the fact you enjoyed the balance of plot/erotic part, that is a major trigger for me too. It's remains on my wishlist :D

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Laurie! This was a stellar read and one I highly recommend.

Hugs, VFG


Hey Leontine!

I don't read much trade unless its an absolute MUST but DARK EMBERS was worth the extra bucks. I gotta find something else to read by this author while I await HIDDEN EMBERS....

Hugs, VFG

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, so he looked better in your head *eyes the cover* I would have made him look better too ;)

An easy HEA, hum, well as long as there is an HEA I am happy

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

Thanks for the review! I'm glad you liked it. I have this one 7th from the top of my TBR pile. Unfortunately, I am a slow reader, so it will be awhile before I get to it!

Have a great weekend!

Tanya said...

Great review!! You have no idea just how badly I want this book! My B&N trip was supposed to be last weekend, but then something came up. I swear if I don't get to go tomorrow and put this book in my hands, I'm going to throw a two-year-old fit! :P

And, as long as there's an HEA, I can breath a sigh of relief!

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Blodeuedd!

Oh yeah, my Dylan was totally hotter. *wink*

Hugs, VFG


You're welcome Diana!

And yay! Another slow reader! Oh gawd, I'm a terribly slow reader and I get more than jealous of the other speedier blog readers. While they can devour 10, 12 up and over 20 boooks a month, my average is four - one a week. Sometimes I can eek out a little more but that happens once in a blue moon. So don't worry girl, you are not alone.

Hugs, VFG


Thanks Tanya!

LOL! Knowing how much I enjoyed this book, I'd be throwing a two-year-old fit too if I couldn't get it in my hands ASAP. I hope you'll be able to get to B&N soon!!

Hugs, VFG

Tricia said...

Wonderful review! Bummer about the HEA, that can be a let down. I have this one on the tbb pile but I'll bump it up some now it sounds really good!

Tanya said...

Hey VFG!! I went to B&N and got this book today. So freaking excited to start it!

Anyways, I'm really stopping back by to tell you that I'm passing you an award because I love your little world here! Come by and pick it up!

Tanya @ Among The Muses

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Tricia! The HEA, while not deal breaking, was just too easy but again, they're living Happily Ever After which is important. ;) I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did!

Hugs, VFG


Yay! So happy you got the book Tanya!!

And thanks for lovin' my blog! I'm on my way to pick up my award.


Love Ann said...

Great Review! THANKS! since it is not out on Kindle yet, I've got it on my wishlist... trying to just save space before my home has no more room for me (just books! :) )

VampFanGirl said...

Thanks Love Ann!! And you're welcome. *wink*

LOL! I know what you mean about the piling books dilemma. But oh the addiction is so sweet. ;)

Hugs, VFG

Queen Rachie said...

I have not read the first book you mentioned but oh my, I plan too now. And I have to say that I love the cover, wow, what a hott bod. And i also plan to read the second one when it comes out in 2011.

VampFanGirl said...

Hi Queen Rachie!

Oh my gosh, this guy is totally ripped and I'm really lovin' the second cover too. That tattoo is gorgeous.

I hope you enjoy the novel as much as I did!

Hugs, VFG

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