In Heat by Donna Grant, MI5 agent Esther is on a quest to find the druid who took her memories. Dragon King Nikolai, King of the Ivories, accompanies her on her quest. In order to find the woman who took her memories, the pair will need to enlist the help of the Ulrik, the King of the Silvers, also the dragon who has been banished from the land of the dragons and who Nikolai took a stand against, despite the fact the dragon took him in when he was an orphan. Along the way, they discover that Esther and her brother may be more than just the humans they always thought they were.
First off, this cannot be read as a standalone. I wouldn’t recommend trying it as such. Besides the story of Nikolai and Esther, there’s also a side story about Rhi and Balladyn and their betrayal by the King of the Dark and the Queen of the Light. There’s also Ulrik and his uncle, which make it seem like Ulrik might not be quite the bad guy the dragons believe him to be.
There are so many characters in this book and it bounces back and forth between all of them. There is no backstory to go along with the side stories; they’re more of a continuation of the storylines from the previous books. Anyone who jumps into this one without reading the previous books would probably be ok with the main storyline about the main characters (Esther and Nikolai), but would definitely be lost when it came to the side stories, which make up a good portion of the book.
As for Esther and Nikolai, I liked them as a couple. Nikolai is determined to do anything in his power to help Esther retrieve her memories, including asking Ulrik for help. Esther is just as determined to find the druid and get demand she give her back her memories. Even when things seem bleak, she refuses to give up.
I’m interested to see what finally happens between Ulrik and Con, who is the king of all the dragons. Con believes Ulrik is going to challenge him, but it doesn’t seem like Ulrik is really interested in doing so. I’m also curious to see if the dragons are willing to embrace Ulrik back into the fold when they finally figure out who’s really behind what they accused Ulrik of doing.
Overall I thought the book was ok. There was too much bouncing around between the different storylines for my taste. While I expected it from having read the previous books, I still didn’t care for it too much. I did like how the Epilogue summarized where everything stood with each storyline, so readers know where everything is leaving off until the next book is released. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about dragon shifters, as long as you have read the previous books in the series first.
Publication: January 30, 2018 | St. Martin’s Press | Dark Kings #12
Nikolai is a dragon shapeshifter who knows well the meaning of loss. Orphaned and raised to be a Dragon King, he never accepts defeat. Now, Nikolai prefers his solitude . . .until a beautiful, irresistible woman calls upon him for help—and Nikola’s whole word goes up in flames.
Ever since MI5 agent Esther woke to discover her mind taken over with magic, she feels like stranger to herself. She looks to a notorious dragon, one who has the power to help her find her memory. But as she and Nikolai come closer to discovering what really happened to her, a dangerous passion ignites between them. Can this lone Dragon King help the woman he’s grown to love to uncover the truth about her past—or will a deep and fiery danger tear them both apart?