Once he was a Roman. But that was before an evil sorceress, Killian, turned him into a dragon. Killian sent him and his comrades to the Island of Stars. Now the Island of Stars is dying. Andra, Goddess of Hope, is sending each dragon back to the mortal plain.
After being a dragon for centuries, Darkwyn Dragonelli is a man once more. He is the third Dragonelli to return to the mortal plain. Darkwyn is tasked to find his predetermined heart mate and to make her life quest his own. He must also best Killian. Should Killian win, no other will be able to live the Island of Stars and they will perish. Darkwyn is an alpha male, no matter his current species, wearing unseen scales and spikes like armor. He knows to expect an acclimator, Vivica, to greet him upon his arrival. For two weeks Vivica would teach him how to blend in with society. As he studies, Vivica would create all the paperwork needed for Darkwyn to be legal.
When Darkwyn steps (or rather he rolls) onto the mortal plain, he lands behind a bar counter in Salem, Massachusetts. The counter keeps most from noticing his nudity. Standing over him is Bronte McBride. She is in her full vampiress costume and wearing the mask no one ever sees her without. Bronte owns the Phoenix building and all the businesses within it. Her businesses cater to visitors and locals who enjoy vampire roleplaying. (Whether the person roleplaying is in her building for light entertainment or is a serious [die hard] vampire, Bronte's businesses aims to please.) The brilliant inventor behind the scenes is her twelve-year-old nephew, Zachary Tucker. As Darkwyn rolls to a stop at her feet, Bronte quickly realizes that this man is different from any other she has met. She and Zachary are in hiding from one of Canada's most powerful men. (Not even the RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have been able to bring the man down.) After only a few days with Vivica, the alpha feels danger stalking his heart mate, Bronte. He knows telepathy and dragon speak well, but has only a rudimentary grasp of English. Darkwyn is soon employed by Bronte as the Phoenix's Master Vampire. His main duties are to keep the peace and to act as Bronte's vampire mate (a.k.a. bodyguard). Turns out that the appealing woman has a few nebulous and erratic psychic gifts. Her nephew is more than meets the eye as well.
On the Island of Stars he had been one of the fiercest dragons, as unpredictable and dangerous as the black ice he had been nicknamed after. Now he undertakes the most important challenges in his extremely long life span: to eliminate all of his heart mate's powerful enemies and to defeat Killian, clearing the way for the next Dragonelli to arrive.
***** FIVE STARS! If you have read the previous titles then you will be happy to know that Jaydun and Bastian make a cameo or two in this episode. If you are a new reader, you will find yourself confused the first few chapters as you slowly learn the characters for this story and about the continuously running (series) plot involving Killian. It does not take long for Bronte and Darkwyn to wind up in bed together and these scenes downright sizzle! And since Darkwyn was formerly a dragon, these scenes are...interesting.
Many authors insert wacky humor to help break the tension whenever it gets too thick; however, Annette Blair's style of humor is always unusual. Darkwyn arrives with some animal sidekicks. There is a small guardian dragon and two glowing cats that have flutterby wings. Of course the dragon is invisible and the two felines look normal to humans. The one companion that all can see is Puck, a bird with the markings of a Catalina macaw. Puck does not simply quote back what he has heard. Puck swears in his sleep and, when awake, the bird is very talkative. Puck's running commentaries are often (loose) word definitions. Numerous times I found myself laughing long and loud.
Readers wanting a break from all the vampire and werewolf romances do not need to look any further than here. Bring on the dragons! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.