DARKEST FLAME - Donna Grant
Dark Kings , Book 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN-10: 1-250-04136-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-04136-4
May 2014
Fantasy Romance

Scotland and Ireland - Present Day

Ordered to infiltrate the Dreagan Industry holdings, American MI5 agent Denae Lacroix joins the mission's senior agent, Matt, on a spy mission. The assignment is vague. Her division superior told her she would know what the agency wanted when she saw it. Denae has suspicions about her division at MI5, and more about an even deeper black ops she suspects is guiding this operation. She and Matt approach through an underwater access to the caves on the Dreagan property. Matt betrays her by unexpectedly shooting her underwater. She reaches a cave, but Matt follows and tells her she was just bait on this mission. Denae is not only beautiful, she is intelligent and a force to reckon with. She stabs Matt in the heart, killing him, but collapses in the cave unaware of any escape route.

Someone observes this altercation. The intruders wake Kellan, The Bronze Dragon King, from his sleep of many centuries. He despises humans. Dragons had been ordered to protect these users; humans in return killed his Bronzes. Still, Constantine, King of the Dragon Kings, who had kept Kellen updated on society's changes through the centuries, still believed Dragons should protect humans and took that duty seriously. Against all probability and his own repugnance, this woman attracts Kellen.

Huge problems face the Dragon Kings. They know MI5 is coming after them when two of their agents go missing on Dreagan land. It's a setup. Someone wants to expose their existence. The Dragon Kings have kept their secret as intelligent, dragons-human shifters for thousands of years. How did the MI5 agents know about the underwater entrance to the cave, and why was Kellan's cave targeted? A war with the Dark Fae threatens the Dragon Kings and their allies. Some agent, mostly likely the banished Silver Dragon King, must be informing their enemies. Constantine fears that the recent movement of the sleeping Silver Dragons and three of his Dragon Kings falling in love with human women bode trouble.

The anthology DARK HEAT told the love stories of three of the Dragon Kings. DARK FIRE, as the first in the DARK KINGS series, both begins and continues the saga about the magical and dark forces found in Scotland. Denae is a great heroine, strong, savvy, powerful, but not overdone, so she can be vulnerable at the same time. Overcoming Kellan's hate will be no easy task. Events forcing the Dragon Kings to react are moving at a fast pace. and between the action and the unwilling romance, readers are sure to turn pages equally fast. Some background information disturbed me as the originating events mentioned between humans and dragons took place long before Homo sapiens emerged; however, the anthropology discrepancies aside, DARK KINGS is an entertaining quest and exciting read.

Robin Lee