The Gladium Province is on the verge of civil unrest as humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, clash once more. But amid disorder can also arise passion.
When the bodies of three human women are discovered in Morgon territory—with the DNA of several Morgon men on the victims—it’s just a matter of time before civil unrest hits the Province. But for ambitious reporter Moira Cade, it’s more than just a story, and it may mean risking her own life.
Descending into the dark underworld of Morgon society, Moira is paired with Kol Moonring, Captain of the Morgon Guard, for her protection. Fiercely independent, Moira bristles at his dominance, and defies his will at every turn. Yet resistance proves futile when passion flares between them, awakening powerful emotions within both, body and soul. But as the killings continue, can their fiery newfound bond survive an even greater evil—one that threatens all of humanity, Morgonkind, and Moira’s very soul?…
Worldbuilding: I freaking loved the whole Gladium/provinces setting, with the fantasy element – Morgons, descendants of dragons, who have special abilities & some possess magic – beautifully woven into day to day life. While the point of the novel wasn’t the worldbuilding, because this is a spin-off series of the author’s Nightwind series – which I haven’t read, everything was set awesomely and I got the world and world order thing very well.
Characters: I loved Moira to bits. She’s independent, stubborn, determined, pretty tough, resilient, gutsy, fun, witty – just the complete package, you know what I mean? I loved her rebel streak, how passionate she was about her career choice and making it on her own, about her beliefs, how kickass yet vulnerable she was. I loved her to bits.
Kol was every bit the alpha male, super strong, smart, protective, smoldering hot, brooding…a leader among Morgons, a noble soul, super intense and a devoted lover. I mean, seriously, you could not wish for more (except maybe wishing to get one of your own, sigh.) They made the puuuurfect couple.
I need to mention I really, really liked many characters, some of which I’ll read about in the Nightwing series and yes, I do really wanna read it now.
Plot: The romance arc was very well built, very tense and in the end, highly satisfying. Their chemistry was explosive, their spring/autumn (he’s 30 something, she’s 20) romance a slow burn but with super hot quick lust & delayed gratification to set it off. The one on one was uuuuber hot and when the main even FINALLY happened I was thrilled with their bond and their HEA.
Outside of the romance arc, there was also some interesting mystery to the story, the whole murders thing, the implications that rose out of investigating them exciting for an evil reader like me, and I loved the hints of things to come. I’m a total sucker for politics and intrigue, so sue me 😛 But the mystery investigation came with a good side of action and thrills, I loved the alert pace of events. All very exciting, and well entwined with the romantic development of the Moira/Kol pair.
Writing: First person, past narrative from Moira’s POV. I loved he voice, she has humor and a really cool perspective on things, plus being and investigative journalist, she’s very observant. Loved her. It’s exactly the style of writing I respond to and love.
Curb Appeal: Hot cover, hooking blurb – total impulsive buy material.
All in all, this was a really cool fantasy romance with a good side of murder mystery. I will definitely follow the series, and while Waking the Dragon is my first Juliette Cross read, it most certainly will not be my last.
I fully recommend the novel to lovers of dragon-kin romance, paranormal mystery and lovers of strong female MCs. I’m pretty sure all of Juliette Cross’s writing is awesome just from reading this first (for me) novel by her, so I’m gonna say give any of her writing a shot if you haven’t already. She’s bound to make a fan out of you, I say 🙂 Big like!