Ariana of Clairmont would risk anything to save her kidnapped brother, a quest she knows is fraught with peril. Her only ally is Braedon le Chasseur, a formidable knight with a mysterious past, whose scarred face and brooding nature mask a soul filled with pain. Ariana fears this dangerous man and the secrets he strives to conceal–but Braedon’s touch is pure seduction, his kiss a potent lure that tempts her into a passion she is powerless to resist.
Once known as The Hunter, now haunted by a dark legacy he struggles to deny, Braedon lives in a world of shadow and isolation–until he is thrust together with an innocent beauty in need of his protection. Embarking on a journey that will lead them to a legendary treasure, Braedon will be forced to confront old enemies and the stunning secret of his true nature–or risk losing Ariana and the only happiness he has ever known. . . .
This is the first in Lara Adrian’s award-winning historical paranormal romance Dragon Chalice Series, and oh my, from the very first few pages I was completely hooked and enveloped into the world Ms. Adrian has created.
The story begins with the old tale of the Dragon Chalice and it’s fabled tale of how it came to be in this mortal world. A tale that lures seekers of unimaginable wealth and immense power, for that is what is bestowed upon the finder of the chalice. A tale that will lead many to their own ruins…
After receiving a ransom letter, Ariana of Clairmont has left her home, and the only place she has ever known, to rescue her brother from the harm that has been brought upon him for reasons she cannot fathom. From the very beginning her journey is a doomed one. Ariana is meeting a merchant who is helping her secure safe passage to Paris, where she has been instructed to bring the ransom…a ransom containing documents her brother, Kenrick, has been working on in secret for years. When she arrives at the pub to meet the merchant, she sees he is talking to a scarred, and dangerously handsome man….a man who will ungenerously end up coming to her aid when the merchant wants more than the price agreed upon for passage.
Braedon, a former Knight known as The Hunter for his uncanny ability to locate anything, is torn between right and wrong when he hears the screams of a woman from the docks on which he is getting ready to set sail. Even more so when he realizes this is the same woman from the pub. The same woman who certainly won’t stand a chance against the unsavory merchant and the thugs he had just dealt with in the pub. But he just can’t ignore her cries for help…and because he once was an honorable man, this is where their journey together begins.
Braeden and Ariana begin a voyage to find her brother that turns into an amazing and enthralling tale of adventure and truths and maybe, just maybe, love. Braedon’s enemies of old are somehow involved in Kenrick’s kidnapping and he is determined to find out why. They encounter many things that lead them to question whether the myth of the Dragon Chalice could, in fact, be true. Is it possible that shape shifters and magical powers really can exist? Surely a man who has a sixth sense to hunt and locate anything can find the answers to these questions…
As I had said earlier, the world Ms. Adrian has created is so mesmerizing that I was hooked from the very start. I loved the historical descriptions of the clothing, buildings, fare and dialect of the time. Braeden is a wounded hero whose reputation should leave people turning and walking in the other direction. However, even though he has tried denying it, he is an honorable man at heart. Ariana is a spitfire who refuses to back down and will do whatever it takes to get her brother home. She is loyal and kind and although I’m not usually a fan of heroines, I am totally Team Ariana. They relationship they forge is one I can believe in. I understood where each of them were coming from personally and appreciated the strides they made together and have faith their bond will remain unyielding in the years to come.
There were a few twists in the story that made me love it even more. I won’t give away any spoilers but I will say this….it was everything I want in a book! I am eager to start the next book in the series, The Heart of the Flame, which is Kenrick’s book. Thank you, Ms. Adrian, for an amazing story!
Heat Factor: Burning