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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scorched by Amber Kallyn

Scorched by Amber Kallyn
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (101 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

A rare Argentinean dragon shifter, Cynthianna "Anna" Hernandez has never known trust, peace or safety, not even by fleeing to the deepest wilds of Canada. When bounty hunter Garreth Dragos shows up during a blizzard, things get complicated as their inner dragons decide they're perfect for each other. Things get worse when the dark mage hunting Anna finds them, sending his creatures to return her to his evil clutches. He's willing to sacrifice anything and anybody to further his quest for power. Together, Anna and Garreth must trust in each other or all will be lost to evil.

Amber Kallyn has written an excellent follow up to her first Dragos story.

Bounty hunter Garreth Dragos is tracking a dangerous fugitive for the council. The trail has led him to the snow covered woods of Canada, a climate not kind to dragon shifters like himself. But he has it on good authority that his quarry is there.

The target of his search is accused of the most heinous of crimes: murdering her father and stealing his power and his soul. For he is tracking a rogue dragon, a female who has turned evil, just like his oldest brother. He brought his brother to justice and he will bring this woman in too-if he can survive the bitter cold.

Cynthianna “Anna” Hernandez is running from the evil mage who killed her mother and father and enslaved her since she was a child. As a rare Argentinean dragon shifter, she can withstand the cold and snow without it weakening her powers. When she discovers Garreth passed out in the snow, almost dead, she drags him into her cabin, saving his life. As they spend time together, it becomes clear to Garreth that she is his mate, but before he can claim her, he discovers her identity: she is the fugitive he has been sent to bring in.

When the dark mage comes to try and reclaim Anna, they must unite and fight together, or become slaves to the mage. Can Garreth clear Anna’s name? Can they learn to trust each other in order to survive what is ahead? Can Anna stop running and learn to live free again?

Scorched was very good, and it was able to answer some of the questions I had from the first story. The characters are just as well developed as in the earlier work, and I enjoyed seeing the couple from the first book, Scott and Call, make an appearance in this one. I like the idea that the strong handsome Garreth was done in by the cold and snow and it took a female to rescue him.

Anna is terrified, but she is still smart and sharp. She knows where she needs to hide to keep the mage from finding her. I found her strength to be tempered by the insecurity she felt about her body and the scars she carries from the torture inflicted on her in the mage’s dungeons. But she is determined never to be that weak and helpless again.

Garreth is a bounty hunter, and he can sense when something isn’t right. I love that he believes in Anna’s innocence, and is willing to fight for her against the council. He is not too proud to accept this woman’s help, and is willing to express his gratitude for what she does. When he finds out that this is the same dark mage that corrupted his brother, he is willing to do whatever it takes to help Anna fight for her freedom.

This is a story of two lonely and driven people who find in each other their destine true mates. I enjoyed watching both of them fight the attraction. Anna felt she wasn’t worthy, because of something that happened when she made her escape from the mage. Garreth had given up ever finding his true mate, and was struck by the irony of their meeting.

There are a couple of intriguing moments in the story when things become much more than two people coming together, and these surprises make this a very good reading experience. I will warn you not to look for a happy ever after, exactly, because the mage is still out there. But Anna and Garreth do have a happy for now, with a bright and loving future ahead of them. And be sure to keep the fan on for this one because it heats up fast.

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