Signet Eclipse, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-451-22327-2
Fantasy Romance, 2008
Don’t laugh, but I bought Deborah Cooke’s Kiss of Fire because of the cover alone. At that time, I had no idea who she was or what the story was about. Well, I know now that Deborah Cooke isn’t a new author – she has also written historical romances and contemporary romances under the names Claire Delacroix and Claire Cross. No, don’t ask me whether “Cooke” has anything to do with the fact that the hero is a fire dragon.
Yes, there are dragons here. There are dragons known as Pyr while there are another bunch of them known as the Slayers. You have one guess as to which one are the good guys. At any rate, when the story begins, the time is near when these dragons go at it hammer and tongs because the Slayers have this fiendish plan to destroy all humans while the Pyr dragons are, of course, all about saving the humans.
At any rate, take away the dragons and I get a paranormal story that is as fresh as leftover unsold vegetables left at the garbage dump at the end of market day. Quinn Tyrrell is our loner Pyr who likes to play with iron while Sara Keegan is our accountant heroine turned bookstore owner. Sara is, of course, Very Special although she doesn’t know that yet at the start of the story. As the Slayers show up to burn Sara into juicy barbecue meat, Quinn comes to the rescue. One look at her, predictably, has him realizing that she is his mate forever and ever. Meanwhile, there is a prophecy claiming that Sara and Quinn must have Amazing Sex so that their Magic Baby can save the world.
And on and on and on this story goes, with the sequel baits showing up on cue and everything else coming together to give me a story that I have read many, many, many times before. I like the author’s attempt to weave in the legend of Hephaestus into the story, but egads, the execution of the story is so stale and derivative that I can’t bring myself to work up any enthusiasm. Take away the dragons and replace them with werewolves or vampires and I won’t notice anything different, I tell you, because this is the Mate-Mate-Mate Magic Sex Magic Baby Soulmate Forever Formula all over again, rehashed in a most unimaginative manner.
It has such a nice cover though – I really like it.