Melindeeloo's Reviews > Hidden Embers

Hidden Embers by Tessa Adams
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's review
May 10, 15

liked it
bookshelves: dragons, paranormal-romance, shapeshifters
Read in May, 2011

Dragonstar clan healer Quinn is pretty close to losing his will to live. After the death of his beloved brother to the vicious disease which is decimating his Clan, it is only his duty to find a cure that keeps Quinn going. When his queen arranges for an expert on infectuous diseases to help research, Quinn's dragon balks at having another in his lab, his territory, and a human at that. But sending her away is not an option when he discovers that brilliant and prickly woman, Jazz, is his mate.

I almost put Hidden Embers down several times, but I hate to give up on a book and it started to pick up about half way in. I guess what grabbed me half-way and kept me reading was the poignacy of the background story once we learn the truth about how the dragon-shifters are contracting the designer virus which causes gruesome death. The scene where we witness the next victim being infected is so sad and when the disease comes to fruition it is even sadder. It also helped, that about the same time as I got emotionally invested in the background story Quinn examines his behavior - it had kind of colored my view of him that Quinn is so overcome with sorrow about loosing his brother at the start of the book, but once he meets Jazz he gets so wrapped up in her for the next hunk of the story that he seems to have forgotten about his grief altogether.

But I suspect that a portion of my initial problem with Dragon Embers was that being a Berkeley Heat imprint (which I didn't notice when ordering it online), Dragon Embers has just as much sex as story. While I do like steamy stuff, I am happier when the story/sex balance falls on the side of story. So, I tend to prefer romances where a connection forms between the leads, there is a buildup of sensual tension, and then there's explosive sex, to ones like this where the H/h meet, explosive sex ensues before I've had a chance to get invested in the characters and then there's random bouts of sex inserted here and there in the rest of the story. Oh and for those with adult language issues - also a reason that I stick to Berkeley's Sensation vs Heat - the 'p-word' is used (which bothers me) and there is liberal use of the 'f-word' variants in and out of the bedroom (which doesn't).

Bottom line though? On the plus side: I really like dragonshifters, I liked the honorable and overly responsible dragon healer hero Quinn, and the background story -what there was of it - had some emotional moments. My nits: the power of some of those emotional moments weren't capitalized on since life affirming sex almost always occured in the aftermath, but since I am not a true erotic reader and this was an erotic story, take my bias for what it is worth. (2.5 stars - pretty good, it would have made a great short story.)
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