I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Descended of Dragons #1
on October 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Source: ARC from publisher
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A Secret Past
Fiery redhead Stella Stonewall can’t decide between a margarita and a manhattan. The rest of her life? Please. Stella has never really fit in, and her pretty world comes crashing down when she learns it was never her world at all.Rowan Gresham is domineering, brooding, and as sexy as chocolate-dipped sin. When he transports Stella to the magical realm of her parents she recognizes her rightful place immediately. Gresham’s motivations are less clear.
A Scorching Chemistry
The enigmatic Gresham aids in Stella’s metamorphosis and their chemistry ignites, though a long-time girlfriend and a significant age difference stand in the way.
A Battle for the Rest of Her Life
Stella’s life fast-tracks to extraordinary when she enrolls at Radix Citadel for Supernatural Learning, an enchanted college whose students turn furry on the regular. As Stella learns to navigate the magical new world of Thayer she must also find her animal form, a task as elusive as her ancestry. Stella soon faces an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn to manipulate an animal form she never knew she possessed.
This book was AMAZING. Oh, it’s been too long since I read a great fantasy romance…I don’t usually read the preview of the next book that you find at the end, but this time I could not stop myself. I WANT IT.
Okay, let’s get down to business. The first thing that really sticks out to me is the world-building. It was perfect. Honestly, I could see every single thing, every single place that was described, perfectly in my head. And Radix? It was SO my kind of place. I loved the old-fashioned feel, the sophistication and the décor. I would absolutely love to go to a college like that.
As for the fantastical element as a whole, it was pretty interesting, even if the plot was a little cliché. I think the whole descended-from-animals bit is unique, especially with the ability to transform as well. I mean, shape-shifting isn’t unique, but it’s definitely different here. Stella’s special, for sure, and even if it isn’t 100% a ‘chosen one’ type of thing (yet), it seems very similar, especially with the whole cliché of the ‘bad guy previously thought to be dead but now targeting the main character’ bit. Anyway, I don’t mind at all. That’s why I love fantasy so much. It doesn’t matter that the plot isn’t usually very different. I read it for the circumstance, the HOW it all happens. And the romance. (Duh.)
Speaking of, this novel is very appropriately steamy. Sometimes (often) it’s just a frustrating tease, sometimes a little more, but let’s just say I’m looking very much forward to the next books. It’s one of those things where you know it’s going to be worth the wait. You just know it. But looking at more big-picture things, yes, there is a tiny bit of a love triangle. Just be warned. Not enough to be truly annoying to those who don’t like it, but there might be more in the next books. Hard to say at this point. But I didn’t mind. I am perfectly fine with love triangles.
Let’s have a look at Stella. She’s great. Not entirely unique, but I love her snark and witty comments. That’s another thing; this book was very funny. (Especially everything to do with Pia, her Siri-like assistant.) But yeah, Stella was amusing and definitely interesting, if a little predictable. Gresham was unusual—Yes, he’s attractive, brooding, mysterious, that whole bit, but he’s also grumpy pretty often and he almost entirely lacks a sense of humor. He’s generally just not who you think he’d be, and I love it. It works well with the story. (Also, it was really fun finding hidden meanings in a lot of what he said that were kind of explained later, but not excessively. It’s the kind of thing where you know you’re right and you get to be really self-satisfied in that without the book taking the fun away and explaining it entirely.)
The pacing was great, the plot was engaging (and yes, several twists will keep you on edge, some predictable and some not), the characters are unique and really cool, the romance was suspenseful, the ending was a tiny bit rushed but DEFINITELY made me want to read the next book immediately. I think I have a new favorite.
reaction upon finishing
WHY CAN’T I READ THE NEXT ONE RIGHT NOW
this book in one word