Ratings: 4.5 stars out of 5
If the aftermath of destroying two powerful syndicates and joining league with the last person he expected, all Ken wants is a chance to catch his breath, and maybe regain the attention of the man who said he wanted Ken as more than just a Steward but now seems to have lost interest. But every other day bring a new crop of people wanting to kill them, and it’s only a matter of time before they succeed.
All Amr wants is time—time to move his clan and settle them into their new home, time with the dragon he never thought he’d own, and most of all he wants time for his Steward, to see the man rest and recover and stop getting himself almost killed every week. He wouldn’t mind a chance to rekindle their fragile relationship either.
Diamond wants a life that feels worth living. The one he left behind wasn’t all that great, but it beat waking up to the nasty results of a curse that should have killed him and working as a hitman for the Cambry Syndicate. Then he goes to fetch someone for his boss, and gets dragged even deeper into the strange paranormal world he’s still learning to call home.
Note: contains poly
Another story in one of Megan Derr’s Dance with the Devil series is always cause for rejoicing. Its a huge universe of stories she’s built, full of worlds and characters and their mates. They are intertwined of course, sometimes loosely, or sometimes the threads that hold them together are tight, knotty, a balled up mess of relationships and politics and genetics. Dragon genetics. But whatever the story, its always compelling. The plots and world building so weirdly captivating and the couples a mesmerizing blend of beings that sometimes has you blinking in disbelief and delight at the same time.
Some of the couples even bleed (literally) into each others novels, as they do here. For those who are loving followers of the series…I won’t spoil the surprise, just be prepared to see a couple from a previous novel play a major role here. It also sent me running to read their story all over again. Truly, this is a series that keeps on giving from one story to the next. It keeps reigniting your interest in all the past novels you’ve already read as well as launching your imagination anew for the next book to come.
I haven’t even gotten to Shield of the Dragon (Dance with the Devil #6) yet. If you haven’t read the other stories that included the Dragons and the Dragon shifters in the Dance with the Devils series, you can still read this novel. Derr does a wonderful job of explaining the culture, the genetic history just enough to engage a new reader’s imagination and connect them immediately to the story. Those of us who have been with the series all along, well, its a lovely quick refresher course. But as always, its the characters who pull us into the drama and the plot lines here.
As with any Derr story there are layered story threads running parallel to each other, intertwining throughout the novel. One is the tale of Amr who is moving his clan during a time of upheaval. Amr has been claimed by a dragon that’s the key to power and therefore much sought after. His own life is in just as much turmoil as he seeks the companionship of Ken, his Steward. Ken, a person of action instead of words is confused by the one person he wants and now thinks has rejected him. And still their clan must be settled into hostile territory and their dragons kept safe. Little do they know of the plans being hatched against them.
Diamond is an unusual hitman/thug for the Cambry Syndicate. Who and what he is makes him all the more deadly to everyone around him..and it brings him no peace. His latest mission is about to change everything. For himself, for the Syndicate, for all he knows. In Diamond, Derr has created another memorable character. A cursed being, done in by his own brother, with more of his history waiting to be revealed later in the plot, the revelations that flow from this character’s plot thread are extraordinary. From his lover to those that he meets, Diamond is the key of the Shield of the Dragon in so many ways. Derr has layered him in such a way that its a delight to watch him grow and change, especially when one event occurs.
Ken is probably as close as they come to being Diamond’s twin. And when the plot works in tandem, their threads twisting together, the book explodes with power.
One thing that should be mentioned is that the dragons are able to shift into human form, while remaining dragons in thought. Part of the bonding process is sex and it continues to be part of their relationship. So there is sex, not only between couples but between their dragons and the couples, as neither can be excluded from the others relationship, naturally. This includes female dragons too. So don’t be surprised to have a M/M/M/M/F/M…I think I left a M out of there somewhere… pairing at the end. But it all felt very natural given the relationships between each other and the couples. Really with the dragons, its all about who they choose.
By the time the novel comes to its HFN conclusion I was so deep into this world once more that I was shocked to see it was time to leave again. Hate it when that happens. Derr always does it to me. I’m never ready. And of course, seeing that other couple again made me ready to pull out their story for round 2.
I loved this story. If you are a fan of Megan Derr, you probably have already grabbed this up. You don’t need my recommendation. But for everyone else, if you love fantasy, dragons, dragon shifters, outstanding world building and all of the above, here’s a series to sink your teeth into. Very sharp teeth! And a book you will love. You can start here or go back to the beginning. I have listed them all at the bottom of the review. I’ll be waiting for the next to arrive. Meet me here.
Cover art is dark and is hard to make out but helps brand the series.
Kindle Edition, 197 pages
Published September 12th 2016
Series Dance with the Devil – add to your Goodreads shelf:
Dance with the Devil (Dance with the Devil, #1)
The Glass Coffin (Dance with the Dev #2
Dance in the Dark (Dance with the Devil, #3)
Midnight (Dance with the Devil, #3)
Dance Only for Me (Dance with the Devil, #4)
Risk it All (Dance with the Devil #4.5)
Sword of the King (Dance with the Devil, #5)
Shield of the Dragon (Dance with the Devil #6)
Twilight (Dance with the Devil #7)