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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Hidden Dragons by Emma Holly
Emma Holly does it again! I've been a huge fan of Ms. Holly for quite some time now and I was thrilled to see that the newest book in the ""Hidden" series was out. I've followed it since the beginning & I know that sometimes authors tend to get repetitive & lose the desire to create completely different story lines for new series books but this isn't the case here.. As usual, Emma Holly kept me completely enthralled from beginning to end.. This book has it all! The paranormal, the romance, the danger, the mystery & the intrigue.. Not to mention some sexy shifters of both the male & female persuasions!
We are re-introduced to the deep-thinking, but oh-so-dreamy sexy shifter Rick Lupone who is a werewolf police officer.. He has never forgotten his first high school crush, the gorgeous & independent Cass Maycee who is half-fae... A new danger throws these two together & they have to battle the people out to hurt Cass & also their renewed attraction for each other... Of course, who can resist the other when they are thrown together in close quarters while fleeing? This book is a must read for lovers of the paranormal & the romance... Ohhhmy... This story definitely includes those incredibly sexy & erotic elements that Ms. Holly is known for... If you get a chance to read a few great books this summer, make sure it includes Emma's fantastic & fascinating "Hidden Dragons"! ~ Vicki Rose
Platinum gives Emma & "Hidden Dragons":
4.5 Platinum Rings!
Do you believe in dragons? Werewolf cop Rick Lupone would say no . . . until a dying faerie tells him the fate of his city depends on him. If he can’t protect a mysterious woman in peril, everything may be lost. The only discovery more shocking is that the woman he’s meant to save is his high school crush, Cass Maycee.
Half fae Cass didn’t earn her Snow White nickname by chance. All her life, her refusal to abuse fae glamour kept men like Rick at arm’s length. Now something new is waking up inside her, a secret heritage her pureblood father kept her in the dark about. Letting it out might kill her, but keeping it hidden is no longer an option. The dragons’ ancient enemies are moving. If they find the prize before Rick and Cass, the supe-friendly city of Resurrection just might cease to exist......
Involuntary gasps broke out as people identified the object the beams came from. Nestled within the padded red velvet was a quartz crystal sphere. Joscela would have given her right arm—at least temporarily—for ten minutes alone with it. That clear orb contained the blueprint for the proposed Pocket: the magical rules by which it would be governed, its capacity for expansion. As Manfred’s staunchest opposition, Joscela hadn’t been invited to participate in planning. He and his cronies wanted to stack the new territory’s deck in their own favor, to suit their own agendas. Though this was to be expected, the exclusion offended her more than any of Manfred’s slights.
To ignore the genius of a mind like hers was criminal.
Manfred was too enamored with his grand experiment to consider how dangerous humans were. The race seemed weak and easily dazzled compared to fae, but their very susceptibility to fae glamour seduced their superiors. Mixed blood children brought shame to proud families—nor were Joscela’s concerns theoretical. Just as fae had been trapped beyond the Veil when it dropped, humans had been trapped here. Her sensibilities rebelled at the results. Pure humans could be useful, but halves? And quarters? They were a mockery of what fae were supposed to be, always causing trouble or getting into it.
As a wise fae once said, a little power is a dangerous thing.
The dragon master removed the crystal from its nest of velvet.
The dragon nosed it, smart enough to be curious. Joscela wondered how the keeper felt to stand so close to the ancient beast. She’d never had a dragon. Once every queen possessed one, but their number had dwindled by the era in which she’d assumed the throne. Some compared the creatures to dolphins in intelligence, others to small children. Though they couldn’t speak, they understood commands. Crucial to tonight’s proceedings was the magic that packed each cell of their huge bodies. Pure magic. Old magic. The very magic the one-time gods used to form fae reality. Never mind combatting poison or piercing good armor, the spell power within one dragon could create or destroy worlds.
Compared to that, burning enemy villages couldn’t measure up. Every hatchling was a weapon someone, someday wouldn’t be able to resist deploying.
Though the dragon’s playful nudge nearly pushed him over, the dragon master didn’t scold or shove her off. Perhaps he couldn’t bear to with so little time remaining. He braced his back leg instead, closed his eyes, and composed himself.
As if sensing the seriousness of the situation, T’Fain settled back onto her forelimbs. Her keeper held the sphere between them. As he connected his mind to it, the crystal began to glow. The detail Manfred and his cohorts had encoded into the quartz soon poured into him. The keeper’s eyes moved behind their lids. Unlike inferior races, pureblood fae could grasp immense amounts of knowledge, each bit as clear and accurate as the rest. This dragon master’s lineage endowed him with yet another skill: the ability to communicate with his charge telepathically.
The dragon’s wings twitched as the river of information hit her awareness. Fortunately, like her keeper, she could hold it. Comprehension wasn’t needed, only accepting what was sent. The beast seemed to be doing exactly that. Her upper and lower lids closed over her ruby eyes.
At last the transfer was complete. The keeper set the empty crystal on the cracked sand, then gently clasped the dragon’s cart-size muzzle. The creature blinked as if emerging from a dream.
“Be,” the keeper said softly in High Fae. “Be what I have shown you.”
He let go and stepped back. T’Fain shook her body and raised her wings, not for flight but in display. The keeper retreated faster. Despite her misgivings, Joscela couldn’t deny a thrill. It wasn’t every day one witnessed new realities being born. The dragon tilted her great bronze head as if listening to faint music. Joscela’s heart thumped behind her ribs. If she’d been in the beast’s position, she’d have been screaming or belching flame. The dragon didn’t seem upset, merely attentive. The keeper turned and ran.
Joscela wasn’t prepared. Possibly no one was.
Like a star exploding, a blinding brilliance replaced the bronze dragon. The power blasted Joscela’s hair back, and her ship jerked to the end of its anchor line. She couldn’t tell if the tether snapped, because her senses were overwhelmed. Lightning swallowed the world around her, rainbow sparks dancing in the white. Her ears rang with alien chords. The air was so thick with power it felt like feathers against her skin.
He’s killed us, she thought. The dragon keeper wanted us all to die.
Even as this possibility arose, the sight-stealing radiance ebbed. Her vessel was still aloft, still anchored, though she’d been knocked onto her ass on the wooden deck. Everyone around her had, from what she could see through her watering eyes.
Ignoring the disarray of her long silk gown, she stumbled to the railing to see what had transpired below. The scene she discovered made her smile unexpectedly. Manfred’s fancy throne had toppled over with him in it. He didn’t appear hurt, but half a dozen shaky soldiers vied comically with each other to help him up. Everywhere she looked, fae pushed dazedly to their feet. The dragon was gone. Her death had produced that great white light.
Joscela focused on the spot where T'Fain had been standing. Beside her, Ceallach pulled himself up as well.
“Look,” he said, a note of grudging awe in his voice. “The new portal is forming.”
She’d already seen what caught his attention. The opening was round or would be when it finished coalescing. Years might pass before the doorway was mature enough to use. For now, streaks of green and brown and blue swirled like clouds within the aperture. Though she’d had no part in its design, she understood what was happening. The essence of the realm of Faerie was outfolding into the human world, blending with it to form a combined reality bubble. Silver glimmered and then disappeared at the top of the portal’s ring—a pair of dragon wings taking shape, she thought.
“The sacrifice succeeded,” she observed, though this was obvious.
“The dragon master should find that some comfort.”
“That presumes comfort matters. The last living reason for his bloodline’s existence was just wiped out. The protectors among the Guild can hire out as mercenaries. Gods know what purpose he and his kin will find.”
Ceallach put his hand on her arm, and they gazed at the man together. The dragon’s trainer had run as far as he could from the explosion. Now he stood on the sand, a solitary figure looking grimly back toward the forming door. Char marks streaked his face and leathers, as if he alone had passed through real fire. The soot obscured his expression, but still . . .
“Shouldn’t he be more devastated?” she asked Ceallach quietly.
When she glanced at her companion, one corner of his mouth tugged up. His nearly white eyes met hers, and the grin deepened. “I believe he should, my queen.”
Joscela’s heart skipped a beat. “Perhaps the rumors are true.”
“Perhaps they are.”.............
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