Title: Dragon Awakened
Author: Jaime Rush
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Hidden (Book 1)
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Format: Paperback, 319 Pages
ISBN-10: 1455523224 (Forever/Hachette)
ISBN-13: 978-1455523221 (Forever/Hachette)
Reviewed by: Steph
They are the Hidden.
Not quite human. Far from normal.
And never, ever safe…
Playing With Fire
Ruby Salazaar wants answers…and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath—Cyntag—leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself.
Burned By Love
Ruby changed Cyn’s life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn’t foresee the danger—and desires—Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control…
Quick & Dirty: Ruby is a normal woman until something happens that changes her life forever. Now, she’s in a world surrounded by dragons, demons, angels, and mages. One man is willing to show her the ropes, but can she trust him?
Opening Sentence: Cyntag’s phone rang.
I was very curious what the first full book of The Hidden series would be like after reading the two prequel novellas, both of which I enjoyed, but I felt they were too short to really garner an opinion of the series. While I had some issues with this first book, I feel it holds great promise and could end up being a really good series.
Fifteen years ago, Ruby’s life fell apart when her parents died. Since then, she’s been raised by her uncle Moncrief. One seemingly normal day, she receives a call from Moncrief, telling her to come to his house as quickly as she can. When she arrives, she finds Moncrief dying, a victim of what appears to Ruby to be a lightning strike, as she finds him with an electric bolt through his chest. She then finds herself chased through the house by an orb of some sort. She has no idea what’s going on, but in searching the house, she finds information on one Cyntag Valeron, the man she believes is responsible for her uncle’s death. Determined to find out what’s going on, Ruby sets out to find Cyntag.
Fifteen years ago, Cyn was an assassin. He received an assignment to kill everyone on board a yacht. After killing the man and woman on board, he comes across a sleeping nine-year-old girl. Although he had long thought of himself as emotionless, Cyn finds he cannot kill an innocent child and sees to it that she finds her uncle. Now, the child is all grown up and completely ignorant of the world she belongs to, one filled with dragons, Deuces (mages), and the offspring of angels. Cyn feels it’s his responsibility to Awaken Ruby’s dragon and serve as her protector until they can find the people responsible for her uncle’s death. How will Ruby react when she finds out the man she’s falling in love with is also the man who killed her parents?
I really liked Ruby. She’s strong, not wanting to rely on a man to protect her, but at the same time, she’s willing to admit she’s not quite ready to take on demons, dragons, and Deuces all on her own. Her reaction to this new world comes off as very realistic. Cyn, I found a little harder to like, mainly because his character felt a little less developed than Ruby’s. It feels like we spend more time in Ruby’s head than Cyn’s, which could have a lot to do with why it was harder for me to connect to Cyn. When it comes to Cyn and Ruby as a couple, the chemistry leaps off the pages. There is a palpable connection there, and I found myself waiting with bated breath for the time when they would finally admit their feelings for each other.
Another issue I had was it felt like the story resolved itself too quickly. I was completely enjoying where the story was going and liked the conflicts that were going on between Cyn and Ruby, and then it seemed like all was well far too soon. I was still enjoying the story, but I was left feeling disappointed.
That being said, I feel this is a world rife with possibilities. There is a lot Jaime Rush can do here, and I for one am excited to see what ideas she comes up with. Fans of paranormal romance should definitely give this series a shot!
“I can deal with dangerous. What we don’t know is whether you’re a target because you were a witness to Moncrief’s death or if there’s another reason.” He saw the fear on her face. Good. She needed to be afraid. But she also needed to be strong and ready to fight. He changed tack. “I can stash you away in a safe house and find out who’s behind this.”
He saw his words prickle at her. The little girl vanished, and the woman who’d held a gun to his chest stepped into her place. Perfect.
“I’m not hiding. I want to find out who killed my uncle.” She curled her hand into a fist. “I want them to die.”
He tried to stifle his smile and the pride it would reveal. “Then you’ll need to be Awakened.”
“Into a Dragon.” Her bravado wilted. “I’ll become what you did at the library?”
“Yes. The next time you face a demon, you’ll be prepared. You’ll at least know what you’re dealing with.”
“And see it. The only thing scarier than seeing you as a Dragon was not seeing that thing.”
She was getting it. “But know that Awakening will be intense and painful. Training will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.” Before he thought better of it, he reached out and brushed his finger against her cheek. “I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
She stiffened at his touch. “Why does that not comfort me?”
He pulled back, irritated that he’d let himself go soft. “Then here’s something else for you to focus on: when we Catalyze to Dragon…we do it naked.”
The Hidden Series:
0.5 Dragon Mine
0.6 Dragon Rising
FTC Advisory: Forever/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Dragon Awakened. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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