May. 26th, 2017

chez_jae: (Books)
I recently finished reading an ebook: Smoke by Val St Crowe. It's the first installment in the author's "Slayer Chronicles".

Clarke Gannon makes her living by slaying rogue dragons. It pays well, and she needs the money to help take care of her sister, who is an addict. When Naelen Spencer, a wealthy dragonshifter, shows up and wants to hire Clarke to help him find his sister, she turns him down at first. She kills rogues; she doesn't locate missing dragons. Naelen won't take no for an answer, and he continues upping the ante until Clarke agrees. She can use the money to get her sister into rehab.

What promises to be a tough job becomes worse when Naelen insists on accompanying Clarke in the search for his sister. He's an entitled playboy who is clueless about navigating the seamy underworld that his sister was drawn into. Aside from that, Clarke is reluctantly attracted to him, and Naelen is bent on bedding her. Complicating matters is her on-again-off-again lover, Logan, who flits in and out of the narrative. Clarke and Naelen track his sister to a vampire's lair, where she is being held under a compulsion. Dragons are supposed to be immune to magic, but this vampire has some tricks up his sleeve.

The story wasn't great. Naelen came across as juvenile in every sense of the word. Clarke at least had a good head on her shoulders, but I was disappointed in how difficult it was for her to refuse Naelen's hamhanded advances. Throughout this story, she managed the feat, but barely. I am so done with (supposedly) strong female leads who can barely think when the hunky male lead is all up in their hamster ball. The two of them bumbled from one lead to another on their quest to find Reign, including an overnight excursion with an unconventional family. I saw no reason to devote so much of the narrative to this side-venture. In short, a blah, plodding story with no world-building whatsoever, an ass of a male lead, and no real resolution at the end.

Favorite line: And when someone's relying on you, it changes something in you. Makes you braver.

Two stars:

**

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