Ember (Rulers of the Sky #2) by Paula Quinn
Synopsis: Millionaire Garion Gold is the last Drakkon alive on earth, but he doesn’t have to be. His blood holds the power to transform at will or alter any descendant of the ancients. He doesn’t have to live his life alone, hiding from those who seek his blood, secluded in a villa in the mountains of Norway. He can rule the sky with his kind, but the cost to humans is too high. So he remains a man, alone in the clouds, giving up flight and fire for a nobler purpose. He’s suspended in both worlds, belonging to neither, an outcast with a price on his head that has cost others their lives.
Helen White will never forget the Gold Drakkon that burned her family to ashes and set her path toward a purpose. To find and kill him before he turns any more Drakkon. But he isn’t the monster she’d prepared herself for. He’s six feet five inches of pure, golden muscle and built like he could lift that hammer from the ground with a tug. He’s mystery and radiance draped in sunshine or starlight. A man whose kiss sets music to the stars and whose truest heart is revealed in his gentleness with the most delicate of creatures; his cat. What will losing her heart to her sworn enemy cost her? And when a life-altering truth is revealed, what will stop her from killing him?
Review: The second book in Paula Quinn’s Rulers of The Sky series was an enjoyable story. We met Garion in book one when he was a small boy, the boy Marcus had to protect from Patrick White. Helena is the daughter of Patrick White and she watched as Garion in Drakkon form killed a lot of her half brothers and sisters in vengeance against killing Thomas White. When this story takes place, Garion and Helena are both grown and Helena wants vengeance against the Gold who killed her extended family. Garion has grown into a recluse who simply wants to live in peace, but when his sister is threatened by the Bane, he hops on a plane and heads to her rescue. Once there he meets Helena and they are both surprised by the other. Helena didn’t expect the Gold to be socially awkward, shy, and guilt-stricken by his actions 14 years ago. Garion doesn’t expect to be drawn to the enemy. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other and as they grow closer villains start to arrive. When he breaks his promise to her and shifts shape into his Drakkon form and turns her to save her life, she has to come to terms with his reasons and decide if he had lied to her the entire time they knew each other, or if he simply couldn’t fathom a world without her in it. The story builds steadily in the beginning and I enjoyed watching them grow close, but once he is Drakken and taking her to Norway, things seem to become a bit rushed. She “hates” him for turning her into what she has hated her whole life and he is questioning his vow to suppress permanently his other half. I would have liked for the story to continue a bit slower than it did once they were in Norway. They needed to learn to trust each other and she needed to come to terms with being Drakken. It doesn’t take long till they are throwing snow at each other and kissing passionately, and I would have liked for that portion of the story to go a bit slower. The ending was good; the final battle was well written. The final page of the story was rushed; I would have liked to have had more at the very end. Overall, I really liked book 1 more, but book 2 was enjoyable and I liked returning to Quinn’s take on dragon shape-shifters. I look forward to book 3 and am curious who the villain will be in the next installment and who will be the Drakkon it focuses on, maybe Jacob?