Night's Blaze: Part 4 (Dark Kings #5)
by Donna Grant
Rhys scrubbed a hand down his face, his mind rushing through every nuance of his plan. Every turn was danger for Lily. It made him break out into a sweat. He couldn’t lose Lily. She was the only reason he could face each day. Without her…he was nothing.
Lost in breathtaking passion, Lily and Rhys burn for each other. Yet not all is well. As a destructive force moves to destroy the bond growing bond they share, Rhys is forced to make a choice that will change their lives irrevocably: Lose the woman who has become his salvation? Or be consumed by desire…
Themes: dragons, magick
Rating: 4.5 stars
Holy cow, I didn’t expect for any of that to happen and for me to say I saw NONE of that coming is a great endorsement that this author knows her stuff. The finale of this story was packed with action, heartbreak, redemption and unexpected changes to the characters and their roles in the entire series. Once again we are challenged to figure for ourselves where everyone falls on this scale of evil when so many of the characters seem to live in the varying shades of grey. The story wraps up nicely with a big battle and then even bigger choices being made by the characters all leading to a second chance at love for Lily and her Dragon King Rhys. Seeing all the different characters and the choices they made that led to the ending is what makes me continue to wonder just where the series will be going in the future and ultimately how it will end.
Rhys and Lily's story ends with a bang, literally, as their enemies attack and put them all into mortal danger. But the enemy in question once again becomes vague when the plot hatched by both sides clash and ultimately neither turns out the way they were planned. I loved seeing Lily stand up for herself and when the veil of her naiveté is lifted she must finally understand that some people are just inherently evil no matter how much you try to hope otherwise. The last couple chapters of this story was certainly a tear-jerker as Rhys finds his way and then loses the most important thing to him, only to have his world restored and keep his Lily beside him in his long-awaited HEA. The ending was one that will keep me guessing and I am dying to find out what happens next, and of course I was left screaming "NOOOOO..." as I came to the last words of the book, because some seriously bad choices get made by characters that broke my heart. The next book better get here soon is all I can say.
Lily turned out in the end to be a much braver woman than I imagined she would be and certainly a braver woman than I. In the beginning I thought she was a timid woman, one that could never stand up to the personality of a Dragon King, especially one like Rhys, but she proved me wrong. Seeing her find that inner peace and be able to embrace the changes to her life as she learns the truth of her new friends and lover reminds me that the goddess sends us challenges so we can find our inner strength. She was obviously passionate and a perfect foil for Rhys's reckless and often impatient personality, grounding him and making them a truly matched set. Likewise I enjoyed getting to learn all there was to know about Rhys and seeing him fall in love with this vulnerable yet brave mortal woman. It is obvious that he has never found a woman that can truly be his equal in all ways until Lily comes into his life. When he is faced with the choice of losing her or giving up his place as a dragon he makes a choice to be human to protect her without even thinking, but dealing with the fallout of that choice has been difficult for him. Now that he is able to actually embrace a relationship with her he is fully healed and will remain whole forever as long as she is by his side.
Night’s Blaze was all-in-all a great read with drama, betrayal, discoveries both good and bad, and the true love that can only be found when one meets their destined mate. Lily and Rhys are both damaged goods, but together, if they can find a way to trust one another, they will have their HEA and their second chance at love. Lily finds herself in this story and in the arms of her Dragon King Lover, bridging the gap between the woman she once was and the one she will be in the future, finding a way to move past the trauma of her relationship with her evil and controlling ex. Rhys also has his issues to work through and knowing that he is determined to keep Lily away makes me sad, but when he finally accepts that she is meant for him and there is no getting away he becomes the truly great man he is meant to be. The passion and heart between Lily and Rhys is apparent from the beginning, because let’s face it what man would risk losing half his soul and identity just to be able to make sure a woman who is not even intimate with yet will remain safe. The ups and downs of the world of the Kings and especially their enemies and allies make the series full of unexpected surprises and keep you on your toes as you read each new addition to the series. If you haven't read the previous stories in this series, while I feel bad for you because you are missing out, you won't be totally lost. If you enjoy this book though I will have to tell you that going back to the beginning and maybe even all the way back to the Dark Sword series which started it all will not be remiss. In the meantime I will continue to anticipate the next book in this series, and the next after that, and so on until all the Dragon Kings have awakened and found their mates and their much deserved HEA, because let’s be honest is there anything sexier than a man who is covered with a sinfully sexy tattoo of the dragon that shares his soul and has the ability to transform into said dragon so he can take you to the stars with him? I think NOT! Keep the masterpieces coming Donna and we'll keep reading, enjoying inspiring rounds of whisky and planning our trips to Scotland to find our own sexy Scot--that may or may not turn into dragons or warriors. ;)
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.