Title: Charred Heart
Author: Lizzy Ford
Series: Heart of Fire #1
Release Date: November 22, 2013
For a thousand years, Chace has searched for a way to break the curse placed on him by a jilted lover. He’s a dragon shifter, one who can’t control when the magic will force him into a different form. He’s already lost everyone he ever cared about a few times over and doesn’t know how much longer he’s meant to suffer.
At his wit’s end, he makes a deal with a mysterious figure that offers him what he wants most – an end to his misery – in exchange for everything that’s his: His life, his power. His heart.
The next day, he meets Skylar, a modern day dragon slayer whose mission is to cage him – or kill him. Sexy, witty and brave, she is the yin to his yang, the woman destined to break the curse, balance his magic and make his broken heart whole.
Except it’s too late. Not only has he sealed his fate, but an innocent one-night-stand with Skylar has dragged her into the middle of a deal with the devil, one she won’t escape, if he can’t convince her that dragon shifters aren’t her enemies.
I don’t read fantasy/paranormal romance very often. When I read I like to be completely consumed by the world in the book and more often than not I can’t project myself entirely into the fantasy world. I have come across several exceptions over the years, but I’m always cautiously optimistic when diving into a new fantasy/paranormal book, especially one by an author I’m not already familiar with. I was pleasantly surprised by Charred Heart, to the point where I know I’m going to go buy the next book in the series to keep reading this story. Charred Heart is a new take on the beauty and the beast tale, complete with a curse. Set in a fantasy world where shape shifters and dragons are real and magic flows freely, Chace and Skylar meet each other as enemies and come to rely on one another when both their worlds comes crashing down around them.
“You’re destined to relive my heartache for the rest of your years.”
It took a few pages before I found myself being sucked into this book. However, by the time the story was well underway, I was hooked. Lizzy Ford has been creative in the design of her characters, precisely molding them to be unique entities. Skylar is one fierce female and I loved her loyalty and resolve. Skylar’s character was also completely organic, sprinkled with insecurities, vulnerability and conflicting emotions. She felt whole as a character. She wasn’t a warrior or a lost little girl. She was a natural combination of both and that made her incredibly relatable and loveable. Chace is hot, mysterious, dangerous, and protective which makes him an alpha through and through. He isn’t without his weaknesses though, as we learn right from the start. He struggles and hurts underneath all that power and strength. Lizzy Ford made sure we’d swoon for Chace by allowing us to see the pain lying beneath the surface, endearing him to us immediately.
“If you need a little peck on the cheek or something, I’m game. Rather that than be turned into fried chicken.”
This storyline! This book was the perfect mixture of romance, mystery and suspense. The storyline ensnared me from the start and kept me guessing throughout the entire journey. Every twist and unexpected revelation kept me captivated by this fantastical tale. Lizzy Ford expertly wove romance through the mystery, allowing it to enhance the storyline rather than overshadow it. The dialogue and inner thoughts of the characters were witty and fun, perfect for their youth and life experiences. The details of this magical world were carefully planned out so that the smallest moments made sense later on in the story. Since this is part of a series, there is obviously no concrete wrap-up in this book, but the author did a great job at leaving us mostly satisfied while still begging for more. I can’t wait to get started on the second book so I can find out what happens next!
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Check out the rest of the Heart of Fire series:
Charred Tears (Heart of Fire #2)
Charred Hope (Heart of Fire #3)