Ash Bringer (A Storm of Fire) by Courtney Leigh
The Draak, an ancient race of dragon shapeshifters, claim Earth after centuries of absence. To some, the Draak are like gods. To others, they’re invaders. To Everly Ghlass, they’re the ones that took everything from her.
After her adopted father is convicted of killing a high ranking Draak, Everly enters a deadly competition to win his freedom. Her plans are shattered when the brother of the of the murdered Draak claims the keys to her fate. Draven Tempest is one of the oldest Draak, a man with a literal raging fire in him and plenty of pent up anger. Anger he plans to direct at Everly. Now she has a choice. She can fight until it destroys her or surrender to a dangerously alluring new life.
At first, it’s a cruel, psychological game, but as time passes, the fearless Everly Ghlass begins to chip away at Draven’s hardened exterior to find something aggressive…and passionate.
As the two inch closer to a threshold that will leave them both changed forever, conspiracy and rebellion threaten the balance of the world. With war on the horizon, Everly and Draven must discover where they stand or be torn apart in a storm of fire.
Now that was good. The first book in a new series, always a hard one, if it’s not strong enough, then people won’t be interested in reading anymore. It’s written by the characters points of view (not a big fan, but today it works)
Everly needs to win the Red Race, it’s the only way to free the only person other than her parents (who are dead) she’s ever loved. He’s been like a father to her, so him being wrongly imprisoned doesn’t sit with Everly at all, she can’t break him out, but if she wins the race through the maze, she can have anything she wants, and Everly knows exactly what she wants!!!
Draven knows that his kind don’t belong here, (but they did once, a long time ago) but the humans weren’t strong to hold onto this place, so it’s now belongs to the Draak, and so does everything on Earth. To Draven human women are vessels to use, and anyone not loyal to his race, are vermin to be exterminated!!!
That was a hard book to read, it was amazing stuff, but the animosity that Draven had for humanity was sometimes overwhelming to read, his disregard for human life, and they were all either pets or pests, and so took it out on Everly!! I have to admit I didn’t think he’d ever get past the revenge he wanted for the death of his brother, but like most arrogant alpha males, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.. And fall he did, the brand he placed upon Everly was meant as a punishment, however, it backfired. He felt her emotions, dreamed her dreams and got an insight into his infuriating “pet.”
Everly held her own through most of the book, entering a race to the death for her adoptive father. Winning the race, only to be told her one wish wasn’t to be granted, instead she was to be “branded” and used like cattle (her thoughts) she was prepared for physical torture, to be “used and abused” she certainly didn’t go down without a fight, she fought him physically, and mentally. She didn’t want to understand him, but living under his roof, Everly saw a different side to him, and the Draak in general, they weren’t all killers, they are nurturers, they love their family and the human women who bear their offspring.
The hierarchy of the Draak takes a little getting use to, Draven although the strongest, isn’t the leader, that title belongs to a brother, he’s a fighter not a diplomat.
And both have decisions to make, there is a war coming, the rebel humans are fighting back.
So will Everly be able to get past her loathing of the Draak? Can she forgive her “captor and master” for killing her father? Can Draven look past his loathing of the human race?