by Michele Zurlo
Dragon Kisses #1 (Cassie and Niall)
Waking up in a strange barn was just the tip of the iceberg. Cassie and Niall find themselves transported to another world, one full of dragon shifters who want to possess them. Cassie is claimed by Illion, an electric blue dragon who shifts into five hulking men, and Niall is claimed by Wynn, a lime green dragon who shifts into two men and two women.
The Zmaj feed from the sexual energy of humans, and finding a cache of five in an abandoned barn is a momentous occasion. Convincing them to stay and protecting them from the Inamanida, their sworn enemy, is another task altogether. And falling in love? Zmaj don’t do that.
When Cassie runs away, Illion is forced to confront his prejudices and his brethren in order to save her from a fate worse than death.
Dragon Kisses #2 (Arabella and Jonathan)
Waking with no memory, Arabella finds herself courted by three men claiming to be her mates. Dragon shifters Tobin, Gerrit, and Blakely woo her with sweet words and deeds, convincing her that she’s always lived this fairy tale existence. Life is perfect until the Inamanida King decides the experiment has gone on long enough—and Tobin is ordered to turn Arabella over to be tortured and used by the entire clan.
Meanwhile Jonathan is working to help settle the humans in Zmaj’s outer city. As the son of a prominent human leader, finds himself thrust into a leadership role and having to liaise with creatures he was raised to fear. Soon he falls for Laurel, a beautiful woman recently arrived from Earth, but as secrets emerge, he faces a stark truth that could cost him everything.
Tobin and Jonathan must risk everything and deal with consequences that could cost them the fragile relationships they’ve built with the women they love.
Dragon Kisses #3 (Laurel, Niall, Jonathan)
In the months following Jonathan’s transformation, Laurel struggles to come to terms with her feelings for him and the horrific memories of time spent as a dragon’s slave. Jonathan struggles to be patient, but Laurel’s fear is breaking his heart. Niall and Cassie open a popular bakery and revel in the bliss of love and their new lives. Arabella pines for Tobin’s aspects to be reunited, and Nora discovers the secret of creating Zmaj offspring.
Meanwhile all Zmaj braces for the Inamanida attack that Tobin warned them about. When it finally comes, the Zmaj find themselves vastly outnumbered by enemy forces. In the violence that follows, everything changes.
Dragon Kisses #3 (Laurel, Niall, Jonathan)
Giving her a half smile, I tried to move our conversation forward. “Can I get one of those baguettes?” I pulled a skirt from my bag. Evelyn and I were in business together, sort of. She made beautiful and functional clothing, and I modeled it so that people would want it for themselves. When I was little, my dreams hadn’t included becoming a fashion model, but that’s what I was. Without electricity or anything approaching technology, my Computer Engineering degree wasn’t going to do crap for me.
Cassie eyed the long skirt. I’d tie-dyed it red myself from crushed beetle shells. Those things were truly everywhere, even in a parallel dimension. They probably wandered through wormholes regularly.
“If you ask nicely.”
My head jerked around to the source of the voice before my brain processed the speaker. Turning, I found myself face-to-face with Cosmo. His jet black hair fell to his shoulders, curling slightly on the ends, and his black eyes regarded me intently. He had a strong jaw and sharp nose that worked to make him more imposing, yet it didn’t detract from his attractiveness.
He didn’t smile as he stood with his arms crossed and his weight leaning mostly on his left side. Our eyes met, and I quickly looked away. Yeah, I was a chicken. I wasn’t going to give sparks a chance to jump between us because I knew I couldn’t handle what he offered. I sidled a glance at Niall, but I turned my attention to Cassie and gave her the skirt. “Next time.”
She opened her mouth to say something, but Niall snaked his hand around her upper arm and jerked her to his side, hissing something for her ears only.
While Cosmo stared at me, Finley came into the store. He grinned when he saw me. “Laurel, you’ve been avoiding me.”
It was true. Though I was friends and business partners with his mother—Evelyn considered them all her son—I made sure my visits to her didn’t overlap with Jonathan’s. To my knowledge, Jonathan had been avoiding me as well. I’m sure if he wanted to see me, Evelyn would have made it happen by now. She wasn’t our matriarch for no reason.
I managed a small smile. “How’ve you been?”
His smile slipped a little. “I miss you. I thought we were going to be friends.”
I really didn’t know Cosmo or Finley, but they wouldn’t see it that way. “I told Jonathan we could continue to be friends, but he hasn’t been around.”
“It’s particularly hard for him to see you. If you reject Cosmo or me, you’re rejecting aspects of him, not the whole of me. Him. Us.”
Laughing at his pronoun slipup wasn’t something I could bring myself to do. Even he couldn’t decide if they were separate people or not.
He touched my hair lightly, bringing my attention back to him. “There’s still hope. That’s my point.”
There was no hope. “I don’t even know you.”
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.
Dragons with a difference are always a good bet for me, and this one did not disappoint!
The Zmaj dragons shift into, not a single person, but Aspects, each with a different part of the whole dragon. They feed of human sexual energy.
Finding a group of five humans in the barn was a godsend, but not all the humans are willing to submit.
Good solid world building, with some questions left unanswered (but in a good way!) great story line, twists and turns. All in all a great, but short, far too short read! Its only just shy of 100 pages, a little over an hour reading time for me. An excellent hangover cure, though!
Now, it says in the blurb, MMMFF and MMFMMM so I was expecting a sexy book, with some story coming through here and there. I did, I don't know why, but I did and I was very pleasantly surprised! Yes, there si a lot of sex in the book for such a short book, but its all in proportion to the book. And you get two storylines, that of Cassie and her blue dragon, and Niall and his green one. Cassie's dragon shifts into 5 men, and Niall's, into 2 men and 2 women.
There is also some history and some long standing war, and some humans who don't wanna be with the dragons.
Lots going on for it, but it only gets four stars because...wait for it....first person, multiple person POV, that of Cassie and Niall. Each change occurs as the chapter changes, and is clearly headed, but still. I know, I'm just picky!
I should like to read a longer book by this author, just to see what Michele Zurlo can do with more pages to play with. I would also love to read any more books in this series, there is something going on with Jonathon, that could change the dragons outlook on life, entirely!
**same worded review appears on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com**
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Pet Peeves of the Publishing Industry
Pet peeves come in so many varieties—mine as a writer, mine as an indie publisher, other writer’s peeves—that it’s hard to pin them down. The publishing world is often harsh and impersonal. It’s first and foremost a business. However it’s made up of people—passionate people who love what they do no matter how frustrating it can be. And so here are some of my pet peeves with the publishing industry.
1. There’s no magic formula for success. You can pour your heart and soul into your novel, put out the best product possible, and there is no path that guarantees people will give it a chance. It’s mostly about luck.
2. Introverts flock to the publishing industry. We have so much good material hiding inside us, but we’re too shy to share it with the people around us. So we channel it into our writing. Our creativity and wonderfulness comes out in the form of the written word. The down side to that is readers love to interact with authors who are bursting with personality—those who are not afraid to share every bit of their full lives—and that’s not me. I’m a private person who works, chauffeurs my kids to sports, and writes. When I’m interesting and funny, I’m either hanging with my friends or writing.
3. People frequently aren’t honest with you. I have at least four books out that I wish I’d never published, especially in their current form. Friends and family who read/skim your work tell you it’s awesome. Even publishers, in their quest for the almighty dollar, will accept work that shouldn’t see the light of day and throw it out there. You need someone who will be honest with you, someone who will tell you when to bury that story in your memory and start fresh. When you find that special person, whether they’re a reader/fan, fellow writer, or friend, kiss up to them so they’ll be your beta reader. Good beta readers can make all the difference in the world.
At the end of the day, write because you love it. Write stories you love and create characters you love. In writing Dragon Kisses, I started with an idea I found intriguing. I wanted to write a shifter romance, but I didn’t want to follow the “rules” of shifters that other people had written. Therefore I created my own rules and came up with a dragon who shifts into multiple aspects of one being. Each human form embodies one aspect of the dragon’s personality. One might be funny, another serious, and the third skeptical. (All of them are sexy; it’s a romance novel, after all.) Once I figured that out, I developed the Zmaj homeworld and set my stories there. Dragon Kisses 1 introduces us to the world and two of the humans who suddenly find themselves there. Dragon Kisses 2 takes us further into the world as we deal with the repercussions of an attack and how it forces the Zmaj to change the way they associate with the human refugees stranded on their world. We also get to find out what happens when a human with a Zmaj (dragon) father reaches maturity and transforms into a dragon, and we get a peek behind enemy lines. Dragon Kisses 3 brings together several of these storylines and explodes in a stunning and devastating (for some) conclusion.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.
I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.