Title: Branded By Flames
Author: Sean Michael
My Rating: B-
Genre: Paranormal Erotica
Series: Dragon Soul #1
Main Characters: Jake and Shae
Release Date: January 2017
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic
Meet the Beteferoce brothers. Five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…
For years, dragon-shifter-slash-firefighter Jake has been searching for his mate, but he's beginning to tire of the search. Maybe soul mates are only for the lucky few.
Then he meets Shae.
A former navy welder, Shae is handsome, talented, into power play and rough sex, and covered in dragon tattoos. All of this suits the shape-shifting dragon just fine—until he finds out that Shae literally has Jake's family crest already tattooed on him. A coincidence? Or something more…
Jake must convince Shae to trust him as a man and as a Dom before the heat between them burns out of control. Becoming a dragon's mate is not without danger, and Shae will need Jake's guidance—and love—if he's going to make it through alive.
This book is approximately 76,000 words
You need to go into this book knowing that this is an erotica. Honestly, I'm not even sure it classifies as erotic romance because the sex is first and foremost before anything to do with a fairly shallow plot line. There is sex...a lot of it in this book. BUT that's not a bad thing if that's what you're expecting and looking for. Overall the book is extremely readable. I didn't ever think about DNF'ing it, although by about sex scene #25 or so I started skimming them, because enough already...but that's a personal thing.
The premise overall is interesting though. The series features a group of 5 dragon shifter brothers. None of them have mates, although one did have once upon a time. (his mate was murdered). A local fae tattooist though has predicted that they all have mates coming. The first to find his is Jake. Coincidentally enough, he finds out they're mates through Shae's tattoo.
I like the lore and the premise. I also really like that all male dragon shifters are gay Doms. Talk about sexy. In fact, there are hints at what is to come for a couple of the other stories and I'm intigued.
I've been torn on how to rate this book...between a B (4 star rating) and a B- (3 star rating). Eventually I decided to go with the lower rating. Mainly I decided that because of the last 10-15% of the book where there was a new conflict for Shae that arose...seemingly out of the blue...and then was never truly resolved. I don't want to get into spoilers with all of that, but basically the conflict was wiped away with sex. I did mention that this was a very sexual book, but that seemed like a cheat to me. I would have liked to have seen something more...maybe even something from the fae who started it all with Shae.
Normally, I would never consider continuing to read a series where I gave the first book 3 stars. This is the exception which is why I'm explaining my rating. The book was extremely readable. There were a couple of details in the story I had issue with, but the setup for the upcoming books is good enough and I enjoyed this story enough that I definitely will read book #2 if given the opportunity. So take that into account as you read this review. It most definitely wasn't a bad book. I won't ever reread it, but I don't regret reading it the first time. I just hope that book #2 is a tiny bit better.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.