Samantha Vine codes apps for a living. Her family serves the prestigious and feared Voclain Reds, a Bloodkin dragon family. Her mere existence, according to Bloodkin law, is taboo and a death sentence if discovered. Against the danger to her life, Samantha returns to the Voclains' estate for a cousin's wedding. She learns that Lady Voclain, mother to the Lord of the Reds, has always known her secret, and Sammie agrees to the Lady Dragon's request of using her forbidden gift to protect both her grandfather and Warrick Voclain. When Warrick catches on to her ability, Samantha finds herself deeply entrenched in Bloodkin politics and danger.
Warrick is the epitome of a red dragon masquerading in a human guise. Although young by dragon standards, he is a force to reckon with and sometimes volatile but only when it comes to the harm of his precious Vine family. Warrick sees the Vines as part of his dragon horde meant to be treasured and protected. I really admire how he goes against his animal nature to honor his friendship with his steward by promising not to force Samantha into service like the rest of their family. I love that Warrick faces down his mother and then the entire Bloodkin dragons, all so that Samantha could live the reminder of her life without fear. What I loved the most about him is that to have Samantha in his life, Warrick willingly casts Voclains' future aside.
Samantha is an easy heroine to like. I adore her spunk and occasional bouts of sassiness, especially around Warrick. Sammie's childhood around the Bloodkin dragon allows her a certain amount of comfort around them. Now and then their animalistic nature does frighten her, but Samantha is not afraid to stand her ground against them. I like how the time away from the dragons allowed her to adjust and mature enough that she understands the ramifications of her existence and does not resent it nor blame the Voclains. Even after years apart, Samantha remains loyal and dedicated to the Voclains for everything Warrick and his mother have done for her family. I love her willingness to exploit her ability to insure the help of other Bloodkin dragons.
AWAKENED BY FIRE is book two in Erin Kellison's paranormal series, DRAGONS OF BLOODFIRE. My only complaint with the story is that Thane Ealdian and Emerson, the couple from book one, TEMPTED BY FIRE, have a small part in the book. I wish that Thane and Emerson could have played a more pivotal role in this book because I miss them and would like to see how their lives continued after their book.
AWAKENED BY FIRE is a charming story proving how love can transcend race and diversity. I love the author's unique take on dragons and the well-thought out dynamics of her world. What I like the most are the limitations and consequences Erin Kellison attached to Samantha's ability. The restrictions make the ability more believable and realistic, plus a little different from all the magical abilities found in paranormal stories.