Smoldering Hunger - Dark Kings, Book 8

Author: Donna Grant

Publisher: St. Martins

Release Date: December 29, 2015

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: Print

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Darius is a Dark King, a dragon shapechanger tasked in protecting humankind from supernatural threats. He wants to defeat the evil Dark Fae preying on humans in Edinburg, Scotland, so he can return once more to the solitude of his cave and sleep. The dedicated doctor who had helped his friend's sick mate distracts Darius from his duty. He feels torn between his growing attraction to Sophie and his desire to keep her from the dangers of his world. Ulrik, the Dragon Kings' worse enemy, forces Darius's hand by targeting Sophie. He finally accepts the fact that she is his mate after the rogue King succeeds in kidnapping Sophie. Darius is willing to sacrifice their potential happiness after rescuing her from Ulrik's diabolical clutches.

Doctor Sophie Martin works at Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hurt by a previous relationship, she trusts no one but a select few. Sophie lives for her job, giving her patients all her time and energy to help distract her from the past. Mentally she is aware that Darius is the wrong type of man to get involved with, yet Sophie cannot forget him or their incredible but brief time together. He re-enters Sophie's life only to caution her about the danger coming for her. Being with Darius helps Sophie come to terms with her emotional wounds and tell him about her past relationship. Sophie becomes an unwilling guest to the rogue King to force Darius and the other Kings' hand. Free from Ulrik, she needs to decide which she wants: Darius or her career as a doctor.

Darius has intrigued me since his prominent role in book seven, PASSION IGNITES. I speculated on the deep reason for his gruffness and his need for emotional distance. For all his antisocial demeanor, Darius cannot ignore his ingrained need to protect. He is insistent, giving his many reasons for it, without behaving like an over alpha-tized jerk. I love how he honors Sophie's privacy, empathizing and understanding her difficulties when speaking of the trying time she would prefer to forget. I find it quite endearing that Darius also discouraged his comrades from digging into her past.

Sophie is the kind of heroine I enjoy reading. She easily acknowledges that she does not need a man in her life to be complete, yet Sophie is able to admit the appeal and benefits of having a man like Darius around. Sophie also knows when to retreat from a losing battle despite her deep inclination to help anyone in need. I admire how Sophie focuses on her career and patients instead of letting her past turn her bitter and caustic. Darius is an excellent fit for her. The two are kindred spirits, both nursing lasting wounds from their prior relationships and reluctant to enter a new one. They both become beneficial to their emotional healing and internal growth to move on.

SMOLDERING HUNGER is book eight in Donna Grant's paranormal series, DARK KINGS. I have anticipated this story and pairing since the ending of book seven, PASSION IGNITES. I like how the book picks up right on the heels of the previous one.

SMOLDERING HUNGER is a sizzling romance of two wounded souls finding love and the courage to let go of past hurts. I love how Donna Grant continues with the mystery of Rhi's unidentified King. I also like how the author delves a little into the mysterious Reapers enough to anticipate the next installation.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Raonaid

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