Kiss of Fate is a paranormal romance. Normally I run from anything that has “romance” on the cover. I suppose I should get over it. The genre has come a long way from the Harlequins of my youth. I didn't even notice that the book was classified as a paranormal romance until after I'd finished it. Any story that has to characters who meet and fall in love could be considered a romance these days.
I picked this book up because it was about dragons. I love dragons. I've been cookoo for dragons since I started reading Anne McCaffrey's The Dragonriders of Pern decades ago. I'm also kind of picky about my dragon books. I won't read any where dragons are all evil and must be killed by the hero. I've got no time for that kind of anti-dragon propaganda.
Cooke's Dragonfire novels give us a race of dragons, called Pyr for some strange reason, who can take human form. They were created to watch over the Earth. They also guard humans. At some point, some of the Pyr decided that humans were wrecking the Earth and should be eradicated. This group became known as the Slayers. The Slayers and the Pyr are at war. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
How's that for drama?
In Kiss of Fate, the leader of the Pyr, Erik Sorensson, is worried about a prophecy that says victory over the Slayers will need a blood sacrifice. He is convinced that he will have to die for the Pyr to win and he's okay with that. Unfortunately, karma has other plans. He's about to meet Eileen Grosvenor, a mythologist researching a story of a dragon lover. Her presence in London triggers Erik's second “firestorm.” A firestorm is a lot like Pon Farr except it only happens once in a Pyr's life.
Erik is not expecting to get hit with a firestorm because he's already had his centuries ago. He tries to fight the urge to mate because he thinks he will die soon. He doesn't want to leave a child without a father. He is determined to stay away from Eileen but that goes out the window when she is attacked by a Slayer. Eileen has something the Slayers want. Something that would give them victory over the Pyrs. Of course it would also guarantee the Pyr's victory if Eric can get the item away from Eileen.
Cooke's world is very well developed. There's a lot of history to the Pyr. It's a rich mythology with a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. This novel focuses on Erik but I have the feeling that each book focuses on a different member of the Pyr. Now that I know Erik's story I'm going to have to get the previous books to catch up. Just what I need. Another series to get caught up in.