Never Lose Your Flames (New Canadiana #1) by Francis Gideon #mm #AudioReview @dreamspinners


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Cop-turned-bounty-hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.

Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.

Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers. addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14rachelle-tag

I love dragons and the different ways they can be portrayed in stories. I’m always enthralled with how authors envision them so I was excited to get my hands on this. The world was interesting, with the paranormals being known to humans. Nat was a compelling character from the very beginning and I held my breath for him every time Gabe seemed to be weighing Nat against the criminals that he’d come across before. Though Gabe had a point, that the guilty always claimed innocence, it did become a little frustrating when Gabe’s intuition told him something wasn’t right and he’d disregard it. His loyalty to Duke was so tight that he would hand over Gabe despite his misgivings. As the story progressed and Gabe refused to budge from the set course of action that I began to dislike him.

 

There were parts of this story that were slow, slow, slow, slow. The conversation was stilted and that might have been partly the narrator’s fault. I’m not sure. There were some scenes that slowed the pace of the story and made me wonder what they contributed to furthering the plot. Whereas Gabe’s character development flowed well, Gabe’s was more stilted. Both had pasts that were slowly revealed but Gabe’s seemed much slower, almost as reluctantly giving up details as Gabe was to trust Nate.

 

The action scenes were good, detailed but not overly so, keeping a steady stride that allowed me to soak in how things were transpiring but not slowing the pace. My heart broke for Nate near the end. I knew what Gabe was doing and why, but Nate’s despair still twisted my heart. The ending was satisfying and I’m curious to see what’s in the next installment to this series.

Story – 3.5 stars

Narrator – 4 stars

Overall – 4 stars

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