Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Lies I Tell Review

Author Julie Clark
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: June 21, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

5 Charged Hearts

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for an arc.

Review published in Mystery & Suspense Magazine

The Lies I Tell is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deep into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.

Two women playing a high stake, winner take all game of cat and mouse battle wits in Julie Clark's The Lies I Tell.  In their minds, both are seeking justice, but readers will ultimately decide if it's justice or revenge.  After all, when it's all said and done, "The difference in justice and revenge comes down to who's telling the story."  Lucky for readers, both women get a chance to have their voices heard in this chilling, dual point of view thriller.  Readers will listen to both sides of the story and then be charged with figuring out who's actually conning whom.

After ten long years, grifter Meg Williams returns to LA under one of her many guises - as a real estate agent with plans to delivery some good, old timey, long overdue justice to the man who destroyed her world as a young teenager.  Her life was nigh on perfect until con man Ron Ashton manipulated her mother into signing their house over to him at which time he immediately tossed Meg and her terminally ill mother to the curb.  Powerless, homeless and sleeping in a van, Meg's mother passes away leaving Meg alone with her grief and rage.   As it turns out, she'd just learned her first lesson in the game of running cons - keep your lies as close to the truth as possible and never let them see the con coming.  Now, Meg's back and no longer the helpless, heartbroken little girl she was when Ashton shattered her life.  She's perfected her craft - the game of running cons - honed it razor sharp on several well deserving marks along the way as she doled out justice and walked away.  Meg's done her homework, studied her mark, taken her time, and now she's ready to play the ultimate con on the shady politician Ron Ashton.  Chances are good he'll never see her coming until it's too late.

Kate Roberts had dreams of becoming a big time reporter, but she lost the opportunity when Meg Williams ruined her life by sending her on a wild goose chase for a story that led to her being tragically assaulted ten years ago.  She couldn't report what happened without revealing that she'd gone rogue chasing a story.  Instead, Kate began meticulously researching the illusive Meg Williams, vowing to make her pay if she ever crossed her path again.  Meg is back and an orchestrated meet occurs at a party for politician Ron Ashton where Megan watches Ashton and Kate watches Megan . . . or is Megan also watching Kate?  Let the games begin.

The Lies I Tell unfolds through the riveting dual perspectives of Meg and Kate.  The dual points of view and the tension laden past/present chapters afford readers the opportunity to ride shotgun with both characters, learning what tragic events brought them to this sad point in their lives.  Clark is a master at characterization and flawlessly portrays both main characters as relatable in a sympathetic way that leads readers to develop empathy for each of them as backstories intertwine throughout the plot line showcasing motive and intent.  I applaud Clark's gift for pitting two characters against one another, throwing them into dire situations and challenging them to make smart choices in order to escape unscathed.  Vibes of impending doom drive the story forward at a steady pace as each woman spins intricate webs of lies to perfection in an effort to sell their con.  Support characters play their parts like pros, helping set the stage for several twists and turns on the way to an absolutely stunning, oh no she isn't ending.  

The Lies I Tell is a taut, one-seater book - one you'll want to read without stopping so plan accordingly.  It's an intense domestic thriller that tells the story of two women battling to take their lives back by administering their own brand of justice . . . or revenge according to whose story you believe.  Two women.  Two cons.  Justice or revenge?  

I'm thrilled to say there's no sophomore slump for Julie Clark.  The Lies I Tell is first class all the way.  Dare I say even better than her best selling debut The Last Flight?  Highly recommended to fans of domestic and/or suspense thrillers.  This one is not to be missed!

She's back.

Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She's a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be—a college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. Nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you need to hear, and by the time she's done, you've likely lost everything.

Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years for the woman who upended her life to return. And now that she has, Kat is determined to be the one to expose her. But as the two women grow closer, Kat's long-held assumptions begin to crumble, leaving Kat to wonder who Meg's true target is.

The Lies I Tell is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deep into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.

Friday, June 17, 2022

And There He Kept Her Review

Author: Joshua Moehling
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

4 Creepy Hearts
Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for an arc of this book.

Review publisher in Mystery & Suspense Magazine

"A dark and complex mystery that will consume you, starring a protagonist who is equal parts quirky Milhone and steady Gamache."—Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight

And There He Kept Her is the well-crafted, debut thriller of author Joshua Moehling.  I was struck by the originality of the story as I started reading - one that puts readers in the head of the villain with his identity revealed from the beginning.  This isn't just another dark, gritty, graphic suspense thriller.  Readers are summoned to ride shotgun from beginning to end, meaning they are privy to all the dirty deeds, secrets and intentions of everyone involved.  So what's left?  A chilling, complex plot line that tackles issues like mental illness, teen drug use, sexual abuse and orientation, and kidnapping - all rolled up into a disturbing, shocking thriller.  

This story unfolds through the police investigation of acting Sheriff Ben Packer who has returned to his ancestral roots after the murder of his partner.  Many residents of the small town of Sandy Lake, Minn., don't remember the boy who left, but small town gossip runs rampant so keeping his private life private is out of the question.  He figures they'll accept him and his sexual orientation or they won't.  Either way, he's back with no plans of leaving.  When Ben's cousin's daughter Jenny is identified as one of two missing teenagers, Ben promises his cousin he'll find her.  What he can't promise is if she'll be alive or dead.

Jesse takes girlfriend Jenny along for the ride when he breaks into old man Emmet Burr's basement with the goal of stealing prescription drugs.  He's been assured that the broken down, morbidly obese, elderly man will be out like a light for the night.  A bomb wouldn't wake him.  However, when Jenny joins Jesse in the basement just before the upstairs basement door swings open, it's old man Emmett staring down the barrel of a gun with the intruders in his sights.  Definitely, a change in plans.  Readers follow events through the dual points of view of Emmett and Sheriff Packard.  Emmett has decades old secrets buried in the basement that he'll do anything to keep hidden.  All he wants is to be left alone, and yet through no doing of his own, he's forced to deal with these kids.  Again, the fact that as readers we are aware of everything happening turns this thriller into an atypical police procedural of sorts as Sheriff Packard works the case.  An evil, intense atmospheric vibe sets a frantic pace as authorities deal with the lack of clues in a race against time to find the teenagers before it's too late.  During this time, as readers spend more time with Burr, the line between good and evil gets a bit blurry.  Is he a villain? Victim? Abuser? Protector?  Readers will be charged with considering his many deeds, combing through the evidence and rendering a verdict themselves.

And There He Kept Her is a chilling, creepy thriller with ominous vibes.  The author does an outstanding job of muddying the line between villain and victim in an attempt to build empathy for Emmett.  The character development in this story is excellent as the story proceeds and more background information surfaces.  Moehling handles social issues such as teen drug, sexual and senior abuse with the respect and attention they deserve.  And There He Kept Her is a dark, dark read and an exceptional debut novel.  I believe the author has potentially laid the groundwork for a series featuring Sheriff Ben Packard.  I, for one, would love to see where his story goes.  Highly recommended to fans of suspense thrillers.

They thought he was a helpless old man. They were wrong.

When two teenagers break into a house on a remote lake in search of prescription drugs, what starts as a simple burglary turns into a nightmare for all involved. Emmett Burr has secrets he's been keeping in his basement for more than two decades, and he'll do anything to keep his past from being revealed. As he gets the upper hand on his tormentors, the lines blur between victim, abuser, and protector.

Personal tragedy has sent former police officer Ben Packard back to the small Minnesota town of Sandy Lake in search of a fresh start. Now a sheriff's deputy, Packard is leading the investigation into the missing teens, motivated by a family connection. As clues dry up and time runs out to save them, Packard is forced to reveal his own secrets and dig deep to uncover the dark past of the place he now calls home.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Blood Scion Review

Author: Deborah Falaye
Genre: Fantasy Thriller
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 8, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

4 Hearts
Special thanks to Harper Teen for a hardback copy of this book!

A young girl with forbidden powers must free her people from oppression in this richly layered epic fantasy from debut author Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology and perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes.

 Sloane, a Scion - descendant of the ancient Orisha gods, has spent her entire life hiding her special ability to literally incinerate enemies from a society that prosecutes anyone with powers. But things change when she is forced to train for the Lucis army alongside the very people who want her dead.  However, Sloane is intelligent and she hatches a plan to infiltrate the regime and bring it to its knees.  Her ultimate goal is to discover what actually happened to her mother who has disappeared without a trace.  Sloane quickly rises up the ranks, getting stronger every day while keeping her powers hidden.  However, the ultimate challenge may be to retain her own identity and not become the monster she fights.

Sloane is a strong, complex protagonist aka a survivor.  Her journey is difficult and yet she learns more day by day as the author expertly weaves themes of family, self-discovery, loyalty and trust into the story line. The support characters are a force to be reckoned with also and as the story unfolds Sloane learns several important life lessons such as family isn't always determined by blood.  The setting is colorful, rich and vivid lending to the overall richness and enjoyment of this epic story.  The mythology and world building is so compelling to the point of becoming real while serving to draw readers in.  Blood Scion is a powerful, sometimes poignant, brutal story that tackles issues of forced child soldiers, genocide and the horrors and victims of wars.  It's an emotional, action packed journey I highly recommend to fans of fantasy and strong female protagonists.

This is what they deserve.

They wanted me to be a monster.

I will be the worst monster they ever created.

Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.

Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.

Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors.

Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers.

A Rip Through Time Review

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: A Rip Through Time #1
Genre: Mystery/Fantasy/Romance
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

Special thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book.

In this series debut from New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, a modern-day homicide detective finds herself in Victorian Scotland—in an unfamiliar body—with a killer on the loose.

Canadian homicide detective Mallory Atkinson visits Edinburgh to be at the bedside of her dying grandmother.  While taking a break and going for coffee, she hears screams and enters an alley and is brutally attacked and left for dead.  Mallory blacks out only to wake up in Edinburgh in the year 1869 in the body of Catriona, a nineteenth century housemaid. She is now a servant to a local undertaker who fancies himself a forensic scientist of sorts - a medical examiner.  Mallory fakes amnesia to buy time to figure out who to trust and what route to take to get back to future time.  Problem is someone is still trying to murder her.  How can she solve the case without revealing skills a housemaid wouldn't possess and without shocking everyone by behaving outrageously for a Victorian lady.

I've always enjoyed Kelley Armstrong's romance suspense with a paranormal edge.  A Rip Through Time deviates from the author's norm quite a bit, but it's an excellent start to a new series.  Armstrong brilliantly weaves enough historical information into the story to keep it authentic without bogging down the story line.  I found the forensic aspects quite fascinating especially when comparing it to today's wealth of knowledge in the field.  The characters are well developed and believable within the situation they find themselves in and the mystery works to drive the pace at a steady rate.  Readers will find themselves quickly drawn into this time travel mystery as Mallory works to solve a local murder mystery that may tie in with the attempt on her own life.  If she can catch the murderer, she may find the answer to returning to her former life.  Armstrong also sets the stage for the next book in this new series.  They're several hints of things to come. Highly recommended to fans of mystery and fantasy.

May 20, 2019: Homicide detective Mallory is in Edinburgh to be with her dying grandmother. While out on a jog one evening, Mallory hears a woman in distress. She’s drawn to an alley, where she is attacked and loses consciousness.

May 20, 1869: Housemaid Catriona Mitchell had been enjoying a half-day off, only to be discovered that night in a lane, where she’d been strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one-hundred-and-fifty years before Mallory was strangled in the same spot.

When Mallory wakes up in Catriona's body in 1869, she must put aside her shock and adjust quickly to the reality: life as a housemaid to an undertaker in Victorian Scotland. She soon discovers that her boss, Dr. Gray, also moonlights as a medical examiner and has just taken on an intriguing case, the strangulation of a young man, similar to the attack on herself. Her only hope is that catching the murderer can lead her back to her modern life . . . before it's too late.

Outlander meets The Alienist in Kelley Armstrong's A Rip Through Time, the first book in this utterly compelling series, mixing romance, mystery, and fantasy with thrilling results.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Gatekeeper Review

Author: James Byrne
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: June 7, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

4 Action Packed Hearts

Many thanks to Minotaur Books for an arc of this book.

James Byrne's The Gatekeeper introduces Dez Limerick in the most anticipated new thriller in years.

Desmond Aloysius Limerick aka Dez.  Remember that name as it's destined to reside up there on the favorite book heroes shelf alongside Jack Reacher, Orphan X, Jason Bourne and a slew of other larger than life heroes.  Readers are introduced to Dez when The Gatekeeper opens as Dez and his shady associates have infiltrated a mansion while on a should have been simple mission that's gone awry.  Even as the situation deteriorates into a life or death situation, Dez keeps cool, calm and collected and does what he does best - controls the gate.  He's a gatekeeper, controlling who comes in and who goes out using whatever devious, underhanded means necessary.  Settle in, readers, as you're about to be entertained by three hundred and sixty six pages of incendiary action and just enough witty banter to keep things from melting down like a nuclear reactor.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into The Gatekeeper, but one thing's crystal clear - the driving force that keeps the wheels turning and the pages literally burning from explosive action is main character Dez.  You wouldn't guess him to be such a force of nature from his less than stellar physique of five foot eight inches with bowed legs, but Dez is built like an army tank with massive arms, legs and hands with all guns loaded.  He reminds me a bit of Jack Reacher in that he's a loner and extremely laid back, even nonchalant, until someone or something riles him, and then he's explosive.  He takes down gangs of men with his hands cuffed behind his back, dusts off his clothes and walks away.  Yes, Dez is a super hero, but one with a shadowy past.  Readers aren't allow to learn much about Dez's illusive background other than he's a retired mercenary now passing his time playing music in California.  Eventually, the mystery surrounding Dez becomes part of his charm as his wit shines through in the darkest of situations and as he side steps direct questions about himself.  I wasn't sure how I felt about him in the beginning, but the balance Byrne is able to strike in creating this character is nothing short of ingenious.  Dez is powerful, no doubt, but also witty, charming, polite, intelligent and highly skilled in an array of both above and below board professions.  Dez is the type of hero you'll cheer on while pouring another cold one.  He's cool, calm and collected under intense, life and death pressure and a saver of damsels in distress.  Make no bones about it, Dez is the controlling and driving force - the gatekeeper - of this book.

That's not to say there's not an over the top, high action plot line driving this story forward at a breakneck speed because there is.  Dez thwarts a kidnapping attempt against Petra Alexandris, then allows the woman to coax and charm him into working with her to find out who is pilfering money from the family business.  The plot thickens to eventually include white supremacists, Russian takeovers, conspiracy, a volatile political climate and more fight scenes than I can count.  Too much?  Not when orchestrated by Dez.  

Brilliantly written, I'm certain The Gatekeeper is destined to be book number one of many more featuring original character Dez.  He's hard to explain, but all in all, Dez is the hero you'll remember long after you finish reading the book.  He's the one you'll recall over and over again in comparison to other heroes.  One thing's for sure . . . Dez is not your normal action thriller hero.  He's the cool-headed driver leading the pack to the finish line of the Indy 500.  The Gatekeeper is a taut, high-speed, convoluted thriller with a hero who refuses to take No for an answer.  Fans of high action thrillers are going to love this one!  Highly recommended!

A highly trained team of mercenaries launches a well-planned, coordinated attack on a well-guarded military contractor - but they didn't count on one thing, the right man being in the wrong place at the right time.

Desmond Aloysius Limerick (“Dez” to all) is a retired mercenary, and enthusiastic amateur musician, currently in Southern California, enjoying the sun and sitting in on the occasional gig, when the hotel he's at falls under attack. A skilled team attempts to kidnap the Chief legal counsel of Triton Expeditors, a major military contractor – in fact, Petra Alexandris is the daughter of the CEO – but their meticulously-planned, seamlessly executed scheme runs into the figurative 'spanner-in-the-works,' Dez himself.

After foiling the attack, and with nothing better to do, Dez agrees to help Alexandris with another problem she’s having – someone has embezzled more than a billion dollars from her company and left very few tracks behind. But Dez is a gatekeeper – one who opens doors and keeps them open – and this is just a door of another kind. And the door he opens leads to a dangerous conspiracy involving media manipulation, militias, an armed coup, and an attempt to fracture the United States themselves. There’s only one obstacle between the conspirators and success – and that is Dez, The Gatekeeper.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Woman In The Library Review

Author: Surali Gentil
Genre: Mystery Suspense
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release Date: June 7, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

4 Mysterious Hearts
Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for an arc.

In every person's story, there is something to hide...

Hannah Tigone is an Australian mystery writer whose current work in progress is set in Boston. She can't travel to the US and so Leo Johnson, volunteers to be her eyes on the ground, communicating with her through emails and eventually making suggestions of possible edits.  In her book, Winifred “Freddie” Kincaid comes to Boston on a writer's scholarship.  Her research trip to the Boston Library gets interesting when she hears a woman's terrified scream and everyone is told to stay where they are. Sitting at a table with three strangers, she strikes up a conversation with the others and friendships of sorts are formed.  Each person has their own reason for being there.  Could one of them be a killer?  As the book within a book progress, readers learn more about the characters, who they are, what motivates them, who they suspect and who's connected to whom.  It's clear someone is not who they claim to be.  Who's lying?  Confused yet?

The Woman In The Library is an intriguing book within a book.  While I've read books written in this format before, I found this one to be quite unique and compelling.  Four strangers find themselves sitting at the same table in the Reading Room of the Boston Public Library. Winifred Kincaid aka Freddie - a writer-in-residence living at Carrington Square, Cain McLeod - a upcoming published writer, Marigold Anastas - a psychology major at Harvard and Whit Metters - who has his reasons for purposely failing Harvard Law School. Freddie sits there observing each of the others while accessing their characteristics and assigning them names as characters in her book.  A blood-curdling scream breaks the tranquility of the library.  A murder has occurred.

The Woman In The Library is a skillfully written who-done-it thriller that will keep readers on their toes throughout.  Gentill takes readers on a complex trip into the perplexing world of friendships where all may not be as it seems.  While I figured this one out, the plot lines and characters are so cleverly disguised that it in no way deterred from my reading enjoyment.  This story is twisted, a bit ominous and highly entertaining.  Fans of mysteries will love this one.  I also recommend it to fans of suspense thrillers.  

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman's terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who'd happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Together We Burn Review

Author: Isabel Ibanez
Genre: Fantasy Mystery
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Order Link: Amazon

5 Flaming Hearts

An ancient city plagued by dragons. A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home. A dragon hunter refusing to teach her his ways. They don't want each other, but they need each other, and without him her world will burn.

Together We Burn is a magical, intimate dance beautifully orchestrated by the author as she directs characters, as well as readers, through the steps of this complex story.  Red capes and dresses swirl, feet prance and glide while dragons breathe fire in this age old dance between man and beast.  Like medieval Spain where matadors enticed the bulls and flamenco dancers enchanted audiences, Together We Burn is rich in Latin history, seeped in the culture and social beliefs of the times.  Readers will find themselves totally submerged in this exquisite world of scintillating colors, magical beings and larger than life characters in battles of life and death.  

Zarela Zalvidar and her father are carrying on a five hundred year old family tradition of entertaining audiences as she dances the flamenco with beauty and grace, and he faces down fire breathing dragons with courage and skill in their famous dragon fighting arena.  Things are looking up until part of their stable of dragons escape during the anniversary show, killing several audience members and gravely injuring her father.  When Zarela is summoned before the Dragon Guile to defend her family's honor and involvment, she understands just how dire their situation has become.  The Zalvidar family is being held accountable for all damages, and they stand to lose their ancestral home and livelihood unless Zarela can prove someone sabotaged their estate and dragon ring.  Who has reason to execute a dragon trainer and ruin their family name?  A rival ring owner?  One of the political groups protesting the killing of dragons in the ring?  Zarela is determined to find out who murdered their only remaining dragon trainer as well as the rest of their fighting dragons.  She will prove her family's innocence - even if it means she has to set aside her fear to become a Dragondor and fight in the ring herself.  To do so, she must solicit the help of the baddest, most skilled dragon hunter and trainer in the land, Arturo Diaz de Montserrat.

Together We Burn is a compelling story that will draw readers in and hold them in a trance until the end.  The setting is quite simply mesmerizing - it's picturesque, alive and humming with age old melodies and tradition - one of the most original fantasy worlds I've ever been privileged to  reside in even briefly as a reader.  The culture of medieval Spain is embraced and celebrated in brilliant, vivid color with no stone or detail left unturned.  Ibanez's control of dialogue and symbolism is quite simply brilliant as it serves to drive this story forward at a fast clip.  Character development is out-of-this-world amazing.  Sparks erupt into flames as Zarela and Arturo come together in a dance of forbidden love - bantering back and forth, teasing and antagonizing one another while hiding true feelings.  They're fire and ice with denied desire as Arturo trains Zarela for the ring in spite of his disgust at the killing of the dragons that he respects and secretly trains for other purposes.  Zarela stands in defense of her family traditions and culture just as Arturo counters with all the reasons it's time for change.  Their chemistry ignites the pages.  A menacing tone persists throughout, reemphasizing the danger Zarela and Artula face as they investigate a murder and prepare for judgment day at Zarela's first fight as a Dragondor.  A complex plot line overflowing with lies, secrets, betrayals and sabotage will keep readers burning through pages of twists and turns to the final death defying performance.  

One of the things I love most about Together We Burn is the overall balance the author achieves across the board.  While one can argue that this story is fantasy or a mystery or romance but also historical, it's such a perfect blending of genres sure to satisfy the palette of all readers.  No one part overshadows the other. This phenomenal story addresses conflicting ethical, political and cultural beliefs.  Zarela and Artura each represent opposite sides in an age old battle between tradition and the need for change with family, tradition and honor weighing heavily in both defenses.  The author has woven a magical tapestry with an abundance of  threads representing the many sides of social beliefs and traditions and a couple's journey to find a common ground.  Together We Burn truly has it all.  The fantasy is magnificent, the murder mystery dark and dangerous and the love affair scorching hot.  I will be singing the praises of this book for months to come . . . and who knows, one day I may also get the chance to dance with a dragon.  I highly recommend this book to everyone.  It's not to be missed.

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see her father fight in their arena, which will one day be hers.

But disaster strikes during their five hundredth anniversary show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s father is horribly injured. Facing punishment from the Dragon Guild, Zarela must keep the arena—her ancestral home and inheritance —safe from their greedy hands. She has no choice but to take her father’s place as the next Dragonador. When the infuriatingly handsome dragon hunter, Arturo Díaz de Montserrat, withholds his help, she refuses to take no for an answer.

But even if he agrees, there’s someone out to ruin the Zalvidar family, and Zarela will have to do whatever it takes in order to prevent the Dragon Guild from taking away her birthright.