Monday, September 29, 2014

ARC Review: Lukos Heat by Megan Derr

Lukos Heat Title: Lukos Heat by Megan Derr
Series: Heart of Fire #1
Genre: M/M, Fantasy
Expected publication: October 22nd 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: 19,000 words

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Najlah is on the hunt for the traitorous coward who attempted to assassinate the king and nearly killed Najlah's brother in the process. But the hunt has taken his team deep into the Shide, the treacherous, freezing mountains controlled by the mysterious Lukos, feral wolf shifters who do not tolerate trespassers.

When the Lukos come upon them, Najlah is reluctantly intrigued. The Lukos, especially the one called Barkus, are nothing like the soft humans he spends most of his time around. They thrive in the brutal cold the way he thrives in volcanic fire. For the first time, it feels like Najlah may have found someone who can equal the fierceness of dragons, and see them as more than demons.

But if he hopes to explore the bond forming with the Lukos, he must first survive the enemy—and the Shide.

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3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars

Najlah is a warrior dragon shifter set out for the Shide mountains with his team of warriors to hunt down a traitor to the throne. He encounters Barkus, a member of the Lukos, werewolves who lived in the Shide mountains. They join forces to hunt down the traitor and in the process, discover how compatible they are, on the battlefield and in bed.

Najlah is a dragon used to the hot desert and needs the high heat to survive. When he shifts into a human-like form, he retains claws, scales, and fangs that prevent him from speaking in human languages and blending in. His thoughts are also very "dragon" or "animalistic" and depicts how dragons perceive the world and culture of the desert. Barkus is a wolf living in the Shide where it is arctic cold.

On the surface, they seem like two very different characters that would have never met and gotten along. However, they are more similar in their personality and values and opposites attract. Their species are considered to be evil by the majority of the world. They are protectors and warriors in their respectively circles. Najlah wants a lover that isn't afraid to be rough and can take whatever Najlah can dish out. Barkus is the only one who can handle his wildness and rough edges. Together, they are a fun pair and really spice up the story.

For those that have read the shorter version of this story in Dracones, this longer version continues off directly where the short version ends. I would have liked the short version to be expanded with details fleshed out instead of a continuation, since it would be better as a short sequel.

The story continues with Najlah and Barkus arriving at the palace after settling matters on the Shide mountains, but then have to deal with political trials and another assassination attempt. This part of the story shows how Najlah usually lives in the human palace and where Najlah and Barkus will take their relationship. At the end of the story, their relationship and their status in the palace is still relatively new. There is a lot of room for change and things to happen. It makes me anticipate what later books in this series would bring.

Overall, this is another great fantasy read by Megan Derr when atypical shifters. This is more fantasy and adventure than romance. Najlah and Barkus' relationship is a joy to read and they are very likable characters. I definitely look forward to reading more about them and this particular world in the next book.

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