Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spotlight Review...PRINCE OF SPIES

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PRINCE OF SPIES - Bianca D’Arc
DragonKnights, Book 4
Samhain Publishing - www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN: 1-59998-331-1
February 2007
Erotic Fantasy Romance
Rated: Red Hots!

Draconia, Skithdron and the Northlands - Medieval times

Nico, the second in line to the throne of Draconia, is known as the prince of Spies. He’s in Skithdron (an enemy country bordering Draconia) looking for the last missing daughter of Belora (a healer of royal lines). Loralie, the former “pet witch” of Salomar (the now deceased ruler, another enemy) told Lana, queen of Draconia, that her sister, Arikia, could be found in Skithdron. Surprised by Skithdron’s guards, Nico is taken to their king, Lucan and tortured for information. Though the torture inflicted by the madman is painful indeed, Nico finds himself grateful for the circumstances he finds himself in, for bound to Lucan’s bed is the woman he’s in search of, Arikia. Thin and unhealthy looking, she still shows signs of spirit and heals his injuries. When they’re left alone together, Nico confirms her identity, and then uses his abilities as a dragon shifter to release Arikia and escape with her into the night skies.

Arikia is astounded to feel an attraction towards the man Lucan tortures in front of her. Surprised by Nico’s ability to resist Lucan and bear horrible pain, she’s more surprised when he says her name. When he tells her who he is and that he’s come specifically for her and plans to reunite her with her lost family, Arikia (or Riki as she prefers to be called) is thrilled. To be free once again and away from Lucan and his maliciousness? Paradise indeed. If only she didn’t need to remain a virgin, she would show Nico exactly how grateful she is and satisfy this mysterious craving she has around him. But the witch Loralie made it clear that if she lost her virginity she would lose her powers of healing, and Riki can’t lose what makes her valuable to Lucan. If he should recapture her, she will need to be whole and able to heal, or he’ll kill her.

Time spent in close proximity soon reveals the truth to Nico, Riki is meant to be his mate, now he just has to convince her while they travel through the dangerous country of Skithdron to Draconia and safety. Never doubt the persuasive powers of a black dragon. ;-)

Fourth in the Dragon Knights series, PRINCE OF SPIES continues the tradition of heroic men and their equally admirable women. Nico found himself slightly jealous of his brother Roland when he found his mate in Lana, but when he meets Riki, he suddenly understands exactly how lucky his brother really is. Riki fills a place in his soul he never knew existed and he’ll do anything to keep this beautiful, mistreated woman alive, safe, and happy. Riki is surprised that she can feel attracted to Nico after all the perverted sexual acts she was forced to watch Lucan and others perform, and she thought she would never want to be intimate with anyone. But Nico makes sex and intimacy seem natural, right, and even fun. Falling in love with Nico seems inevitable, but Riki can’t imagine how Nico could love her. Hearing stories of the brave feats of her twin sister, Lana, Riki can’t help but feel inferior. If Lana could save herself from Salomar she should have been able to do the same. It will take many different revelations throughout the book for Riki to recognize her real worth and grasp her future with both hands, secure in the knowledge of her own talents and Nico’s love. Together the two make a stunning couple destined to help protect Draconia and their people.

Many people and dragons from the Dragon Knights series make appearances in PRINCE OF SPIES. We also meet some intriguing new characters; Drake is a bard, a member of Nico’s spy network, and his good friend; Zachari, Estella, Arabetta and Magda are members of the Jinn (a nomadic people known for their entertainment skills and warrior men) who offer their help to Nico and Riki, as well as information that will prove both disturbing and welcome.

As I did with all of the other Dragon Knights books (MAIDEN FLIGHT, BORDER LAIR and THE ICE DRAGON), I recommend PRINCE OF SPIES wholeheartedly. Imaginative, full of interesting twists and turns, this book and the others are simply not to be missed. Be sure to read them in order for full enjoyment. The next book in the series, FIRE DRAKE, is due out in early 2008. My thanks to Bianca for not wrapping up this series any time soon. :-)

Lori Ann

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