Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/01/2016
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal
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.
I don’t normally read shifter books, but I took a chance on this one because the length and other elements caught my attention, and it paid off. It’s chock full of action, quirkiness and characters as sweet as they are dangerous.
Considering how he is described in the summary, Gabe is a pleasant surprise of an MC. He’s a little hard to get a read on at first, but his interactions with Nat are charming in their uncertainty, and by the time they arrive at the storage locker his personality is in full bloom. I could feel Gabe’s internal conflict – is it enough to be good at something you don’t particularly like? Is it worth it to risk failure by going after what you actually want? And what do you do with it once you have it?
Then there’s Nat, with his artist’s heart and guileless demeanor. He’s caught in a huge mess he didn’t create, and his chances of living to see it resolved are, frankly, slim. Although he’s been used for blood (literally) since before he could protect himself, he remains passive and kind, and I spent a good third of the narrative hoping he would just fall into a magical pit of bubble wrap and stay there until the smoke cleared.
Never Lose Your Flames is a bright and imaginative novel of which Francis Gideon can be proud. I plan to re-read it in the future so as to enjoy all the little details and layers over again.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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