Title: Never Lose Your Flames
Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 310 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Shifters
At a Glance: From beginning to end, I was engrossed in this action packed paranormal adventure.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: 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.
Review: This was my first novel by Francis Gideon, but after the wild adventure of Never Lose Your Flames, it definitely won’t be my last.
Where to even start?? Whenever it is a new to me author, the book has potential to go either way. I enjoy giving someone different a try, and I am extremely glad I did. Clocking in at 310 pages, I consumed the book in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. I do admit the pacing could have been a little tighter in a couple of places, and I found few little inconsistencies. Sometimes that can be a problem if the rest of the story can’t hold its own. In this case, there was enough action and twists to the storyline, and I enjoyed the characters so much it kept me completely captivated, and the other issues didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this book in the slightest.
The premise is fairly unique, and I was very impressed by the diversity of all the characters and how well they are written. Other than the MCs, the author did a phenomenal job of creating a rich group of supporting characters who kept the story entertaining. I consumed page after page to see what would happen next, and though the plot had it’s over the top moments, it worked. What do you expect when one of your main characters is a bounty hunter who can turn into a massive black dragon and decimate a chunk of Canada in one swoop, if he gets angry or injured; and the other character is a firestarter who has delicious blood and deters the crazies with massive amounts of deodorant (don’t question it, just go with it)? So yes, perhaps a little over the top, but it worked. Though I found the book mostly a fun read, I don’t want to lead anyone into thinking it’s a comedy, because it isn’t. Both the MCs have quite the backstory, and there were enough serious aspects and moments of angst to keep it pretty balanced.
Gabe and Nat were interesting characters, and the book is written in alternating POVs so it helps to know what both of the MCs are thinking and going through. Nat, for all his power and criminal record, is quite innocent in most things, and I found his particular backstory and his particular powers fascinating to read about. Gabe was broody and remains detached, yet despite his tendency to keep his distance, he surprisingly has quite a tight group that he can rely on that respect and love him. Gabe was more of a puzzle for me because we don’t get his full story for some time, and often his motivations didn’t make sense to me until later. I found I was cheering for them to find their way to each other and became invested in them hopefully finding an HEA. From the beginning they are both extremely physically attracted to one another, then everything hits the fan and they are kept from exploring anything physically as the dynamic completely changes, making it closer to a slow-burn on the actual romance.
This book was an action packed wild ride (seriously, there’s a motorcycle race with a gargoyle—how awesome is that?) which had my attention from the beginning and held it the entire time. I recommend this book for someone that is looking for a fun book with unique characters and a few plot twists that keep you on edge, and don’t mind a story that is a bit over the top.
You can buy Never Lose Your Flames here: