REVIEWED BY CINDY
TITLE: Never Lose Your Flames
AUTHOR: Francis Gideon
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 335 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2016
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.
This is another one of those stories that I had a hard time getting into but was so glad I stuck with it.
Gabe is a man who lives by his sense of justice. There’s no room for maybe in his business and if he’s sent to bring you in, in you’ll go…until Nat.
Nat is someone who makes Gabe question everything he’s ever believed in. The more time they spend together, the more Gabe comes to realise that maybe he’s trusting and believing in the wrong person.
Nat has been betrayed and used but he’s still a good person who goes out of his way to help everyone he meets and even though Gabe is taking him to the one person he doesn’t want to see, he helps Gabe when he can.
For me this story was about two men who come to realise some truths about themselves and each other. Gabe’s friends and co-workers who help them along the way are interesting characters in their own right and bring another level of meaning to the story. The fact that Gabe fosters so much affection in these people is one of the reasons that Nat starts to believe that maybe this time things can turn out different for him.
As I said, the story started out a little slow for me, but once I got caught up in the chase for justice and freedom that Gabe and Nat were on, I couldn’t stop reading.
The author builds a very interesting world for their characters to live in and the fact that most of it is based in an alternate version of the part of Canada that I live in helped me connect a little more to the story. It was fun to have Canada in a story without the stereotypical over-politeness and moose and beavers everywhere.
The slow build between Gabe and Nat is wonderfully done as is the dragon-lore that’s scattered throughout the book. I loved how Gabe’s “dragon nature” was portrayed in a way that was different but still in sync with the common “known” ideals about dragons.
There are some serious moments of angst that keep the reader on the edge of their seats at times and one little moment at the end that made me wonder if they were going to get their happily-ever-after but all in all it was a great read that will have me searching out more stories from this author.