Charred Heart by Lizzy Ford
For a thousand years, Chace has searched for a way to break the curse placed on him by a jilted lover. He’s a dragon shifter, one who can’t control when the magic will force him into a different form. He’s already lost everyone he ever cared about a few times over and doesn’t know how much longer he’s meant to suffer.
At his wit’s end, he makes a deal with a mysterious figure that offers him what he wants most – an end to his misery – in exchange for everything that’s his: His life, his power. His heart.
The next day, he meets Skylar, a modern day dragon slayer whose mission is to cage him – or kill him. Sexy, witty and brave, she is the yin to his yang, the woman destined to break the curse, balance his magic and make his broken heart whole.
Except it’s too late. Not only has he sealed his fate, but an innocent one-night-stand with Skylar has dragged her into the middle of a deal with the devil, one she won’t escape, if he can’t convince her that dragon shifters aren’t her enemies.
Charred Heart is a New Adult book and is thus suitable for the 18+ crowd due to some of its themes. My review of it, however, is clean.
Chace has lived for 1,000 years as a good looking man around 26 years old, who can shift into a dragon. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It was a curse brought upon him by a scorned lover. Born into a Viking community, Chace is tired of watching the people he loves die. Over the course of a millennium, it has something he has witnessed too many times. He could be bitter and mean as a result, but he isn’t. He’s kind and uses his magic to maintain a safe haven, a bar, for other shifters.
Skylar is a dragon slayer, the last of her kind searching for the last dragon. She’s been trained to hunt shifters along with a group of other slayers. They’re doing a good job too, shifters are disappearing in high numbers. An orphan from the age of one, tracking down shifters is all she knows, or is it? Skyler is an interesting character. Witty, quick, and skeptical, she isn’t dismissive of new information, but she’s not going to buy into it right away either, even when it comes from within.
On their first encounter, the chemistry between Chace and Skylar is immediate and hot (maybe a bit fast in my opinion). They are supposed to be sworn enemies, so why are they so attracted to one another? The answer is too much of a spoiler to write here, but it is awesome and will set the two on a quest to discover the truth about shifters and slayers alike. Then there’s the fact that Chace just made a deal with Mr. Nothing to become human again. Who is this Mr. Nothing and why does he seem interested in Skyler?
I have to say, I also really enjoyed Chace’s cabin. It too is imbued with magic and it has a mind of its own. It will obey Chace’s demands, but it passive-aggressively does so in its own way. Making the handcuffs pink with fleece and feathers? Priceless! Also, when it decides to start listening to Sky? I couldn’t help but chuckle. It is both a character and a setting. As a setting, it is definitely my favorite. The other places in the book are many and various, ranging from mountain tops to deserts. With a cabin that seems to be able to go anywhere, I would expect nothing less.
Charred Heart is a steamy read with solid characters and an intriguing plot. The parallels to Beauty and the Beast are there, but this is definitely not your Disney version. I read it in a couple of settings, but only because I was reading it whenever I could. I wasn’t willing to wait for a single large chunk of time to read this one. This is the first of Lizzy Ford’s books that I have read, but it is certainly not my last.
**I received an ecopy of Charred Heart through NetGalley. Thank you to NetGalley and Indie Inked!**