Title: Dragon Awakened: The Hidden Series: Book 1
Series: The Hidden Series (Book 1)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Format: Paperback; 368 pages
Publisher: Forever (December 17, 2013)
Author's Website: http://www.jaimerush.com/
Notes: Received and eARC loan from the publisher via NetGalley
Once upon a time the Gods walked among us...
Ruby Salazaar grew up with her uncle spinning fantastical tales about a hidden world of magick. A world where people descended from Gods could turn into dragons. A world where angels and other creatures that go bump in the night dwelled. On the day her uncle was murdered, Ruby walked into another reality as she realized the world her uncle had described all those years ago was real and the stories he had weaved for her weren't really stories at all, but foretold of her future and destiny. A destiny that included a dragon prince...
Cyntag Valeron was once a Vega, the highest ranking members of the Guard, a police like entity which governed all Crescents--half breeds who inherited a sliver of their sire's godly nature. Loyal to a fault, he'd been trained to follow orders without question. But when an order came to assassinate an entire family, he found he couldn't kill the child who had been included in the order to "take out everyone on the yacht". For the first time in his life he questioned the morality of his orders and lost faith in the system. With his mission complete, he retired from the only profession he knew. While he reported his final mission was a success, he lied and became the protector of the child whose life he'd been ordered to kill--the protector of the child whose parents he'd killed.
This was an interesting beginning to a new series. I'm curious if Ms. Rush will fashion a whole new pantheon around the dragon gods she's created. I admit I'm very curious about them as not much was revealed. Hopefully, Jamie will expand upon this in future books.
Ruby still remembers and misses her parents, but has adjusted well since their deaths. She ended up living with her uncle who cast an elaborate illusion over her to mask her dragon lineage. She's lived a fairly normal life never knowing she was different from anyone else. That is, until the day she received a call from her uncle telling her there was trouble and to get to his house quickly. She hadn't been unable to get to him in time to save him, but she was able to hear him utter a name with his dying breath--Cyntag, whom she assumes is his killer. She's vowed to wreak vengeance on the man who murdered her uncle and, in so doing, she'll step into a world she wasn't truly prepared for, but one she'd been born to be a part of.--The Hidden. While caught unaware, Ruby is tough and smart enough to deal with all that is thrown at her. While her uncle may not have told her who she truly was, he had prepared her for what was to come.
Cyntag Valeron is haunted by his past. When he saved the little girl he'd been ordered to kill, as her father had begged him to, he vowed to protect her. He changed his life and became the owner of martial arts studio named Dragon Arts. Over the years, he'd kept in touch with Ruby's uncle who informed him as to how she was doing. When she shows up on his doorstep after tracking him down in order to kill him, he has to gain her trust and convince her he isn't her uncle's killer. He quickly realizes he needs to do what her uncle had never seen fit to do--Awaken her Dragon and introduce her to the world she'd been kept from. The question is will she be able to trust him once she knows what he did?
Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I feel the series has great potential and look forward to seeing the world Ms. Rush has created expanded. It seems we've only seen a small portion of The Hidden and its history, but what I've seen I've liked. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.