ARC Review: Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon

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Bryn McKenna has it all. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting in the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparent’s want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

review3/5 Stars 

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Entangled and NetGalley

Fanning the Flames is the 4th book in the Going Down in Flames series and unfortunately, my least favorite so far. The story picks up right where Trial by Fire left off, Valmont and Bryn in a complex but joyous relationship, Bryn and Jaxon engaged but with a plan to make it work with their respective romantic partners, the dragon world recovering after the attack on the school dance. Everything is uncertain, but the one thing that seems solid is the way each couple feels about each other. 

Here’s the thing, I never want to say a story is too happy or too romantic or anything like that, but when there’s not a balance between the romance and the major plotline, it feels tired and slows down the pacing. While I love Valmont and Bryn, Bryn’s head was always on wondering about Valmont, about their relationship, getting jealous, etc., that the major tunnel mysteries were rushed and cut off and occasionally felt like filler because the romance played such a huge role in this book. You almost forget that there are politics, terrorists, and attacks happening. There were three heart-stopping scenes that should have had a killer impact on the reader, and while the final scene did tug at my heartstrings, it was nowhere near the emotional carnage that should have played out and I think it’s because focus was pretty much soley on Bryn and Valmont and the other characters were neglected and fleeting. 

That final scene should have been devastating, but honestly, it needed to happen to refresh the story. 

The battle description, the gore, the fighting, the tension was A+ as usual. Definitely edge of your seat material. And Bryn was beyond fierce. She raged, she conquered, she slayed. 

The underground tunnels were interesting. I enjoyed the history and the knight stories that shed light on the past-it’s its own mythology.

While this might not seem like a positive review, it is. I enjoyed this book, I wanted to read it, and I will continue to follow the story, especially after that explosive ending. I just wanted more. It felt surface level. 

Lovely reading, 

Jordan

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Release Day Blitz: Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon

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Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.
If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.
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Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.
Epic reading,
Jordan

Team Urban: 100 Words on Why Urban Fantasy is Awesome from Entangled Authors

Team Urban: Why I Love Urban Fantasy!

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Brenda Drake – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.

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Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Guardian of Secrets

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Chris Cannon – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):

1. There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
2. I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
3. Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough shameless self promotion

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She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

Fanning the Flames

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Shonna Slayton – Spindle:

Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.

As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.

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In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

Spindle

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Tara Fuller – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1):

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Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Inbetween

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Danielle Ellison – Salt (Salt, #1):

Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy. Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as-fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be. Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.

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Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Salt

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Rachel Harris – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1):

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On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

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Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):

I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.

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We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

Atlantis Rising

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal: Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon

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Release Date: March 6, 2017

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Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Goodbye flying. Goodbye best friends. Goodbye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

author2085c-chris

Connect with Chris

Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.

Romantic reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz & Review: Trial by Fire by Chris Cannon

Trial By FireTBFGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synBryn’s hopes for a peaceful new semester at school go up in smoke when someone tries to kill her—again. She’s not sure which is scarier, facing the radicals who want to sacrifice her for their cause, or her impending nightmare of a Directorate-arranged marriage to her nemesis, Jaxon.

The one bright spot in her life is Valmont, her smoking-hot knight who is assigned to watch over her twenty-four hours a day. Is what she feels for him real or just a side effect of the dragon-knight bond? At this point, stopping the impending civil war might be easier than figuring out her love life.

She may have to live in their world, but she doesn’t have to play by their rules.

review3.5/5

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Entangled Teen & Mark My Words

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You NEED to know what’s going on with Bryn and Valmont.
  • You’re more about the romance than the action.
  • You live for drama. 

PROS:

  • That same carefree, awesome, friendly banter is there making you fall hard for every character, even the bad guys.
  • Bryn and Valmont are complicated, romantic, adorable, everything you’d want in a couple with just the right amount of jealousy, love, and drama. 
  • You see another side to Jaxon, one that’s super surprising, sweet, and may have you second-guessing your opinion of him. 
  • The dragon world is evolving. Acceptance, difference, diversity, and understanding are all on full display. The main message is hope. 

CONS:

  • The book was more about the romance than anything else. The action happens much later in the book, along with the crazy cool mysteries that point towards a more accepting, less prejudice side of dragons in the past.
  • The “being” dragon part was absent. Their time in the sky, the flying, the battling, all of that was hardly present. I missed it. 

authChrisAward winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Happy reading,

Jordan

ARC Review: Going Down in Flames-Chris Cannon

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Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

REVIEW BLITZ

cooltext1712921505 copyIf her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

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After hearing a particularly gruesome news story about a young girl found dead in a dumpster, Bryn is on guard. Dodging through the streets on her way home from school, she locks eyes with a handsome, dark-haired stranger who greets her with a smirk. Bryn picks of speed, eager to get to her parents’ karate shop only to look back and find the stranger has picked up speed and is definitely stalking her like prey. Cornered and desperate, Bryn escapes into a coffee shop and calls her parents to come get her. Bryn though public space equaled safety, but she was wrong. The stalker followed her inside and greeted her by name. Terrified, Bryn knows she’s in danger but when she tries to leave, she finds she no longer has control of her body and is compelled to follow the stranger’s every whim.

When the guy holding her captive starts babbling about dragons and dictators, about making choices and breaking the rules, Bryn thinks the guy is more than deranged, he’s certifiably insane. Little did Bryn know that the stalker’s, Zavien’s, ravings were to become her new reality. Turns out, dragons are very real and she happens to be one of them.

Feeling betrayed and a little crazy herself, Bryn learns of her parents’ exile, their flee from the Directorate (the ruling body of dragons), and her “tainted” genes. Bryn is an abomination to their people, a mixed-blood impossibility that shouldn’t be allowed to exist.

cooltext1719331023 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley, Entangled Teen, and in participation with this tour

PROS:

  • The school is like Hogwarts for dragons. It’s a magical, mysterious, and inherently catty place. The social hierarchy is acutely developed into a blue blooded society life. Those who do not fit in are the subject of mockery and harassment. There’s a distinct, almost clique-like quality that makes it like any other high school. Each color of dragon sticks together and knows their place, those who don’t live up to those expectations are shunned and ridiculed. The internal battle between conformity and choice is waged daily, through each choice and interaction. Chris Cannon does a fabulous job capturing this duality of nature. Being held as prisoners to this lifestyle, some are unhappy and others are brainwashed into believing that there is no other option. Being forced to marry early and deal with infidelity is another subject that these students feel is inevitable. This whole world is insanely complex but doesn’t feel forced or like to much, it flows seamlessly. 
  • Bryn is a rebel with a cause. She loudly and clearly objects to this lifestyle thrust upon her just because she happens to be an anomaly. She dyes her hair and wears feisty clothes that make her as intriguing as she is unique. Her presence is huge and powerful, she wants to be heard and has a strong voice to make that happen. Bryn is not one to back down from a fight and loves a good challenge but she is almost courageous to a fault. She gets herself into sticky situations-granted, it’s not always her fault-and her life is constant chaos. As the story develops, Bryn evolves into something more than a sassy girl, she becomes an advocate for social change. Bryn takes the poor treatment by her peers in stride as she works to build a case for a new lifestyle, one that accepts difference as beautiful.
  • Bullying is instrumental to Bryn’s evolution but it’s also heartbreaking. Not only is Bryn thrown into this whole crazy world of paranormal creatures, she is viewed as an abomination, a being that should have been aborted or killed. The emotional trauma is staggering, it weasles its way into her heart and the anger builds. Her parents have lied to her, she has no one, and at school she’s a laughingstock subject to random attacks and viscious slurs. The bullying is sharp, harsh, and slams into Bryn, almost silencing her opinions, her voice but Bryn takes her pain and pushes, moulding it into an armor and a challenge.
  • Elemental magic. I LOVED that Chris Cannon added elemental magic to the dragons. It’s the perfect combination. The idea that dragons, color-coded, possess specific elemental powers seems natural and flows seamlessly. The lessons taught at the school are made of whimsy and awe-inspiring power. Everything is meticulously plotted, from the strengths and weaknesses of each color dragon to their general personality type and social stance. 
  • The dragon racing scene was exhilarating. The sheer power and grace of the dragon form is captured in an intoxicating flurry of description. You can picture and experience every moment as Bryn’s joy bursts from the pages and her thirst to prove herself forces her to take on substantial risks.
  • Zavien is an enigma. One moment he’s playful, bantering with and teasing Bryn, the next he’s deadly serious, especially about injustice. Zavien has a subtle depth that radiates throughout and grows into compassion. Zavien has many secrets, he’s very mysterious, and this only adds to his attractiveness.
  • Zavien and Bryn have chemistry galore. The heat is sweltering and only increases as the danger grows.

CONS:

  • The climactic scenes were broken into parts, detracting from the overall suspense.
  • Some of the secondary characters were fleeting and ominous. You never get the full of picture and questions were left unanswered.

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Chris Twitter/Facebook Author/Facebook/Website/Goodreads/Tumblr 

Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shitzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon’s shape-shifting dragon series.

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If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading,

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