anessa C. Hawkins, Fantasy Romantic Suspense Author
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Resentment is brewing in the streets of Comero. Although local dragon Shad O’Rahin thought his enemies were finally eliminated, the return of an old rival threatens to shake his grip on the city’s illegal liquor trade. While he takes steps to eliminate the danger to his enterprise, Shad’s wife, Scarlet Fortune is caught in the crossfire.
Scarlet is the last vampire left in the Comero Police Department. When blackmail begins to jeopardize her career, she launches an investigation to take care of the situation on her own. But with their first child on the way and an unexpected visit from reptilian in-laws throwing their peaceful homelife into turmoil, the situation may prove too tough to tackle alone. Especially when a pretty gold dragon starts making eyes at her husband!
Their difficulties only escalate, leading them both into danger as they peek at the rotten underbelly of Comero’s vampire blood trade. With other dragons in town vying to drive a wedge between them, can Scarlet and Shad find a way to face the threat together?
…all while picking out baby names?
Scarlette Fortune has been watching the turmoil of Comero City since the start of prohibition. As the city’s first female copper, and one of the only vampires on the force, she’s eager to make a good impression with the brass. With goblin gangs stirring up trouble, a demon bar selling liquor to half the city, and every other officer on the take, a bust at the local docks seems like a good place to start. But it only puts her in the crosshairs of the city’s most powerful criminals, including local dragon Shad O’Rahin.
Disguised in human form, Shad’s been running a speakeasy and the last thing he needs is the law after him. When he approaches Scarlette to scare her off his tracks, he doesn’t expect to fall in love. Things seem to be looking up for both of them until the anti-monster organization, AMO, rolls into town ready to clean up Comero. Their first priority? Dragon-slaying.
Scarlette’s new beau isn’t prepared to confront the issue without his scales on. So what can she do? A vampire copper should be keeping her head down with monster hunters around… especially when her ex is leading the AMO task force.
He is joined on his journey by the horrid scoundrel and gunslinger, Dick Dashing, the sweet and powerful necromancer Miss Baxter, and Jane -- not John -- Darcy (the dragon in disguise who doesn’t quite understand the nuances of gendered nomenclature).
While traversing across the country of Freland, the unlikely party discovers that their trek for gold is involved in a conspiracy with wizard mobsters. Mages begin appearing who attempt to collect Miss Baxter for ransom, and Simon (smitten by the young, undead-wielding wizardess) finds himself within the center of a revolt against the unscrupulous Chancellor Heironymous Grimguild, leader of the wizard mafia. To make matters worse, Simon is confronted by Hell Lords, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and circus-crazed Reapers bent on sending the hapless accountant to hell! If he can’t get the hang of his ghostly powers, Simon Todd will be less a help but more a burden to his ragtag party of friends.
Meanwhile Jane, the proud purple diamond-backed dragon in disguise who had originally thought to devour the would-be treasure bandits, must decide which is more important: his wonderful hoard, or the increasingly endearing bundle of fools he has found himself amidst.
Can Simon help Miss Baxter evade the mafia of decorated wizards? Will he be able to bargain the Reapers for his life and procure for himself even a modicum of dragon treasure? Will humans prove too sweet for a gentleman dragon’s diet?
Editorial Review from Rabid Reader
Witty, imaginative, stylish, and very well-written fantasy
Hawkins had me at the beginning when her protagonist died, falling off the roof, while spying on his beloved. Yep, he spends the book as a ghost and that's the kinda book it is. Fantastic. It's like the Coen brothers conspired to make a steam-punk, British tale of whimsy, fantasy, and fun, yet Hawkins ain't British or a Coen. I loved this book. When it takes a turn toward cliche, it veers hard off the beaten path. A major character is a dragon in human disguise who chose (due to his literary leaning) the unfortunate name of Mr. Jane Darcy. Nominally steam-punk, Hawkins' book is so much fun, I couldn't wait for it to end. Definitely looking forward to Ms. Hawkins' further writing. Highly recommended to fantasy readers or, heck, just plain readers. I don't like fantasy that much. But I do love this book.