Serial killer Amos Bronson has a hold on Miami and Detective Nick Montgomery is on his trail but he is in for a surprise – the killer transports him to Ketall an alternative primitive world, a home of dragons. Nick is so badly injured that he is near death when he is rescued by Kel Targus from being sold as a slave.
Jax is a crimson-eyed dragon shifter with pale green skin and long black hair who is living quite happily with her Rider, Kel to whom she is bonded for life. She is young for a dragon, very spoiled and possessive of Kel and has no intention of sharing his attentions with Nick. Yet she is strangely attracted to Nick herself and doesn’t understand why she can’t just kill him, eat him and get rid of him and she resents that Kel, her Rider, who is nursing Nicholas back to health has been drawn to Nick since he saved him from certain death. Then she realizes why she can’t hurt him even when she tries very hard – she, Kel and Nick are meant to be bonded as, for the first time ever, a dragon is predestined to have two Riders simultaneously.
The attraction between Kel and Nick flares into a deep love but Kel explains to Nick that the life of a Rider is nomadic and lonely as they forsake their families and move from territory to territory, wherever they are needed, to be with their dragon. Jax is conflicted about how to deal with someone else sharing Kel’s affections even though she is gradually falling for Nick. Then she finds herself out of options when an evil sorcerer and his witch complicate matters by trying to send Nick back to his own world. If they succeed, it will destroy Ketall and kill her and Kel. She realizes too late how much Nick really means to both her and Kel. Can they bring him back alive and will he stay and love her as much as he loves Kel?
Bonded Hearts is a really emotional tale from three perspectives. Nick is conflicted because he wants to go back home to the 21st century to his previous life and career as a Detective with the Miami Police Force, but he doesn’t want to leave Jax whom he is beginning to care for and above all he wants to stay with Kel whom he loves. Kel wants Nick to become Jax’s other Rider and their third thereby guaranteeing that he will stay, as he can’t bear to let him go. As for Jax, the green dragon, she wants Nick but she has to get over her jealousy and selfishness, learn to share Kel with him, open herself to Nick and accept him as her other Rider.
I loved this story for a number of reasons but mostly because of the characterizations, particularly Jax and her emotional rollercoaster ride and conflicts as she tries to understand what being in a relationship is all about; her metamorphosis into a fully evolved being is wonderful. This is my first book by this author and in my opinion her writing gets to the heart of the emotions of her characters – I think she has figured out something that seems to elude a lot of authors, readers fall in love with characters not complicated plots. There is also a romance and fascination about dragons that always enchant me. I will be reading many more books by Marty Rayne in the future.
This book contains scenes of violence and may not be suitable for everyone