Title: Dragon’s Devotion (Chronicles of Tournai #5)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Page Count: 362
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Corentin is a scholar with a secret—his magical Talent allows him to turn into a dragon, and he isn’t alone in that ability. Long ago, dragons were hunted fiercely, until they went into hiding, becoming things of legend. Corentin has traveled the world with one aim—to protect his people and keep their secret safe. Drawn to the principality of Tournai by news of someone close to discovering that secret, he hopes to avert suspicion. His attraction to the too-serious Bastien isn’t convenient for his purpose, but it isn’t something he can ignore either.
Lord Bastien, Earl of Ardesia, inherited his title unexpectedly when his parents were killed in a sailing accident along with the parents of his cousin, Prince Philip. Since then, Bastien has devoted his life to the obligations of his family and estate—so much so, that it has caused tension between him and his siblings. His world is further shaken when he receives an anonymous letter informing him that the tragic boating accident may, in fact, have been murder. Bastien throws himself into investigating whether the allegations are true and finding out who killed his parents.
As Corentin and Bastien become closer, the mystery of Bastien’s parents’ death draws him further into danger. Corentin feels compelled to protect Bastien, but the threat is closer than they know. Now, Corentin must decide whether preserving his secret—and potentially his people’s safety—is more important than saving the man he loves.
While this book is the fifth in a series, it can be read as a standalone.
I picked this book based solely on the fact that I read one of the previous books in series. While I wasn’t thrilled with that one, it was interesting enough for me to read this one.
I haven’t read the blurb before diving right in (I got the book practically immediately after asking)
so I was surprised to find out that Corentin, one of main characters was a dragon. He is hiding his nature while traveling and now he is visiting kingdom of Tournai, where he presents himself as a scholar. Unfortunately his reticence draws suspicions of kingdom’s mage, Savarin. I couldn’t help but like Corentin right away: he’d risked discovery by using his magic to help find kidnapped child. Now he has to defend his secrets and his people.
Bastien is born in Tournai. He is noble and head of his family. He prefers quiet life on his estate to life at royal court. His tranquil life is shattered when he receives anonymous letter claiming that his parents death wasn’t an accident. He is upset and resolves to find out the truth. That’s why he travels to capital where we met other members of his family and heroes from previous books in series. In fact, Bastien and Corentin met on the feast for wedding of Ethan and Tristan.
Fun fact: Bastien’s brother Mathis apparently took a small book to the wedding so he would have what to read while driving in the carriage. (I can sympathize since I drag my ereader everywhere) This is slow-paced, low-heat story but I adored detailed descriptions and savored every page.
Corentin and Bastien are drawn to each other despite the fact that both have other obligations. The POV switches between Corentin and Bastien but the story progresses smoothly. It’s charming and indulgent read. Corentin is courting Bastien. He wants to spend more time with him and is trying to draw him out. He even has help from Bastien’s family.
It was so sweet when he invited Bastien to lunch just because. The sex scenes were handled very circumspectly.
The plot picks up at the same time they face hurdles in their relationship. Neither of them is telling the whole truth to the other and it holds them back. It was lovely watching them come together.
The plot is frankly somewhat thin, but the story around it more than makes up for it. This is a perfect book to snuggle with on a cold, rainy day.