Vern was once Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie, but now he hides out in a fishing cabin in the Louisiana swamp, subsisting on vodka and entertaining himself by watching Flashdance and Netflix. He’s the last of his kind, and no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness of his life and the sadness of the end of his glory days. Until he meets Squib Moreau, a local swamp rat doing the best he can to make his momma proud, even if that means working for a smuggler and witnessing a murder.
Squib wants to stay out of trouble and make enough money to pay off the debts his momma’s ex left them with—and move the two of them far, far away from Regence Hook, a local constable with an eye for his momma. But Hooke isn’t just a dirty cop. He’s also eyeball-deep with the local crime syndicate—and determined to destroy the witness to his crime—even if he must take down everyone in his path. Even a dragon.
This is not your typical dragon-disguised-as-a-human story. For one, Vern isn’t disguised. And who would imagine a dragon who loves Flashdance? Vern’s tough exterior is a mask for centuries of loss and strife, so it’s easy to see just why he has trust issues. Squib loves his mom enough to do anything for her, even when he lands in trouble over his head. This was a fun adventure story with a unique premise and a voice that fits the Louisiana swamp it’s set in.
Eoin Colfer lives in Ireland. He’s the author of the Artemis Fowl series. Highfire is his newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.)
Vashti left Catalina Cove Louisiana over ten years ago after a teen pregnancy left her heartbroken and childless. She never had any desire to return. But with the death of her aunt and an inheritance of her beloved B & B, Vashti returns. And immediately gets a speeding ticket from Sheriff Sawyer Grisham.
Some things never change in Catalina Cove, but Vashti discovers that some things have changed. Despite that, she’s determined to leave the cove behind her for good. Until fate—and an unexpected benefactor—intervene, and she finds herself restoring the old B & B to its former glory, so she can run it.
When the biggest secret of her life comes to light, Vashi discovers that thing she thought to be true aren’t—and unimaginable change lies in their wake. And Sawyer and his daughter are right there beside her. Will she be able to face her new future, or will the past continue to haunt her?
I probably picked this up because it’s set near New Orleans, a city I love. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read any of Brenda Jackson’s books before, but I enjoyed this book a lot, and I’m interested to read the rest of the Catalina Cove series. Vashti was an interesting character, but I liked how honest she was with herself. I did see the “big” surprises coming, but they were handled very well, regardless, and I read this straight through in one sitting.
Brenda Jackson is a bestselling and award-winning author. Love in Catalina Cove is her newest novel, the first in the Catalina Cove series.
(Galley provided by Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.)