This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Grigori by Lauren Smith
Series: Brothers of Ash and Fire #1
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 18, 2017
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo
He’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.
She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.
At the start of Grigori, Madelyn Haynes is in Russia trying to salvage her career and reputation. She was that person who was convinced that at some point in history dragons had to have been real and went a little above and beyond in trying to convince others. Now Madelyn had three months to either find the proof that she needs or she would have to drop her research entirely and find a more traditional topic.
Madelyn was entirely convinced that dragons had to have been real because she has been plagued with nightmares since she was a small child. In these nightmares, she is being stalked by a dragon and it is very, very, realistic. No matter where she goes she is haunted by the same reoccurring nightmares and her hopes are that if she can find proof of the dragon’s existence then maybe she can also discover the meaning behind the dragon in her nightmares.
While perusing through ancient tomes Madelyn had come across a reference to a book called ‘My Year with Dragons.’ This was a journal written by a man claiming to have spent time with three dragons. It was the checking out of this journal that alerted the guardian of the Barinov family, Grigori, that there was someone trying to discover their existence. He was not thrilled about this revelation.
Grigori had hoped this day would never come. He did not want to destroy the journal because that time period held such wonderful memories for him and his brothers but it appeared the time had come. He was determined to find out who was trying to find out information about his family and put a stop to it. When he was informed that it was a woman who was researching dragons Grigori figured that it would be easy enough to deal with.
What Grigori never expected was that this woman, Madelyn, would trigger something deep inside of him that he thought after thousands of years was lost to him. Madelyn’s mere scent stirred his dragon and his dragon knew what he wanted and it was Madelyn, but she was a mere mortal and having a mortal mate was unheard of. Despite the odds Grigori decides to learn about Madelyn and see if she is a true threat to him and his family. What Grigori did not realize was that someone else discovered the connection between Grigori and Madelyn and they were going to use this connection for their own nefarious purposes and finally destroy the Barinov line.
Grigori was a fast read for me but I will admit to being a big fan of dragon shifter stories, I think it may even be a weakness, lol. I did truly enjoy the twist in this story because it was unique and I wish there were more stories that had this particular element. Gonna have to read it people to get what I am talking about because, ya know, spoilers. I also really liked the setting and the background that was laid for this story.
The romance between Grigori and Madelyn was nice but nothing swoony. It was heavily based on insta-love-lust and even though I can get onboard with insta-love I was not wowed or anything. I wish that there had been more secondary character involvement to build up my appetite to continue on in this series because I am jazzed about the originality of this one and that makes me curious to see where this series goes. Overall, Grigori was a fast read, with a sweet romance, and I love its originality!
*Thank you to Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for this eARC of Grigori*