Kipling Blue is fine living in the abandoned cabin in the mountains. For all intents and purposes, it’s his. And as long as that’s true, it means he’s still alive. Kipling is on the run after killing his Alpha—not something he regrets, mind you. The Alpha was evil and his replacement not much better. That’s why he runs. When a handsome stranger asks Kipling out, he’s hesitant, even more so when the man knows who he is and when he finds out Tori is a master of not one dragon, but two. One night could change Kipling’s rule of no attachments, but the memory of who and what he’s hiding from is too much to put another person in danger.
When Tori’s dragons set out to find Kipling, everything changes. The dragons are strong, as is Tori. Not only that, the dragons latch onto Kipling and don’t want to let go. Kipling isn’t sure he wants them to. When Pack Blue threatens Tori, Kipling has had enough. He has to makes a choice, one that will seal his fate. Protect himself by running or protect the ones he loves by staying and fighting?
I loved this novella as much as I love anything Derr writes. This story, a happy ending for Peyton’s partner in crime and yet another Cross brother, brings two different books together while solidifying a vast world. It’s short and sweet while perfect in its content. There’s nothing more I could’ve hoped for these guys.
Kipling sort of breaks my heart. He’s a loner and intends on staying that way—no need endangering anyone else with his issues. Except he’s a pack animal and being with his own kind is all he knows. Then he meets Tori, who is the master of two dragons, and in a roundabout way that gives Kipling hope—after he comes to know them all. Kipling is strong and protective. His instincts are powerful, but his love is more so. I love his connection to Tori and the dragons. The way they all become a unit, a family, is beautiful. Tori is a rock and an obvious alpha, which Kipling desperately needs. Their relationship is meant to be from the start. But I enjoyed the push and pull of acceptance.
The dragons make this book. What I love about Derr’s dragons is that they are shifters, but they’re opposite what most dragon shifters are made to be. They are dragon first, human second. So while they understand and can look like humans, their dragon instincts are the strongest, even in their human skin. Siege and Perilous are so much fun that at times you forget how dangerous they can be—but not how sexy. This story does have polyamory and incest elements. I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Though it works for me, especially here.
The conclusion of this story brings satisfaction to a plot that has crept through a couple of the books and gives a story to an unlikely pair. I love the sweetness and heat of it. Although the underlying storyline revolves around Kipling being hunted by Blue pack, the focus is the give and take and the eventual surrender of the relationship between Kipling and Tori (and to a lesser extent Siege and Perilous). Then the whole pack/family solution for Kipling is his conclusion, his happy ending. As a whole, it’s perfection.
I loved this story so hard that I’m dying to know what’s next in this world—I hear another Cross brother is getting a story soon. With a combination of sweet and spicy, this book definitely does it for me. I highly recommend Risk It All by Megan Derr.