Finnick West has been crushing on the hot baker who owns the local coffee shop, Honey Bunny. However, while Finn spends a lot of time at the shop, he hasn’t worked up the nerve to talk to the guy much. But when Finn ends up in the store studying late one night, he finally gets a chance to talk to the baker, and the attraction only gets stronger.
Cillian Roarke is a shy man who mostly keeps to himself. He is also a dragon shifter, though he keeps that a secret from most people. Cillian has been crushing on Finn in return, but he worries about the age difference between him and the college student. But when Finn starts a conversation, it is the nudge the guys need to act on their attraction and try a date.
Just as things are looking promising between the men, Cillian’s brother, Oisín, is the victim of an assassination attempt. Oisín is running for U.S. Senate as an out dragon and is determined to improve relations between dragons and humans. But not everyone is happy about his rise to power and Oisín’s life is on the line. The situation becomes increasingly dangerous, and soon Cillian’s life is at risk as well. Now that Finn and Cillian have found each other, they must face down some deadly enemies for their chance to be together.
A Dragon’s Fortune by Sam Burns and W.M. Fawkes is charming and adorable. It is part of the Magic Emporium collection, a multi-author set of standalone books. Each story features the appearance of a magic shop with one special item that plays a key role in the book.
Finn and Cillian have to work up the nerve to approach one another, but once they do, their romance moves pretty smoothly. They are both lovely men and there is a nice connection between them. They have some awkward flirting, some heat, and just an endearing way about them that makes this an easy book just to sink into.
The romance sets up fairly early, as the focus of the story is on the larger aspect of human/dragon relations, particularly with regard to Cillian’s brother, Oisín. We get the basics of the world building here, including the fact that there is a bad history of fighting between the humans and dragons. I think we get enough to mostly carry the story, but I do think more detail would have helped flesh things out more, particularly with regard to the families of slayers. At times it sounds like the slayers are human, but they also seem to have special physical abilities that make them seem supernatural. We also learn about other creatures existing in this world, but not much detail about how they interact with the humans.
Cillian has kept the fact he is a dragon hidden from almost everyone, compared to his brother who is quite publicly out as a dragon. The conflict stirs when not everyone is happy about Oisín’s political role and lives are on the line. There is a nice bond between the brothers and I enjoyed the way the men both take care of one another and protect each other. There are multiple dangerous parties here and I did think one of the plot threads ties up way too quickly and easily, without leaving me feeling like the threat was actually stopped long term. So I feel like the ending was a bit abrupt.
The only thing that didn’t really work for me here is that in addition to being a college student, Finn is also a competitive pairs figure skater. We are told he has been training since he was a kid, participates in competitions, gets sponsorships, and is looking to going professional after college. But this whole aspect of the story was almost totally undeveloped and not particularly realistic. The only time we see Finn on the ice is when he goes to a rink on a date with Cillian. We are told Finn only practices with the coach a couple of evenings a week, which is incredibly unlikely for a skater a competitive level. He would much more likely be practicing daily, even multiple times a day. He also never seems to work out, and he constantly eats pastries and drinks coffee with no regard to diet at all. Honestly, the fact that Finn is supposed to be an elite athlete feels unrealistic and never really adds anything to the story. I think either needed to be better developed or left out.
Overall, I found this one sweet and charming. I enjoyed both Finn and Cillian and there is lots of yummy bakery goodness for some added fun. The world building was light, but came together enough to make the story work. This book makes for a nice, easy read, and if the authors ever decided to give us a story for Oisín, I’d definitely be interested.