Arson Drake has never quite fit in with his brothers. He loves them and will do anything for them, but he doesn’t want the same things they do. He has never wanted a horde and never wanted to settle down. Arson has always been a thrill seeker and he travels the world stealing beautiful art … and returning it to it’s rightful owners or their descendants. One night, Arson is looking to burn off some energy and heads to a bar to find a hookup. He doesn’t expect the fierce looking wolf shifter, but he is drawn to him all the same. It is a full moon, the time a wolf has an almost uncontrollable desire for sex, and Arson is happy to enjoy a hot night with the stranger.
Draydon is also a wolf shifter who isn’t quite like others of his kind. Draydon doesn’t have the desire to settle into pack life. He likes adventure and, like Arson, gets it through stealing works of art. But when Draydon’s latest heist is stolen right out from under him, he can’t help but be frustrated. When it happens more than once, he is really annoyed, particularly as he can’t seem to shake the sense that his hot dragon hook up is somewhere nearby.
Arson and Draydon find themselves circling around the same jobs and neither can get the other out of his mind. It makes for some hot hookups, but the strange connection between them is also shaking both men up a little. Wolves and dragons are never supposed to mix and they should barely be able to stand one another. But yet, instead there is a fierce attraction between them, a craving to be around one another that neither can control. Their animal sides are clamoring for each other, their hearts seem to want each other, and they can’t stand being apart. As the guys begin to accept that there is more between them than just some hookups, they start to explore the idea that maybe they really could work as a couple. Now, Draydon and Arson must decide if they are going to give in to the intense connection they feel and figure out how to make a relationship work between a wolf and a dragon with a taste for adventure.
Wild Fire is the third book in Mika Nix’s Drake Security series and it is my favorite so far. While the first two books follow very similar story beats, this one is really a departure in many ways and I think it makes for an exciting and fun change. The first portion of the book focuses on Draydon and Arson engaged in a bit of cat and mouse as they meet, have an explosive hookup, and then find themselves encountering one another over and over as they compete for the same jobs. The men taunt one another, have hot nights together, and then go their separate ways, only to find themselves ending up in the same place again and again. Even as Draydon and Arson are annoyed at one another, they are also incredibly drawn to each other and can’t resist reconnecting each time despite themselves. There is a fun playfulness to their dynamic, as each man is a bit of a free spirit and they just fit together so well. They are also a steamy hot couple and just explosive every time they get together. They shouldn’t ever work on paper, but the men can’t stay away from each other. Eventually, Arson and Draydon finally accept their feelings and give in to what is going on between them. Both are wary about acceptance from their family/pack, but both also are determined to make it work together no matter what.
Once the relationship side is pretty much inevitable between them, the story shifts to a bodyguard case for Drake Security involving the missing son of a diplomat. Draydon gets involved to help out, and the case ends up expanding to involve Draydon’s pack and all the Drake brothers, giving the two semi-feuding families a chance to work together and ultimately find their way to an amicable relationship. This case is not as long or involved as in the first two books, as it only appears in the second half of the story and doesn’t involve one of the MCs needing protection like the first two. But it does open up some nice new directions for the world building, as well as involve a wider range of characters, so it is a nice addition here and I’m excited to see how things will play out in future books.
One of the things I liked here, in addition to the different plot structure, is the different dynamic between the MCs. The first stories focused on the Drake brothers as bodyguards to their human, soon-to-be mates. As strong and fiery as Lake and Dempsey are, there is still a very specific protective dynamic between the dragons and their mates. Here, we see a really different connection among the men as Draydon is as physically strong, if not more so, than Arson. They are pretty evenly matched, but I’d say he is the more dominant of the pairing and the two share the fact that they are both very powerful supernatural creatures. Not to mention that both men feel a little set apart from their family/pack, never quite fitting in perfectly in terms of what they want for their lives. So I really loved the way this story shakes things up, both in terms of plot and the characters.
My only small quibbles here have to do with the art and jewelry theft. You kind of just have to go with how easily Arson and Draydon are able to break into these highly secure museums and other locations. I also wanted just a tiny bit more resolution on the issue of Draydon’s thievery. Arson is very clear he steals to repatriate the goods to either the families or countries that they truly belong to. In Draydon’s case, he steals because he covets the pretty things (and ultimately wants to shower his dragon in them, which is a fun role reversal). Given how much of a point the story makes about Arson’s good motives, it seemed weird then that Draydon is stealing just for himself. At the end, there is a nod that much of his horde will end up being returned, but I wanted to see that change in attitude coming from him, rather than led by Arson. But again, small quibble and I think the “dueling thieves” part of the story works well as a great, entertaining set up for the guys to find their way together.
I really loved how this third story takes a different approach, but still builds on and connects nicely to the larger series. There are clear connections to the other books, not just through the brothers and their mates, but also in tone and some of the little details about the world and the dragons. So I think this book shakes things up a little, but still feels nicely grounded in the series. This story opens up some interesting new elements to the overall world and I am really looking forward to more.