Review: Grigori (Book #1: Brothers of Ash and Fire Series) by Lauren Smith



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.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 4½/5 stars


I am a sucker for a dragon book and Grigori certainly did deliver for me 😊

Madelyn Haynes has always felt different, separated from those around her, but she has no idea why.  Her intense interest in dragons and proving their existence has led her to a desperate situation with her job and to Russia in a last-ditch effort to prove her wild theories.  Little does Madelyn know, not only will she be able to definitively prove her theories, but she’ll also meet the love of many lifetimes.

Grigori is a man who has spent many lifetimes protecting his family, their secret, and their land.  As a shape-shifting dragon, and one of the last of his family’s line, it is imperative no one find out about Grigori and his brothers.  With only one slip about a century ago, Grigori and his brothers have done a fine job hiding who they are from the world at-large.  Unfortunately, that one slip is now in the hands of the ultra-inquisitive Madelyn Haynes and Grigori has some serious damage control to do!  The best way to control the potential damage?  Kidnap the girl causing the problems 😊

While Grigori would normally put the mind-whammy on a human and be done with it, Madelyn seems to be somewhat immune to his abilities.  Additionally, Madelyn stirs long forgotten feelings in Grigori that tend to indicate having found one’s life mate.  Trouble is, Madelyn is human and mating for a lifetime with a human when you’re immortal never goes well.  Finally, in the midst of everything else, an ancient enemy has chosen the here and now to poke at Grigori and his brothers in an effort to take full control of Russia.  When it rains it pours ☹

For Madelyn’s part, the kidnapping certainly isn’t ideal, but the discovery of actual dragons is thrilling.  Unfortunately, telling the world what she’s discovered just isn’t going to be possible.  On the bright side, Madelyn’s feelings for Grigori mirror his feelings for her which makes her decision to sacrifice her research all the easier.  All she must do is convince a one-thousand-year-old dragon he should absolutely mate with her, a mere human. 

The Bottom Line:  I am often quite fond of Lauren Smith’s offerings and Grigori is no exception to that rule!  In fact, I’m sort of sad I found this book when I did and not after the other two had already been released.  This was a devour it kind of read with loads of smoldering (HA! Dragons!) sexy, an old hatred coming into play, secrets revealed, and a few mysteries unlocked that will surprise everyone. I enjoyed this insta-love read immensely and can’t wait for the rest of the series to be published.  If you’re a lover of all things dragon, you’ll want to check Grigori out for sure!!

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About the author and where to find her:

Lauren SmithBorn and raised in Tulsa, Lauren Smith spent the first twenty-two years of her life in Oklahoma, bridging the worlds between urban girl and cowgirl. After high school she attended Oklahoma State University where she earned Bachelor of Art degrees in history and political science. Drawn to paintings in museums and obsessed with antiques, she has satisfied her fascination with history by writing and exploring exotic, ancient lands.  Over the years, Lauren’s studies have opened doors throughout the world. From spending two summers at Cambridge to attending classes at such divergent places as Ireland and Chengdu, China, she has discovered fascinating opportunities for enrichment wherever she goes. After completing college, Lauren moved to Michigan to attend law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy and University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Armed with two Juris Doctorate degrees from both countries, she returned to Tulsa and became an intellectual property attorney.  Since third grade when her English teacher proposed that all students should craft a story for a young writers’ conference, Lauren has been hooked on writing. Her first self-illustrated manuscript described the mysterious disappearance of rare brown bats that were being captured by scientists bent on using them as carriers for an incurable disease. The immense sense of joy in sharing that story with others, and discussing plots and characters, made it clear to Lauren that writing was her true passion. 

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