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Dragon Lord, the third in my Haven's Realm saga, came to me from out of nowhere while I attempted to focus my attention on Jason, a character first mentioned and then briefly visited in my first two novels, who had succumbed to a mysterious and devastating ailment. The harder I tried to bring Jason's story into focus, the louder Ronan yelled until I had no choice but to admit him into the Community. Jason had to wait. The moment I surrendered to Ronan's thrall, his adventure with Tyler swept me hard and fast. Poor Jason wasn't even a footnote in this fast-paced tale, but many of my other stable characters play a pivotal roll. Once Dragon Lord was finished, Jason immediately took Ronan's place, and Haven's King began. It wasn't until the end of my fourth story that I gained an appreciation for the timing of my third.
Tyler Jenkins prepares to embark on a secret mission for Homeland Security at the onset of this story. Her assignment - covertly infiltrate Courleon's Consortium in Castillo Nuevo, Nevada, recover a stolen data chip, and make sure it hasn't been accessed before getting out undiscovered. She is the youngest member of the covert team, but quite possibly the one most likely to achieve her mission successfully, and without getting herself killed in the process.
She literally bumps into Ronan, a sophisticated, Hollywood-style international spy type with an annoying habit of irritating the crap out of her. Ronan is a vampire, there on a mission of his own, and the two are discovered and captured together. What my readers know from the onset, but Tyler only learns at the end of the story, is that Ronan was asked by her boss to keep an eye on her and protect her from danger. His promise to protect her makes his own agenda impossible. They make their escape, but it costs them both - before the story progresses much further, they become blood-bonded. Now on the run from the bad guys, they must seek out the Community in the hope that the Council of Elders will agree to help, while struggling against feelings neither of them need or want.
Now for some background. Tyler is an orphan, abandoned by her mother before the age of two. Deeply traumatized by the separation, she leads a carefully rational, emotion-free life, avoiding personal relationships and refusing to trust anyone, because trusting only leads to pain. Her photographic memory allows her to recall anything she'd ever been exposed to with crystal clarity. She always does whatever is necessary and prudent to achieve her objectives in both her professional and personal dealings. This rational approach to life allows her to accept the existence of vampires, and to submit herself to the consequences of running with one without much second guessing.
Ronan has a secret - a terrible curse that forces him to lead a secluded existence. For thousands of years, he has vicariously studied the world and its dealings, usually through prolonged meditation, and only emerges from his shelter when the need arises, either to regain his strength or to intervene when he discovers a problem large enough to attract his attention, like the current disappearance of vampire servants. No sentient being knows of his existence unless he allows it, and he keeps himself carefully separate from all of vampirekind. Placing himself in the path of the Community will threaten his anonymity and place him in the uncomfortable position of having to trust and rely on others. Trust leads to friendship, and friendship to emotions that could cause him to lose control and destroy everything in his path.
Ronan became very important to me. I always get personally involved with my characters, but even Joshua, who is still very special to my heart, did not touch me as deeply as my dark and mysterious Dragon Lord. Ok, I'll say it - I fell deeply in love with him. Good thing my husband understands! Maybe it's because I understood his motivations from the start. Although he seems like an irritating ass hole with a control fixation, you'll learn that his emotions run deeper and colder than Crater Lake in Oregon, churning within the core of his being while the surface, the face he shows to the world, remains, for the most part, undisturbed. He hides from the world not out of fear of it, but fear for it - the responsibility he bears is a terrible burden, and one that takes all his strength to control.
Dragon Lord allowed me to delve more deeply into the inner workings of Haven, as well as expand on the vampire culture I had worked to build. I also explored the establishment of the Community and the history of vampire clans, identifying two that will play roles in future stories.
The Liberato, well known for their deviant culture, liberated themselves from their progenitors centuries ago, and have grown powerful enough to disrupt the careful, centeries-old truce between the clans. Because they're anarchists, they chafe against authority and hate everything the Community represents.
The mysterious and powerful Savant were born from my need of a race of scholars. This race of artisans and intellectuals has an agreement with the Community, that in exchange for reducing their footprint on humanity they be granted dominion over all mortals possessive of certain extraordinary traits. I'm afraid Tyler Jenkins was one of those they consider most prized.
And so, my friends, I sincerely hope you find Dragon Lord an exciting and engaging read.
~ Tamara Monteau
Review for Dragon Lord:
4 out of 5 stars - Sexy and Exciting
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