Lauren Smith‘s “Mikhail” is a sexy and compelling paranormal dragon-shifter romance which spans centuries. The Hero’s a brooding and romantic dragon-shifter who believes he’s lost his True Mate a human. In Lauren Smith’s Brothers of Ash and Fire world dragon-shifters die soon after their True Mate. Therefore if they fall in love with a human their lifespan is lessened significantly. According to lore humans could be turned into shifters however little is known in how to do it. One way is to make a great sacrifice the other is magic that has long since been forgotten. After centuries of waiting Mikhail’s family’s stolen hoard has been found. It’s being auctioned and appraised by a couple of American gemologists. When Mikhail meets one of the women his dragon perks up. The woman’s an ordinarily beautiful virgin. By the way virgins are as irresistible as jewels and gemstones to dragon-shifters.
Piper Linwood is a quintessential Lauren Smith Heroine intelligent, slightly awkward, unconventionally beautiful, and most importantly strong. In the case of Piper she’s short and curvy with non-descript brown hair and faded blue eyes. To her, nothing special. To Mikhail she’s petite, lush, with hair like the softest mink, and eyes like blue diamonds. The moment he meets her and scents her Mikhail knows she’s a virgin. He suspects she could also be his True Mate. Piper is not young; however she is an introvert and not savvy in the ways of men. She’s a scientist; a gemologist to be specific. She’s intrigued with the way Mikhail looks at the jewels on display at the auction house. And how he talks about them. She thinks his Russian accent is causing him to misspeak making him sound as though he knows the “treasure” intimately.
Mikhail is unusual because he believes he already had his True Mate, yet still lives. He believes that the infamous virgin Queen Elizabeth I was his True Mate. Unfortunately she betrayed him, stole his “hoard” and threw him in the Tower of London for decades. He was released after her death and his dragon mourned the death of its True Mate. But since they didn’t officially mate he didn’t follow her into death. His father banished Mikhail for losing the treasure. He could return home to Russia only after he reclaimed the jewels. Now his dragon is restless; its afraid to trust in another woman, in Love again. In some ways his dragon still wants to die.
Now Mikhail can reclaim the treasure that was stolen from him. He needs the help of his old friend, Belishaw, and Piper too. Unfortunately Mikhail’s ways aren’t on the up and up and Piper doesn’t approve or condone his methods. Even though the gems officially belong to Mikhail’s family he uses Piper to steal them from the auction house. With the help of his British dragon-shifter friend, his talent of mesmerizing, they not quite clear out the vault. Mikhail leaves some of the treasure behind only taking the pieces most important to his family, which is a lot. He does not leave Piper behind, he takes her back to his home in Cornwall.
There are two enemies lurking; one near and the other on the fringes. The enemy close at hand has a personal vendetta against Mikhail going back to the days of Elizabeth I. Not only does he want the Barinov’s treasure but he wants Piper, and her virginity, as well. However his plans are thwarted and he becomes even more dangerous, especially since he’s on no one’s radar. The other enemy is an organization that tracks all the dragon-shifters and wants to eradicate them. They apparently have an agent staking out Mikhail’s friend as well as other well known dragon-shifters. This agent sets up the establishment of the next heroine and her brothers. Quite intriguing!
As in Lauren Smith‘s first Brothers of Ash and Fire book the weak human Heroine blossoms into a conquering Force. In “Mikhail” Piper’s metamorphosis is emotional, dramatic, and genuinely beautiful. There’s also a bit of humor at the end of it. “Mikhail” is tremendously sexy, romantic, and wonderfully chockfull of historically factual happenings. Mikhail’s treasure trove is real and Lauren Smith tells you about it and provides some pictures after the book. I hope to learn more about Piper’s friend and fellow gemologist, Jodie, and Mikhail’s friend, Randolph. Are there two dragon-shifter families that get gemologists in their family? Here’s hoping for some answers. “Mikhail” is a magnificent addition to the Brothers of Ash and Fire series; I can’t wait for the final installment.
I’m giving “Mikhail” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.
This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.