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Gayle Carline
Blood Dragon Rising
G.S. Carline, author
All Lisette de Lille wants is an easy life. She’s not enthralled with getting married to a dull young nobleman, but it will secure her Caribbean island for France—for king and country, right? When her betrothed and his lover sell her to a pirate, her life goals change significantly. Now all she wants is white-hot revenge. The pirate, Rocco, has a sinister motive for purchasing Lisette. An ancient curse turns him into a blood dragon each night of the new moon. He is driven to kill everyone who was there the night his wife was murdered. The spell will end when he kills Lisette. When two souls are filled with such vengeful passion, is there any room to fall in love?
Katherine D. Graham, Reedsy Discovery

When her desire for vengeance turns Lisette into the very thing she's feared her whole life, will the death of her enemies be worth it?

**I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author and Reedsy Discovery. Receiving a free copy did not affect my review in any way. This is an honest, spoiler-free review, and any opinions expressed within are solely my own.**

Lisette is a good, respectable noblewoman. She's prepared to give everything--even her future--for king and country by accepting her arranged marriage. And yet each year on her birthday she faces an enemy no one else will even dare to mention:

A blood dragon.

When Lisette is betrayed and sold off to pirates, her world comes crashing down around her. Balancing between multiple worlds and identities, Lisette must decide who she is going to be even as that changes around her.

Is she meant to become a monster, like the one who has been haunting her dreams? Or will she find her way back home to the luxury of nobility? Maybe even the life of a pirate awaits her at the end of the road.

Then again, she may not have to choose.

In G.S. Carline's first volume of the Dragon Shadows series, come prepared for the unexpected. This is a book where true love doesn't always equal a smooth fall into passion, where identities and convictions truly grow in remarkable ways, and where the big questions about life, death, love, and mercy combine in agonizingly conflicted ways.

Lisette's struggle to reconcile her desire for justice with what is, in actuality, vengeance (and the differentiation between the two) makes Blood Dragon Rising a tale rich in powerful morals.

Though the main character is younger (in her early twenties) and the writing style gives off some YA vibes, parental guidance may be ideal for the younger end of YA (12 year-olds). There are dark, but much-needed themes in this piece, which the story addresses head-on without backing down.

Carline has woven magic into this tale of high-seas adventure and court intrigue, and it's left me wanting to read more about life as pirates, nobles, and even dragons within this world. Lovers of Pirates of the Caribbean who want a bit of Game of Thrones thrown in will love this book.

**Trigger Warnings: Human trafficking, prostitution, death of a minor child discussed, murder, death of a loved one, sexual assault attempted**