Dragon's Moon
by Lucy Monroe
(Berkley, $7.99, R)  ISBN 978-0-425-24662-7
***
A prophetess who feels her destiny is to recover a stone sacred to her clan joins forces with the shifter who slew her beloved brother in book four of the Children of the Moon series, Dragon's Moon.

Ciara, orphaned after her brother's death and living with a new clan, has never recovered from the loss of her treasure-seeking brother or the subsequent suicide of their mother.  So, when the dragon shifter who incinerated Galen approaches the keep where she now lives as an adopted daughter to the local laird, she is stunned - and attracted.

Though Eirik acted only to protect his clansmen when he killed Ciara's brother, the act has stayed with him, testing his confidence and integrity.  However, when his group of raven shifters (apparently being a dragon is unheard of, so he keeps that aspect of himself secret) joins with the wolves, he is unable to avoid the strongest reminder of Galen's death - Ciara.

Word of another laird who entirely disregarded ancient tenets that have been held sacred even as the population merged with the humans reaches the keep, along with news of the sacred stone. Now, overlooking their past and dealing with their mutual passion is necessary, as the prophetess and the only dragon in the world combine forces to save shifter society as a whole.

The characters in Dragon's Moon are its strongest feature, and readers will be pleased to see names from previous novels. The plot line is intriguing, but the dialogue and interpersonal relationships are forced, and the central romance lacks heat.  The entire series may throw off genre romance readers, as it is Scottish, paranormal, and historical all wrapped into one. Read the other titles first if you're interested in this series; certainly, if you're a purist, do not pick up Dragon's Moon.

--Sarrah Knight


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