Dragon Arisen

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Title: Dragon Arisen
Series: Dragon Kings #6
Release Date: June 13, 2023

 
He has claimed me as his mate…

The King of Amethysts. Formidable, imposing, noble. Sensual.

I know what he is, what he hides. I know the destruction his kind brings. I fear him and his power. And yet, I burn to know his kiss, to learn what it feels like to be held by him. To give into the irresistible attraction. It is a yearning that consumes me, body and soul.

But there are secrets I must keep hidden so no one else dies. Secrets that even I don’t dare delve into. The consequences are too devastating.

He says I intrigue him. I want to be with him, but I know the costs of giving into such a weakness. Nothing frightens him. Not my horrific past—or my uncertain future.

There is only passion and something deeper, something real. Something I never dared to dream might be possible.

In the latest story in the scintillating Dragon King series, Donna Grant, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, unites a sexy, determined Dragon King and an enigmatic woman who holds him enthralled.


"DRAGON ARISEN is an absolute must-read for author Donna Grant’s dragon fans." - Fresh Fiction

“Just when you think Grant can’t POSSIBLY have any mind-blowing reveals or plot-twists left, she delivers.” – Tammie, reviewer

“Once again, Donna Grant gave us a wonderful love story filled with adventure, intrigue, twist, and new revelations in the Dragon Kings world.” – Nancy, reviewer

“Intriguing secrets from the past and present… boggles my mind and leaves me reeling, clamoring for more! I can hardly wait to see where this goes next!” – Laura, reviewer

“Great characters, interesting twists and some great world building.” – Kelly, reviewer

“Read the highly recommended, wonderfully written full of mystery and intrigue, and a must-read riveting love story.” – Debbie, reviewer

“Hot, intense and filled with twists!” – Karen, reviewer

“MIND BLOWING!!! By far the BEST book in the Dark Universe.” – Teresa, reviewer

“The premise is detailed, complex and intriguing; the romance is subtle; the characters are desperate, determined and dynamic.” – Sandy, reviewer

“The plot is so intricate and tension filled, that I just couldn't put it down. The action and the suspense was mind-blowing.” – PP’s Bookshelf



Also in this series:

Cairnkeep

 

Alasdair’s gaze lingered in the distance, taking in the mountain chain with its arrow-tipped peaks. A brilliant, cloudless blue sky hung over them, the sun’s rays warming the crowd gathered near the cliff’s edge. It wasn’t just any occasion. It was one of the most important events in any Dragon King’s life—his mating ceremony.

Yet Alasdair’s attention wasn’t on the couple standing and speaking vows that would bind them for eternity. His mind couldn’t stop rehashing the incident that had occurred three days before. It haunted him. Stirring up emotions and thoughts that were better buried and forgotten.

The King of Dragon Kings’ voice reached Alasdair, snapping him back to the present. He focused and looked through the crowd to Cullen, who stood with a huge smile on his face. Cullen was the third King to find love on the new realm. Alasdair’s gaze then slid to the woman beside his friend. Tamlyn wasn’t just any female. She was a Banshee. Her ability to see the imminent deaths of magical children had allowed them to save several bairns in the nearby city of Stonemore.

But so many more out there needed help.

While the beauty of Zora was breathtaking, there was much about the world that mirrored Earth. The humans and their cruelty, along with their need to wipe out anything they feared and didn’t understand was something Alasdair would never grasp. The fact that some targeted innocent children sickened him.

The crowd erupted into cheers and applause. Alasdair clapped and glanced to the side to find Marcus and Hector watching him. He looked away, not wanting to answer the questions he knew were coming.

Alasdair whistled loudly as Cullen and Tamlyn walked past him, hand in hand. On Tamlyn’s bare left arm, he spotted the dragon eye tattoo that every female who mated a King received. The smile on Cullen’s face was huge as he lifted Tamlyn and swung her around before kissing her soundly.

Everyone made their way to the shell of new construction that would one day be a location for all the Dragon Kings, much like Dreagan Manor was on Earth. But Alasdair paused and looked over his shoulder again to the craggy mountains—and the dragons. They were no longer venturing near Cairnkeep as they once had, and that concerned him.

“What is it?” Hector asked as he walked up. “And doona tell me it’s nothing. I know you better than that.”

Alasdair met Hector’s dark eyes. They were the only two who lingered. “The dragons didna come.”

“That didna surprise me. You’re still upset about the other day.” One side of Hector’s mouth turned down into a frown. “It’s going to take time.”

“It’s much more than that.”

“That is for Eurwen and Brandr to settle. The twins are the rulers here. No’ us.”

Alasdair ran a hand through his hair and blew out a frustrated breath. “I can no’ stay so near the dragons. It’s too much.”

Hector’s brows snapped together for a moment. “I know that look. What are you going to do?”

“What we should’ve done weeks ago. I’m going to search for Merrill.”

Hector crossed his arms over his chest before nodding once. “I’ll come with you.”

“It’ll be better if I go alone.”

“After Merrill’s disappearance, there’s no way any of us is going out on our own.”

Alasdair turned to face the mountains again. His enhanced eyesight could make out one group of dragons flying and another clustered on the slopes. He had thought that coming to Zora and finding their dragons once again would heal the part of him that had festered since the dragons crossed the dragon bridge. But he’d been wrong. If anything, his wound chafed even more.

“Things are no’ right here,” he murmured.

Hector grunted. “They were never going to be like they were on Earth.” He paused. “Con’s headed toward us.”

Alasdair picked up the sound of approaching footsteps. He wasn’t surprised that Constantine wanted a word. The King of Kings didn’t miss much. Con was the reason they had gotten through the aftermath of the war with the humans and the departure of their dragons. Without him, none of the Kings would be standing here now.

Con stopped on Alasdair’s other side without saying a word. For a long time, the three of them simply observed the dragons in the distance. It had been untold eons since they had seen their kind flying freely, and it always made them pause and take it in.

“It never gets old, does it?” Con finally asked.

Hector shook his head. “Never.”

“They doona want us here,” Alasdair stated.

Con’s chin dropped to his chest before he let out a sigh. “We know. Eurwen and Brandr are in constant communication with them, explaining everything.”

The twins. Con and Rhi’s half-dragon, half-Light Fae children guarded Zora and the dragons with their lives. The Dragon Kings were here by invitation only. If there hadn’t been a threat to the dragons, Alasdair wasn’t sure if any of them would’ve stepped foot on Zora. But the fact was, Eurwen and Brandr needed help, and the Kings were more than ready to lend a hand.

The more Alasdair watched the dragons, the more heartsick he became. He put his back to them. “I’m going to search for Merrill.”

“Alasdair,” Con began.

“I know Stonemore is on alert after Cullen and Shaw shifted into dragons in front of everyone. I doona plan to go there.”

Con’s black eyes met his. “Stonemore’s soldiers will be hunting for anyone they perceive as different.”

“I’m no’ afraid of them. However,” he hurried to say when Con’s lips parted to argue, “I doona intend to fan the flames of war. There is already enough wood on that fire.”

Hector grunted as he turned to Alasdair. “It would only take a spark to set everything off.”

“And we doona want that,” Con added. Then his lips twisted. “Unfortunately, I’m no’ sure if we could defuse the situation. I fear the war will happen regardless.”

“It’s Earth all over again,” Alasdair stated.

Hector rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. “We won’t make the same mistakes.”

“We were no’ monsters then, and we willna be now,” Con added as he faced them.

Alasdair shrugged helplessly. “It has been weeks without word from Merrill. Varek was held at Orgate with chains that prevented his magic from reaching us. The same might be true for Merrill. Shaw told us how warriors from Orgate were at Stonemore. They hate us for showing Jeyra the truth.”

“No’ to mention the fact that she fell in love with Varek and freed him,” Hector added.

A breeze ruffled Con’s wavy, blond hair. “You’re no’ the only one who wants to search for Merrill.”

Alasdair held Con’s gaze. He wouldn’t beg. It wasn’t his way. He’d made his case. That was all he could do.

“I might lead on Earth, but the decision here rests with Eurwen and Brandr,” Con explained.

Alasdair had expected such a response. “I’m no’ asking for permission. I can no’ stay with the dragons. No’ now. I can find Merrill. I will find him.”

“And if you’re caught?” Con asked.

“I willna get caught.”

“I’ll have his back,” Hector added.

“Nay,” Con and Alasdair replied in unison.

Con raised his hand to quiet Hector before saying, “I’d prefer the two of you go, but it will be better if Alasdair searches on his own.”

“And if he disappears?” Hector demanded, a muscle jumping in his jaw. “The invisible foe we’re here to find is still out there. For all we know, it has Merrill. Or worse.”

No one had dared to insinuate that Merrill was dead. Before Zora, the only thing that could kill a Dragon King was another King. But their new enemy had killed other dragons. It had harmed a few Kings, though it hadn’t taken a King’s life. Yet.

Con’s lips pressed into a hard line. “Zora was created in Earth’s image, but so much is different. I understand why Eurwen and Brandr didn’t leave the border they created for the dragons, but by not exploring, there is much they doona know about the realm. It’s why Brandr is out there now.”

“And why we need to find Merrill,” Alasdair added.

Con nodded slowly. “Check in with Cullen every six hours. With Tamlyn and him set up in Iron Hall outside our borders, it makes for a good go-between. If Cullen doesna answer when you check in, I want your word that you’ll return immediately. I willna send another King out there to vanish.”

“I give you my word,” Alasdair replied.

Hector’s nostrils flared in agitation. “He shouldna be going alone.”

“You may yet join him,” Con said. “For now, Alasdair will be on his own.” His gaze returned to Alasdair. “When will you set out?”

Alasdair briefly looked toward the celebration. He wasn’t in the mood for a party, no matter the reason. And he didn’t want to bring anyone down. “Now.”

“And if you see our enemy—”

“I’ll alert you,” Alasdair promised.

Con ran a hand down his face. “Go, then. I’ll fill in Eurwen and Brandr.”

“We get to tell Eurwen now,” Hector said as he motioned toward the new construction.

Alasdair and Con looked in that direction to see Con’s mate, Rhi, and their daughter headed toward them. Rhi had her long, black hair pulled away from her face, her silver Fae eyes looking from Con to Alasdair to Hector and back again. Eurwen had Con’s blond hair and Rhi’s silver eyes, which missed nothing.

“I know that look,” Rhi said as she came up beside Con. “What are you up to?”

He wrapped an arm around her and gave her a quick kiss. “Planning.”

“Which one of you is going after Merrill?” Eurwen demanded as she cut her gaze from Hector to Alasdair.

Alasdair bowed his head. “That would be me.”

She stared at him for a long moment, exactly how Con had earlier. “You know the risks?”

“Aye,” he answered.

“Brandr and I thought that if we ignored the humans, the things that happened on Earth wouldn’t occur here. We were wrong. We’ve tried to avoid a war, and that is still our aim. But…”

Alasdair said, “I’ll defend myself if attacked, but I’ll do my utmost no’ to rile the humans anywhere, especially those from Stonemore. I doona intend to venture into the city. I hope I doona have to set foot in it. No’ after what others have shared about their encounters there. I’ll also be checking in with Cullen often.”

Eurwen swallowed as she shrugged. “My brother is out there somewhere, doing whatever it is he’s doing. Merrill is missing, and now you want to leave. That being said, I’m well aware that you’re a Dragon King. You aren’t asking permission. I want to refuse simply because none of us knows what’s out there.”

“That’s why Brandr left. It’s why I need to go,” he told her.

Eurwen exchanged a look with Con. “We may no’ like this, but we realize it’s the right thing to do. Just come back.”

“If he doesna, I’ll be the one finding him,” Hector stated firmly.

Alasdair clasped his friend’s shoulder. “You’d better.”

After a short discussion regarding the path he would take, Alasdair bid farewell to the group and shifted. He spread his wings as he leapt into the air. He wanted to look back at the dragons one more time, but it was just too painful. Alasdair kept his attention in front of him as Cairnkeep faded behind him.

When he finally reached the border, he landed and returned to human form. He stood naked beneath the sun. On Earth, the Kings had gone out of their way not to use magic if they didn’t have to. They had homes all over with clothes stashed for each of them. They didn’t have that luxury on Zora, which meant calling to their magic more. It seemed almost frivolous to use magic for such mundane things. But at the same time, it also felt good to use what came naturally to them.

Alasdair couldn’t wear the jeans, shirt, and boots from Earth. Instead, he chose a black linen tunic with a row of buttons along the right side to the neck and long sleeves that he rolled to his elbows. He left the top buttons undone and tucked the tunic into black pants. His boots were soft black leather that came up to his knees. He chose not to wear weapons, preferring a black bag to carry food, water, and whatever else he might need instead.

Then he stepped over the undetectable border as magic briefly skated over him, leaving the land of the dragons behind.