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Monday, March 6, 2017

Release Day Review! Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon

Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames #4) by Chris Cannon
Genre: Young Adult (Fantasy Romance)
Expected publication: March 6, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Bryn McKenna has it all. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting in the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparent’s want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight. 

Fanning the Flames is the fourth book in the Going Down in Flames series by Chris Cannon. This one wasn't as action packed and fast paced as the previous books, but so many things happened that needed to happen in order to move the story forward. Plus, there was a little more mystery this time with secret tunnels and hidden treasures.

I'm still Team Jaxon. Am I alone in this? I hope not. As much as Bryn and Jaxon hate each other, they are growing up fast and are at least learning to respect each other...for the most part. Bryn will be Bryn and Jaxon will be Jaxon. Valmont, on the other hand? We get to know him more and more with each book, and I just don't think he's good for Bryn. He's not necessarily a bad dude, but I got tired of him pretty early in this story.

Things got a little darker, and there were some definite emotional moments, both happy and sad. I thought we'd get closer to a resolution, but I'm afraid Bryn has a lot more work to do, which is good for us. It means more books! Yay!

The ARC of Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

Bryn untangled herself from Valmont’s arms and legs and went first to her room to smack off the alarm and then to Valmont’s. By the time she made it back to the living room, he was sitting up rubbing his eyes.

“I don’t even know what day it is,” he muttered.

“You’re asking the wrong girl,” Bryn said. “I slept through several.”

Valmont yawned. “Friday…I think it’s Friday.”

“Thank God I don’t have to go to class.” She rejoined him on the couch. “I say we sleep as long as possible.”

“No argument there.” He settled back onto the couch, and she curled up against him, using his chest as a pillow. For the moment, everything felt right in her world. She didn’t expect it to stay that way for long, but she was learning to appreciate the little things while they lasted.

Too soon, Valmont was rubbing her shoulder. “Bryn, we should probably wake up. I think we missed lunch.”

Fuzzy headed, Bryn sat up and tried to process that information. “I slept through lunch?”

“I think the pizza you had before bed last night counted as breakfast, but you probably need to be fed.” Valmont stood. “I’m going to shower and then we’ll talk about food.”

“Okay.” Her stomach growled. How had she slept through two meals? That evil herbal potion had kicked her butt.

After a quick shower, Bryn threw on jeans and a T-shirt. As far as she was concerned, if she was excused from classes, there was no reason to observe the stupid dress code.

Valmont pointed at her outfit. “Did you know your shirt is on inside out?”

Bryn looked down. Sure enough, he was right. “Crap. Hold on.” She went into the bedroom and pulled her shirt off, flipped it right side out, and put it back on. Back in the living room, she said, “If anyone asks why we’re not observing the dress code, we can say we thought it was Saturday.”

“Works for me.” He checked his watch. “The cafe downstairs should be empty since everyone will still be in class for two more hours.”

“Good. Then no one will see how much I eat.” Now that she was fully awake, her stomach was protesting the lack of regular meals.

The waiter in the restaurant seemed surprised when Bryn ordered three entrees, but he didn’t comment.

Valmont sat back and watched her finish off her third helping of Chicken Cordon Bleu while he drank his second cup of coffee. “I’m hoping if I caffeinate myself I can stay awake and go to bed at a reasonable time.”

Bryn yawned. “I know exactly what you mean. I swear I could go right back up to the room and fall asleep, but I don’t want to. It feels like I’ve missed too much already.”

“Clint and Ivy will make sure you’re awake and don’t miss out on dinner.”

“I probably should have called them last night.” Bryn took one last bite of food and then pushed her plate away. She wasn’t hungry anymore, but she wasn’t full of energy, either. “Would it be wrong if I went back to sleep?”

“You can go to bed,” Valmont said. “I think I’m going to call my family. The restaurant should be slow right now.”


Bryn lay in bed, listening to Valmont’s end of the conversation. It’s not like she was eavesdropping on purpose. Not really. But he was sitting on the couch, which backed up to her bedroom wall. While she couldn’t decipher all his words, he laughed often, which made her feel better about taking over his life.

Still she couldn’t drift off to sleep. Lillith’s words from a few days before wriggled around in her brain. Bryn never would have guessed Lillith would be the one to try and call them out on their relationship. And the fact that she’d suggested he start seeing Megan irritated the living hell out of her. Lillith put up with a loveless marriage to Ferrin. How could she want the same thing for her son? At this point, Bryn respected Jaxon and appreciated his intelligence and fierce determination, but that didn’t mean she wanted to kiss him.

“Megan? Oh, hello, how are you?”

Bryn sat up. Why was Valmont talking to Megan on the phone? Weird.
And now he was laughing. Why would Valmont’s family put Megan on the phone when he called? She’d bet her grandparent’s fortune that his grandmother was the one who suggested it. Evil, scheming, terrible-licorice- flavored-cookie-baking woman.

Fire stirred in Bryn’s gut. There was no reason to be upset. Megan was just a cute girl with a crush on Valmont. One of many, Bryn assumed. The waitress wasn’t anyone special to him. Not yet, at least.

The type of bond Bryn shared with Valmont, no other female could ever share with him. She was his dragon. Human females couldn’t compete with their connection. Right?

“You know you’ll have to break the bond when we’re married,” Jaxon said.

Bryn blinked. When had Jaxon come into her room? And why in the hell was he standing there wearing nothing but navy boxer shorts decorated with glittery silver W’s that twinkled like a disco ball?

This could not be real. Nope. She had to be dreaming.

She slammed her eyelids closed and rubbed her eyes. Not real. Had to be a dream. She opened her eyes and Jaxon stood in front of her dresser staring into the mirror and flexing his biceps. “I’ve been thinking about growing my hair longer, so I could wear one of those man-buns. Do you think that would be a good look for me?”

Okay. She really needed to wake up now.

A knock on the door had her sitting upright with her heart beating like crazy. “Hello?”

The door opened and Ivy popped her head in. “Sorry to wake you, but it’s time for dinner.”

“I’ve never been so glad to be awake in my life. I just had the weirdest dream.”

Ivy laughed and entered the room. Bryn did a double take. Ivy was wearing black pants and a white shirt with a W embroidered on the front pocket. And she was pushing a cart full of food.

“Women in your condition do have the strangest dreams, Mrs. Westgate.”

“My condition?” Bryn threw off the covers and looked down at her legs, what she could see of them, the part that wasn’t obscured by her very large, very pregnant belly which sported its own sparkling silver W. “Oh, hell no.”

“Sorry,” Ivy said. “I didn’t mean to offend you, Ma’am.”

“What? No, you aren’t the problem. It’s this stupid dream.” She really needed to wake up. Closing her eyes, she focused on feeling the pillow underneath her head or the sensation of the sheet draped over her body. She was in bed, in her dorm room. And she was going to wake up. Now. Slowly, she opened her eyes.

Valmont stood next to her bed, concern etched on his forehead. “Bryn, are you all right?”

“That depends, am I awake?”

“I hope so. You were tossing and turning when I came in. I had to shake you to wake you up.”

“I was having the most bizarre dreams,” Bryn sat up and touched her stomach, which was in its normal, not-possibly- knocked-up-with-Jaxon’s-child state, thank goodness.

“Ivy called. They wanted to make sure you were coming down to dinner. I told them we’d meet them in half an hour.”


“What were you dreaming about?” Valmont asked.

No way would she tell him about Jaxon in his twinkling disco ball boxer briefs. “It was a bunch of weird stuff thrown together. I knew it was a dream, but I couldn’t wake up. Jaxon asked me if he should grow his hair out and wear a man bun.”

Valmont’s eyes went wide and then he said, “Bizarre is an understatement.”

Check out my review of the other books in this series!

Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.

To learn more about Chris Cannon and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookTumblrPinterest, and Twitter.

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