Title: Ancient Enemy
Author: Katie Reus
Series: Ancients Rising
Publication Date: Aug. 25, 2020
Publisher: KR Press, LLC
Synopsis: She should be his mortal enemy.
Ancient dragon shifter Rhys awoke from his slumber hungry for revenge against the witch who killed his sister. When his hunt takes him to the rebuilding city of New Orleans, he finds a woman he can’t keep his eyes off—but she’s a witch. While Rhys wants to despise all of Dallas’s kind, even he can’t deny that she’s beautiful, kind and…adorable. And her pet baby dragon only increases his fascination with the sexy woman. Protective instincts he never knew he had take over him as they hunt powerful monsters. He’s forced to confront everything he thought he knew about witches as his life is turned upside down.
But he wants her anyway.
Dallas Kinley is used to being hated because of what she is. Witches have always been the pariahs of the supernatural community. Until now, when the world needs rebuilding. Even though she wants to keep her distance from Rhys, vampires and humans are dying in New Orleans, so she vows to help him hunt down those responsible. But finding the enemy comes at a heavy price, because Dallas is hiding a terrible secret. As they race against the clock to find the murderers, she can only hope his need for revenge won’t rip them apart. Especially when he finds out what she’s been hiding from him.
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Ancient Enemy focuses on Rhys, a recently awakened ancient dragon-shifter who is searching for his sister’s killer, a witch Rhys believes is in New Orleans. Dallas, a witch who is tasked with helping to rebuild the gardens and food sources in New Orleans, might be able to help Rhys find the witch that he’s hunting. But Rhys’s mission is sidetracked when King, the Alpha and leader of New Orleans, sends the pair to investigate missing vampires and humans.
When Dallas is called to New Orleans to help rebuild the city, her main concern is protecting her pet dragon. She likes her peaceful existence on her farm but is selfless and eager to help others. She doesn’t plan on helping to solve a case that might involve witches, nor does she expect to have feelings for the hunky dragon-shifter who has sworn to protect her. What will Dallas do when the case, and Rhys’s mission, point toward someone from Dallas’ past?
This is the second book in the Ancients Rising series, and it is just as action-packed and chemistry-laden as the first. With well-developed characters and an interesting premise, Ancient Enemy gripped me from the start.
Dallas and Rhys are both dynamically developed characters. Dallas is a powerful witch who has been a victim of prejudice her entire life. Witches are looked down upon by other paranormals, so she is used to keeping her distance from others. However, once in New Orleans, she finds herself surrounded by paranormals that are vastly different than she expects. Dallas is treated with respect and kindness, and it is great to see her slowly let down her defenses, especially with Rhys.
Rhys begins the story hate-filled and revenge-fueled. Rhys blames himself for the death of his beloved sister, and his only desire is to kill the witch who murdered her. However, as he spends time with Dallas and her adorable pet dragon Willow, he changes. He sees a future for himself, where before he only saw death.
I love that Rhys and Dallas give each other hope and show each other that they have a connection and a future worth fighting for. Their connection is strong, even though they both try to fight it, and their slow-building romance is fantastic! Furthermore, the depth of feelings that Rhys shows for Dallas is positively swoon-worthy! Rhys is adorably sweet when he plays with Willow, and his caring and protective nature when he takes care of Willow and Dallas transforms his broody personality.
We also get to see the sibling bond between Rhys, Cody, and Lachlan, which is fantastic. Though they haven’t been together in centuries, their connection is clear and lovely. I also love that, though these characters have strong sibling relationships, they don’t discount the wonderful family-like friendships that they have. They value their relationships and remain loyal to those that are important to them. It reminded me of the strong connection between Star, Aurora, and the rest of Star’s pack in the last book.
By the way, we do see Star, Aurora, and the crew in this story as well. It’s great to see Aurora gaining confidence and strength, and her slow-building relationship with King is amazing! I love that he has such deep feelings for her but holds back until she is ready. He’s more interested in her well-being than his own happiness and desires, and I love that! I’m totally rooting for this couple and hoping that their love story continues in the next book!
And then there’s Willow, Dallas’ lovable and endearing dragon. I adored her! She has a spunky personality that endears her to everyone, and her playful, sweet personality breaks the societal prejudices surrounding egg-hatched dragons. I love that she and Dallas are the opposite of what people expect, and they both, through their kindness and selflessness, show others that their prejudices are misguided.
In addition to all of the well-developed characters, the story is also dynamic. It’s a world where supernatural beings don’t hide. Recently exposed to the human world, they are adjusting to a new normal and attempting to rebuild the world after an epic battle brought much destruction. I like that in Ancient Protector, we see the destruction and break-down of the old world, the world where supernaturals had to hide who they were, and in this book, we see the aftermath and rebuilding of society. The way that this propels the plot and develops the characters while continually building an immersive supernatural world is impressive.
I highly recommend Ancient Enemy to readers that like shifter romances with unique characters and a fantastic romance. Plus, there are dragons!! Though this is the second book in the Ancients Rising series, it can be read as a standalone.
Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- Willow! I loved the addition of this lovable, peaceful, child-like dragon!
- The romance, of course! Rhys and Dallas have a great love story, and their chemistry is fantastic!
- The world-building. It is immersive and interesting. Shifters, witches, vampires, and more all live openly with humans. Plus, the majority of the story takes place in New Orleans. Love the vibe!
Readers who enjoy shifter romances with well-developed characters and immersive plots will love Ancient Enemy.