Novel 1: Undiscovered (3/2017)
This is a bridge series that connects Humphreys' AMOVEO LEGEND series with her upcoming DRAGON HEAT series. Here is a quotation from Undiscovered in which Humphreys succinctly summarizes the mythology of the Amoveo and their means of finding their mates: "The Amoveo, an ancient race of shape-shifters...found their mates in the dream realm. Once they connected there, they could find each other in the physical plane." Finding their mates is very important to the Amoveo because if they don't mate before they reach the age of thirty, they lose their shape-shifting powers and their other supernatural talents and turn into non-magical humans. Throughout Humphreys' other two Amoveo series (AMOVEO LEGEND and DEAD IN THE CITY), everyone believed that there were only ten clans: Eagle, Falcon, Bear, Fox, Wolf, Coyote, Lion, Tiger, Panther, and Cheetah. But in this series we learn that long ago, there was an eleventh clan: the Dragons.
As far as Zander knows, he and his brother are the last of the dragons. Half a century ago, the other members of the Dragon Clan were killed through the combined efforts of the other ten Amoveo clans and some fearful and angry humans. The Dragons were considered to be too large and too dangerous to live alongside humans, so the solution was to kill them. The only reason Zander and his brother escaped was that they were under a curse that protected them from death.
The Dragons have a few supernatural abilities that are different from the other Amoveo clans. For example, they derive power from the earth and from quartz crystals called spirit stones. Also, when they mate, they develop matching mate tattoos shaped like dragons. And one final difference: Dragons can hold their Dragon form only at night. As soon as the sun rises, they return to human form.
Here, Zander Lorens (hero of Undiscovered) explains the mythology of the Dragon Clan: "My Clan is tied to quartz. According to legend, the first dragons were born of the earth eons ago. When the ground shook and volcanoes erupted as Mother Earth took shape, the first of our kind emerged from the flame and rock. We were expelled from the deepest recesses, the very heart and soul of the planet itself. The earth heals us, rejuvenates us, and, when necessary protects us."
For an in-depth explanation of the Amoveo world, click HERE to go to my review of the AMOVEO LEGEND series—the original series. You might also wish to read my reviews of the DEAD IN THE CITY series, a spin-off that adds Manhattan vampires to the mix—click HERE to go to that post.
NOVEL 1: Undiscovered
He’s the man of her dreams: Centuries ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who-and what-she really is?
She’s the end to his nightmare: Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…
As the series opens, Zander has a fateful meeting in the dream realm: a meeting with his cursed brother (Zeb) and a beautiful woman named Rena. When Zander hears Zeb call out "Mine" when he sees Rena, he realizes that Rena must be Zeb's mate and that he can use her to break the witch's curse that has held Zeb in hibernation for 500 years.
Here's the background on Zander and Zeb: They are identical dragon twins who were cursed by a witch after they fought over a young woman and accidentally killed her. Zander was cursed to live alone as the last dragon on Earth—an immortal who was not allowed to die. Zeb was put to sleep and encased in the quartz wall of a deep cave on the Amoveo property in Montana (although the Amoveo don't know about the existence of either the cave or the dragons). Meanwhile, Zander roams the world as a human, knowing that he will never again fly in his dragon form unless he can break the curse. And he has only days to do it.
Rena is a private investigator in Las Vegas. She had the typical childhood of a paranormal romance heroine: desertion by her anonymous parents and then a long string of horrific foster homes. Rena has learned the hard way not to trust anyone but herself, so you know from the beginning that there will be lots of angst-filled interior monologues (for both characters). All her life, Rena has had psychometric powers. She can find anything and anyone just by touching something connected to them. Now, she learns that she is actually a hybrid Amoveo—a member of the Fox Clan.
Although Rena is supposed to be Zeb's mate, she and Zander fall instantly in lust, and Zander spends the rest of the book alternating between passionate kisses and cold-shoulder episodes during which he hates himself for loving his brother's mate. You can see where this is going...right?
As is true of all of the other hybrid Amoveo mates, Rena has not yet shifted into her Fox form, and she has to learn all about the Amoveo and their abilities from Zander as they travel on his Harley from Las Vegas to the Amoveo compound in Montana. During their trip, both Zander and Rena develop powers. Rena gets closer to her Fox and begins to have visions of both the past and the future, while Zander starts to show signs that his Dragon is reawakening.
For awhile, I thought that there wouldn't be a villain in this story, but I was wrong. Humphreys signals the bad guy's identity early in the story, but leaves the big reveal for the inevitable showdown scene that resolves the conflict.
This is a typical AMOVEO story, with angst-filled lovers, a rocky love story, erotic love scenes, and a one-dimensional villain. If you enjoyed the original series, you'll probably like this one as well. One odd difference is that Zander and Zeb aren't the über-alphas that we saw in the original series. You'd think that the big, bad dragons would be overwhelmingly alpha in their behavior, but Zander, in particular, is rather mild-mannered (but strong, courageous, and fearless, of course). At the end, Zeb mentions that there may be more dragons in Oklahoma, so I'm guessing that clan will be the focus of future books, beginning with Zeb's finding his true mate.
Click HERE to read to an excerpt from Undiscovered on its Amazon.com page by clicking on the cover art on that page.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My review of Undiscovered is based on an electronic advance reading copy (ARC) of the book that I received from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I received no promotional or monetary rewards, and the opinions in this review are entirely my own.