Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bookish Thoughts: The Nightwing Trilogy by Juliette Cross

Sometimes I need to spend some time reading my guilty pleasures, and that would include Juliette Cross's Nightwing Trilogy set in the Gladium Provence, where Morgon (dragon hybrids) and humans live side by side. There is definite tension between the two races. Humans have long feared the dragon/human mixed race, afraid of their strengths and special powers. Believing them to be animals. Not all humans are fearful of the Morgons, accepting them as equal and wanting to live in an integrated world, side by side.

The story of how the Morgon race came into being varies depending on the telling. Was it through force or forbidden love? Some will use history to help stir up fear, manipulating it to fit their purpose. Author Juliette Cross has created a world which was easy to get lost in. 

The heroines in each of the Nightwing trilogy could not be more different, but one thing is sure, they are the best of friends. I enjoyed getting to read each of their stories and meeting the men who they would spend the rest of their lives with.

It is true the men in these novellas are alpha males and do most of the rescuing. None of these heroines can be called weak, however. They stand up for themselves and know what they want. There is also the insta-love factor, which makes sense in this particular world given the way fate plays a part in bringing people together. But, oh, how I enjoyed my time in Cross's world and with her characters! I wish the stories were longer and more fleshed out, something I often find with novellas and short stories that I am enjoying reading.

I enjoyed all three novellas quite a bit, but admit I liked Windburn the most. I think it had a lot to do with the strong mystery element involved (which carries over into the next part of the series).


Soulfire (Nightwing #1) (Lyrical Press, 2014; 109 pgs)

Opening sentence: Thousands of years ago, Radomis, the dragon king of the North, took flight on the last full moon of winter.

Jessen Cade is the daughter of one of the most powerful businessmen in the Gladium Province. His feelings for the Morgons are fierce and strong. He loathes everything about them and would like to see them brought to their knees. His daughter doesn't agree. A run in with the gorgeous and formidable Lucius Nightwing, eldest son of the most powerful Morgon clan, throws her father's plans to marry her off to his partner's human son into a tailspin. Will family loyalty win over true love? 

I liked Jessen's spirit and Lucius's regard and respect for her and she for him. Jessen isn't one to play games nor is Lucius. Soulfire was my introduction to the Morgon world and it certainly whet my appetite for more. I wasn't sure about the concept of soulfire, I admit; I felt a little underwhelmed by it in this first novella. And Jessen at times seemed too perfect at times, but this novella hit the spot.


Windburn (Nightwing #2) (Lyrical Press, 2015; 91 pgs)

Opening sentence: Yeah.

Sorcha Linden and Lorian Nightwing are quite the match, both with fiery tempers and very strong wills. Sorcha has long used her femininity to get what she wants. She keeps her heart behind a wall, built over the years to keep it safe. She does not trust easily nor does she trust love. Lorian longs to bring that wall down and win Sorcha's heart. He will do anything to make sure that happens. 

Windburn was particularly dark, involving a cult who believe in Morgon superiority. Lorian is determined to protect Sorcha just as she is sure she can protect herself. I liked the energy of Lorian and Sorcha--both individually and when they are together. They seem well suited for each other.


Nightbloom (Nightwing #3) (Lyrical Press, 2015; 151 pgs)

Opening sentence: "Would you like to hear the story about tragic Princess Morga and the dreadful dragon king of the North again?" 

Ella Barrow wears her own shield, only she is the picture of perfection--the dutiful daughter, the quiet agreeable woman. She's settled into a relationship with a human who comes from a respectable family. Only, she isn't completely happy. Especially not when Paxon Nightwing walks into the picture. He sees more in Ella than she sees in herself, and he wants her body and soul. 

It's clear that Ella's human boyfriend isn't a good person. I really didn't like him, and was so glad when Ella realized she was better than that. I adored Paxon. I admit I wasn't sure I would given my impression of him in an earlier book. He seemed nice enough, but my first impression of him was that he was too much of a lady's man. In Nightbloom, the reader gets to see a different side of him. Paxon is so patient with Ella and really draws her out of her shell. Not only that, but he shows her genuine respect and often lets her make the first move. Ella cares a lot about her parents and what they think, about what others think, and it's one of the chains she must loosen (and break) before she can truly be herself. I could relate to her reluctance to let go of what was comfortable.

After reading the Nightwing Trilogy, I was excited to find out the Vale of Stars series is set in the same world, with guest appearances by some of these characters, and dove right in. My review will be coming soon.

*Source: E-copies of Soulfire and Windburn purchased for my own reading pleasure. E-copy of Nightbloom provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.



You can learn more about Juliette Cross and her books on the author's website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.


© 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

16 comments:

  1. It sounds interesting, but I'm not a very big romance person (and the covers basically scream romance to me) :p I can't decide if I should put it on the TBR list...

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    1. Eustacia - Yes, these are definitely heavy on the romance. I'm not a huge fan of the covers, admittedly, but I do enjoy romance from time to time. :-)

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  2. Loving the thought of living side by side with Morgons. Alas this (and maybe the character Ella) is probably the only thing that really appeals to me. I hate the covers (Sorry but I'm always put off by scantily clad men/women on book covers). Still, glad you enjoyed them, we all have our guilty pleasures.

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    1. Tracy - No offense to me that you don't care for the covers--frankly, I don't especially like them either. Luckily, it's easy to overlook them when reading an e-book. :-)

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  3. It's always good to have guilty pleasures. ;)

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    1. Lark - We all need them from time to time. :-)

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  4. I love some guilty pleasure reading and I do need to try to read more books that I want to read. I'm not sure these are for me but I love a series that makes me want to dive in!

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    1. Katherine - It's rare I go on a binge like this, but sometimes I can't just help myself.

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  5. This sounds like the pefect guilty pleasure series. I like that they are short and can be worked in between longer books. Thanks for putting these on my radar!

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    1. Carole - It was! I like the Vale of Stars books better (I'll be reviewing those soon), but this was a good introduction to the world Cross has created.

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  6. I like the occasional romance, but even more so when in a mystery or fantasy-based storyline.

    Not sure if these bare-chested men covers "speak to me", but I recently reread the first in the old Shana Abe Drakon series about dragon-shifters set back a few hundred years in England, because I found the second one in a used book store and wanted to read it for a comfort read. It held up well, if you ever come across it. Enjoy the week!

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    1. Rita - Same here. Add it a mystery or make it fantasy based and I'm more likely to enjoy a romance novel.

      Haha! Yes, those covers aren't eye-catching for me either. I will have to look for Shana Abe Drakon's books. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  7. It is always nice to have a guilty pleasure series to count on. :)

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    1. Jenclair - It is. A bit of comfort reading now and then is good for the soul.

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  8. Hi, Wendy!!

    I've been missing you on the Book Blogger Hop! And I also enjoy reading all of your news on the Sunday Post! Well, I figured you must have been a bit busy. So I decided to swing by and say "Hi!"

    In addition to the above, I also decided to comment on one of your other posts. This three-part review caught my eye! As you know, I'm a HUGE PNR/UF fan! And I also love epic fantasy. AND....I ADORE dragons!! So this series is right up my alley!

    First of all, those covers are SO YUMMY!!! Lol. But I also love the plots! While I totally enjoy reading about alpha males, I also enjoy reading about feisty females who know how to hold their own against them, and yet, have great romantic relationships with them!

    From what you've stated in your EXCELLENT review, the world building in this series is also fascinating! All in all, it sure looks like I'll enjoy these books! I do wish they were printed books, but, since they're really novellas, it's probably better that they're ebooks.

    Thanks for sharing your well-written, thoughtful analysis of these books! Hope you and your family are enjoying a GREAT Memorial Day weekend!! HUGS TO YOU & MOUSE!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

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    1. Maria - I'm switching things up a little on my blog for the summer. will be re-joining the BBHop soon, but it won't be as part of my Sunday Post.

      I enjoyed these three novellas--and the next series set in the same world even more. My review of those will be going up later this week. Thank you for your kind words about my review.

      I hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend too!

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