Sometime last summer I saw Ice Planet Barbarians on my Goodreads feed. I had dabbled in the romance/erotica/smutty genre many years ago but the few books I read didn’t really do anything for me so I just thought I wasn’t into it and moved on. Then I saw IPB on an old high school acquaintance’s Goodreads and I decided to give it another shot. I tore through IPB, the spin-off Ice Home, Corsairs, Corsair Brothers, and Risdaverse. That’s a lot of books featuring abducted human woman and sexy blue aliens and I loved them all. When I got through them all, I tried another monster romance by another author but didn’t love it and went back to Ruby Dixon‘s catalog. There is a drakoni in the Ice Home series, so I was familiar with them before I started the Fireblood Dragon series. The drakoni are less appealing to me than the Messakah.
Fire in His Blood describes a post apocalyptic Earth, one where a rift was opened and dragons came through, went mad, and destroyed the world as we know it. As in all post apocalyptic stories, there are human survivors spread across the world in camps that are controlled by whatever militias pop up. In most zombie apocalypse stories, those militias are usually the type who are semi-secretly preparing for the government to declare martial law in the real world. You know the type. This one didn’t specify where the militia came from, or if it did, I missed it. Anyway, this is the story of Claudia, a woman who scavenges to earn enough to keep herself, her sister, and her friend fed and sheltered. There are only two real options for women in this world, scavenging (which is against the law) and whoring. Claudia opts to lead a life of crime, which leads to her capture and incarceration by the militia. And eventual nonconsensual participation in an experiment involving women and dragons.
I’ve read some reviews and noted that many of the complaints are about Claudia and repetition, and those are valid complaints. There is a lot of repetition. And it’s all coming from Claudia and her one track mind. Her entire existence since the dragons set the world on fire has been survival and protecting her sister. So when she’s incarcerated and then forced into this experiment, the one thing she keeps thinking about is how her sister will survive without her. Most of the book is told from Claudia’s perspective and a lot of it is her thinking about how she can get back to her sister and deal with her dragon at the same time. She could have gotten swept up in the romance and left her life behind, but stayed true to herself and figured out a way to come through for her sister, with the help of her dragon of course.
While I still find the drakoni less appealing than my beloved Messakah, I did enjoy this book and will be reading the rest of the series. There isn’t a whole lot of spice, and the spice that is there is timid compared to IPB, but that’s okay. That’s one of the things I like about Dixon’s books. There’s spice, but the story is always good enough that I don’t even mind if the spice level is low. I’m looking forward to more world building, meeting more drakoni, and possibly addressing the problem of the female dragons. All of Ruby Dixon’s books that I’ve read so far feature human women and alien men, so I’m not sure if she will tackle the female dragons, but a girl can dream.