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It’s a beautiful day here in Boston, and I’m going to pretend it’s still summer. But autumn and winter are just around the corner and they’re the perfect time to curl up with a selection of hot stories – or two.

If you haven’t checked out Dracones yet, here are some notes on the other stories there which I hope will inspire you to pick up a copy. I’m not reviewing my story, “Fugue in Gold and Fire,” but I hope you like it, too.

My favorite story in the collection was the last one, “Lukos Heat” by Megan Derr. Najlah, a black warrior dragon in the Royal Shifter Corps, is on the hunt for a traitor with his comrades in the freezing mountains. They need the assistance of the Lukos, feral wolf-shifters native to the area, and especially their leader Barkus. The chemistry between the two shifters was intense, the world-building intriguing, and the sex scenes very hot. I also loved that Najlah’s humanoid form wasn’t completely human: he still had sharp teeth, scales and couldn’t speak. Derr very cleverly provided a way for them to communicate that made sense to the story and helped catalyze their coupling.

“Finding the Rain” by Tam Ames is a lovely tale told in the style of a Chinese folktale. The growing attraction between Buwei, sent to bring tribute to the dragon-lord, and Tian, the apparent care-taker of the dragon-lord’s temple, is developed through gradual, sweet interactions that felt very natural even within the context of the supernatural tale.

Humor is hard to write, but E.R. Karr pulled it off beautifully, in my opinion, in “Two in the Bush.” The telepathic interplay between psychic private investigator David and his partner Ferdie (an exiled dragon in human form) was poignant and often hilarious as they investigate the cause of a camping trip gone awry. I hope the author writes more with these two characters.

The remaining three stories were other variations on the “exiled dragon in human form” theme. In “Teller of Tales” by D.K. Jernigan, homosexuality isn’t tolerated in dragon culture so Peter lives as a human. But when he decides to turn stories of his dragon society into a fantasy novel, he feels an instant connection with the young publisher who reads the manuscript. Daire’s exiled because someone stole most of his magic in E.E. Ottoman’s “Weird Magics,” and he must team up with some alchemists who aren’t what they seem in order to get it back. Finally, in “Chanson Commencante de Guerre,” Lor Rose’s protagonist Rayvak has turned his back on the long war between the dragons and the (dragon) shifters, only to have it land on his doorstep.

I really enjoyed this anthology and was thrilled to be able to contribute to it. If you like fantasy stories with hot men, if you like dragons and the idea that they might be living hidden among us, then this collection should go on your winter reading list.

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