2 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level BDSM Book Fated Mates Gay Heat Index m/m Mid level angst NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Shifter

Branded by Flames (Dragon Soul #1) by Sean Michael

release day review

Carina Press Presents


Meet the Beteferoce brothers. Five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…

For years, dragon-shifter-slash-firefighter Jake has been searching for his mate, but he’s beginning to tire of the search. Maybe soul mates are only for the lucky few.

Then he meets Shae.

A former navy welder, Shae is handsome, talented, into power play and rough sex, and covered in dragon tattoos. All of this suits the shape-shifting dragon just fine—until he finds out that Shae literally has Jake’s family crest already tattooed on him. A coincidence? Or something more…

Jake must convince Shae to trust him as a man and as a Dom before the heat between them burns out of control. Becoming a dragon’s mate is not without danger, and Shae will need Jake’s guidance—and love—if he’s going to make it through alive.


I was so excited when I read this blurb because I love the idea of fated mates and dragons and thought the whole tattoo thing sounded fascinating. I, however, missed the whole DOM thing and that’s a big drag because I would have skipped it had I noticed that because I don’t like BDSM as a rule.

On the one hand there were things I really liked about this. The world building is interesting, there are a few brothers and I’m sure we’ll get their stories. I thought Shae was a great character in that he was submissive but didn’t let Jake run him over. The tattoo artist is compelling and I’m betting there’s a story there, too. I loved the magic and the bonding and the nuances that occur once a pair is bonded – that was pretty cool!

What didn’t work for me: Most of the book is sex. Like, almost all of it. It’s one sex scene after another and I’d barely call it Porn with a plot as it’s mostly porn. The sex DID NOT add to the story and I skimmed it at best. (Partly because there was so much of it and partly because it’s not my cup of tea as far as kink goes.) There wasn’t much relationship building – unless all the sex was meant to be that. I think there could have been more attention spent on the plot and the world building and the romance and less on the sex – or it could have been a much, much shorter book.

I didn’t like Jake or bond with him. I hated how he called Shae BOY all the time – and not in a D/s way but in a degrading way and I didn’t really care if they became a couple by the end of the book.

So… in general I might be interested enough to read the blurb on others in the series but I’d wait for reviews before I pick it up. If the entire series is as sex-laden as this, then I’ll be skipping it. If there’s more romance in future stories I’m intrigued by the world building enough to give it a shot.

This just didn’t work for me but if you like loads of sex and pain is your kink you might like this.

2 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small


Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

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