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Forbidden Dragon by Clair Cunningham @authorbpierce is a Love and Romance Book Festival Pick #books

Title: Forbidden Dragon

Author: Clair Cunningham

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Book Blurb:

Love has no place here.

She washed up on an island where the beasts are more likely to kill her than the waves battering against the rocks. Edrei's rescuer, Daygen, is one of twelve consorts off limits to anyone but the terrifying Queen of Pyrrhus. Brighid will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Betrayed by an angry brother and a jealous queen, Edrei's life hangs in the balance. Brighid will force Daygen's hand one way or the other. After all, he owes her. And she will come to collect on his debt.


A loud shriek echoed through the temple, startling Aleera awake. The girl crouched by the hearth, a long poker in her hand. Her blond braid hung over one shoulder and her misty blue eyes rolled around as she assessed her surroundings, then Aleera.

“Wha-what are you?”

Aleera stood. As she went to answer, a forked tongue slithered out of her mouth. Shaking herself, she appeared human once more. “I’m Aleera. And you are?”

Not giving up her defensive position, she bit out, “What are you? You’re not human.”

“I’m a dragon. I can shift into human form. In fact, most of my kind prefer it that way.”

Her eyes widened further. “Dragons don’t exist.”

“Yes, they do. You found an island full of them. Welcome to Pyrrhus.”

Her grip on the poker tightened, and her knuckles turned white. “Do you eat humans? Are you going to roast me over this fire?”

Sighing, Aleera glanced up at the tall ceiling. “Hestia, help me.” She looked back over at the girl. “No. We don’t eat people, each other, or anything else like that. We eat fish, deer, and whatever the island provides us.”

Straightening, she took in each detail of her surroundings. The tall round columns right down to the flagstones in the floor. With the poker, she pointed to the altar. “What is this table for?”

“It’s an altar to Hestia.”

“Why was I on it? And who changed my clothes?”

Aleera cut her eyes at her. “You know, a simple thank you for cleaning you up and looking after you would be nice.”

The girl nodded. “Thank you.” She set down the poker and rubbed her arms. “I’m Edrei.”

“Edrei, it’s nice to meet you. Where did you come from, and how did you get here?”

“I don’t know. You brought me here.”

Aleera’s eyebrows lifted. “Not I. Daygen did. He ordered me to care for you.”

“Who’s Daygen?”

She muttered, “You’ll find out soon enough.”

Edrei sat down near the hearth. She drew her knees into her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs. Aleera edged over and sat down beside her.

“How did you end up on Pyrrhus?”

Edrei shrugged. A tear slipped down her cheek as memories resurfaced. “The ship my family was traveling on sank. Pirates attacked us and burned the boat. My father and brother were killed. My mother...she sank below the water, and I didn’t see her again.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Once more, she lifted her shoulders in a shrug. “You’re a dragon? A human that turns into a dragon?”

Aleera smiled. “No. We are all dragons on Pyrrhus. We can shape shift into humans. It’s the form most of us prefer because we’ve been doing it for so long. Sometimes the guise slips when we sleep, and we turn back into what we truly are.”

“What about humans? How many live here?”

“Only one.”

“And who is this single human?”

Aleera leveled her gaze at the girl. “You.”

“How are there no others?”

“No one is supposed to be able to find this island. It’s hidden by something called The Veil, and surrounded by a ring of rocks. I’m not sure how you are alive.”

Edrei shuddered. “I’m not either.”

“I’ve never seen a human before.”

“Well, I’ve never seen a dragon. They were supposed to be nothing more than scary bedtime stories.”

Aleera frowned. “I suppose that would be correct now. Humans all but destroyed us once upon a time.”

“You are quite fierce to behold in your dragon form.”

“That may be, but we deserve to live just as much as humans do. Here we are safe.”

Edrei studied the tall pillars jutting up to the ceiling. Each one contained dragons wrapping around the stone as they climbed up. Their talons cut into the cylinder. Jewels sparkled for their eyes, and long, forked tongues snaked out of their mouths. Glancing back at Aleera, she asked one question.

“What’s going to happen to me now?”

Her mouth pinched tight. “That will be up to the Queen to decide. If Daygen tries to hide you, there could be dire consequences. He will have to take you to her. Queen Brighid is known to have an ugly temper, even for a dragon.”

Edrei paled and slumped forward. Aleera scooted closer and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

“Why didn’t I just drown?”

Her whisper echoed into the hearth and the flames danced. Aleera’s eyes trailed each flame licking the wood within. She pursed her lips and crushed her eyebrows together. The mysteries of the flames wound through her thoughts as they sat in silence. Hestia wasn’t real. Was she?

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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?

I think my favorite part is being able to impart a little bit of the warmth that true love brings to our hearts, on others.

Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:

Never stop working at your relationship. They take time and effort to cultivate.


Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

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Open internationally

Runs February 1 – 29

Drawing will be held on March 2.

Author Biography:

Reading, writing, and the arts have always been Clair’s favorite things. She grew up writing short stories and poetry, and has a degree in Mass Media. She never thought she would use her degree, but becoming an author proved her wrong. Clair currently resides in Arkansas. She is married and has four children. She hopes that by watching their mother reach for her goals and dreams, they will do the same.

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Barbara Bettis
Feb 18, 2020

Goodness, sounds exciting, Clair! Best of luck with the book ;)


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Feb 18, 2020

Thank you, Clair, for sharing your book in our Love and Romance Book Festival. I like your romantic tip. Cultivate... like a gardener. 💖

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