Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GA Aiken is a big name in paranormal romances, both under this cognomen and also as Shelly Laurenston. This was my first time reading her, and I had a positive experience.
What I liked right away about this story was the nice flow of the narrative. I was in a big reading slump where it seemed like it was harder to read books and get sucked in, and I liked how easy it was to fall into the world of this book. Aiken has some very good humor, and not afraid to make it involve some physical interactions between the characters. Along the lines of The Three Stooges and Bugs Bunny, to be clear.
I do have to say that her female characters stand out with their brash, tough nature. I liked Annwyl a bit more than Rhiannon, even though I acknowledge that both were shaped by their environment. Annwyl is the real deal when it comes to being a warrior. She didn’t earn her name of Annwyl the Bloody for no reason. Let’s just say that few will survive a sword fight with her without coming away about eight to ten inches shorter on the top. They are a good match for the heroes, meeting these big tough guys toe to toe. In some cases even more vicious at times.
The other thing I enjoyed a lot were the dragons. I liked the descriptions of them and their lifestyles, although it was quite disconcerting for them to talk so casually about eating humans and gleeful in killing them in various ways. Yeah, I know dragons probably view humans the way we do cows. But still…. Anyway, if one has a ‘what if’ about the lifestyles of the big and scaly, then Aiken will hook you up.
What I think was a bit too much for me was the graphic depictions of violence. In a way, I think it works for her, considering this harsh, brutal world of warring humans and dragons. On the other hand, I am a bit squeamish when it comes to descriptions of men getting gutted and their entrails falling out. And people getting squished to a pulp. If you can get past this, a reader will enjoy the action elements and the fact that the heroines go to battle hardcore.
Readers who like their romance on the hot and steamy side will not be disappointed. I am not into BDSM at all, but the chains that featured heavily in the second story certainly made things interesting.
Overall, quite satisfied. I liked Annwyl and Fearghus’ story a bit more, but the story of Fearghus’ parents (Rhiannon and Bercelak)’ famed courtship was very good as well. I will read more in this series.
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