Dragonmark by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Review

 


Dragonmark (Dark-Hunter, #26; Dragons Rising, #1; Lords of Avalon, #5)Book Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Dark-Hunter Universe #27

Released: 8/2/2016 by St. Marin’s Press

Pages: 344 Price: $14.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Dragonmark: A Dark-Hunter Novel (Dark-Hunter Novels)

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.

Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn…

My Review:

I have put off reading this book for an entire year.  I purchased it the week, if not day, it released but needed to finish a review book or two before diving in.  Then I saw the reviews on Goodreads… A lot of one and two-star ratings.  Crap.  This is my favorite author and my favorite series and it looked like and a lot of people were not happy with the book.  I don’t actually read reviews ahead of time but I do take a poll of star ratings.  I didn’t know exactly what people were complaining about but I knew they were not happy. So I decided to put the book off. I almost picked it up several times over the year but the ratings always held me back, I didn’t want to be disappointed.

A year passed and the next book in the series hit the shelves and I once again picked it up release week and decided I had put off this title long enough.  I dove in not knowing what I would find.

I get it now.  I get why all the low ratings. I also agree with the reason behind them and while I’m not going to go as far as leaving one or two stars I am going to deduct two stars because quite frankly I’m disappointed too.  Ms. Kenyon, I love you.  You are my favorite author but you are so much better than this.

The problem with the book, in case you don’t know is that only about one-third of it is a new plot.  Two-thirds of it is pulled directly from the previous books.  I would have to go back and double-check but it didn’t feel like it was even updated and parts of this story were not told from Illarion’s point of view and Edilyn disappears completely for much of the book.  Now I understand that these three book’s action takes place at the same time but there had to be a better way to handle this. How about some interesting new perspective? Or we get a glimpse of what is happening elsewhere in the universe in those moments?  I know you can’t rewrite a scene that has already taken place but instead of plotting with past characters how about a peek at what is going on with Edilyn?  I’ve noticed that this rehashing of storyline is becoming pretty common in Kenyon’s other series The League. It almost makes me wonder if it is time for the author to take a break and pursue other projects for a couple of years and then come back.

For the one-third of fresh storyline, it was amazing and everything I love about Ms. Kenyon.  lllarion and Edilyn were great characters that got jipped from having their story be the focus of their book.  I loved how they came together and when they were separated it broke my heart.  When the book brought us back to their plot I cheered to see how they ended up together.  I sincerely wish we had more time with these two they had such integrity and honor that they deserved better.  Most likely we will get more of their tale.  I think that Edilyn’s brother who plays a “bad” guy in this book might end up redeemed in his own book it is something this author loves to do.

While disappointed this doesn’t turn me off of the series I’m in it for the long haul.  I just hope the next book is better or at least more focused on the main characters.

My Rating: 3 Stars

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Dragon Falls by Katie MacAlister

Book Review

 


Dragon Fall (Dragon Falls, #1)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal

Book Series: Dragon Falls #1, Dragon Septs #11

Released: July 28, 2015 by Forever

Pages: 247  Price: $7.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a gift copy of this book from a friend! (book make the best gifts)

 

 

Book Synopsis:

YOU FLIRT WITH FIRE…

 

For Aoife Dakar, seeing is believing—and she’s seen some extraordinary things. It’s too bad no one else believes that she witnessed a supernatural murder at an outdoor fair. Returning to the scene for proof, Aoife encounters a wise-cracking demon dog—and a gloriously naked man who can shift into a dragon and kiss like a god. Now thrust into a fantastical world that’s both exhilarating and terrifying, Aoife is about to learn just how hot a dragon’s fire burns.

WHEN YOU DATE A DRAGON

Kostya has no time for a human woman with endless questions, no matter how gorgeous or tempting she is. He must break the curse that has splintered the dragon clans before more of his kind die. But his powerful attraction to Aoife runs much deeper than the physical—and there may be more to her than even his sharp dragon eyes can see. To survive the coming battle for the fate of his race, he needs a mate of true heart and soul . . .

My Review:

I’m not going to lie to you, this book was a struggle to get into.  I had strong feeling in the beginning that this one might not work for me.  Which would have been unfortunate as I own the next two books already…  This book just started off poorly for me.  It did pick up, though, and the only reason I stuck this one out is my previous history with the author.

So what didn’t work for me.  Part of it I was a bit lost trying to figure out the rules and what has already happen in this world.  There is usually several characters that carry over from mini-series to mini-series in this world and most of them were absent for the first third of this story. Which didn’t help my lost feeling.  I also did not care for what happen to the heroine by her brother and sister in the story set up.  The whole set-up that would eventually lead Aoife and Kostya together felt a little off to me.  I don’t know if it was forced or what, but it simply left me wanting to set the book down before we even met up with Kostya.

Meeting Jim and Kostya is where everything turned for me.  It started feeling more like a paranormal romance and less like a contemporary  romance.  I believe I’ve commented before how I love this author’s paranormal books and usually don’t care for her contemporary ones.  So perhaps that was a bit of the problem.  For me her heroines just don’t work unless they are in a paranormal setting.  Once Aoife meets her dragon though I was totally on board and enjoyed the rest of the story.

I have to say I probably like Kostya and Drake more than Aoife and Aisling.  There is just something about watching the world of these uptight alpha dragons get totally turn upside down by their mates that I find appealing.  Once you get into it, this author knows how to write some of the best light-hearted romance out there.  Most of this book was filled with the smexy fun I am come to expect when I pick up a MacAlister book.

I’m glad I stuck this one out.  The last two-thirds of this book was much better than the first third.  If you are new to the author this isn’t a bad place to start if you are just interested in reading Aoife and Kostya’s story, but if you enjoy this first book why not go back and get the entire history of this world and start with You Slay Me with the coming together of Aisling and Drake.  Their quartet of books was what hooked me on the whole dragon-shifter branch of the paranormal romance genre.  Off to book number two!

My Rating: 3 Stars

ARC Darkest Flame by Donna Grant – DNF

Darkest Flame (Dark Kings, #1)

Click on the cover to visit the book’s Goodread Page

Book one in the Dark Kings Series

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review through Net Galley.

Book synopsis from Goodreads:

The Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But one of the most powerful warriors of his kind will be put to the ultimate test. Is he strong enough to resist his greatest temptations? Or will he be forced to surrender – body and soul?

Her beauty is a weapon

Denae Lacroix is a beautiful MI5 agent on a deadly mission. Sent to the Scottish Highlands to spy on the mysterious Dreagan Industries, she discovers too late that she’s been set up – as human bait. She is an irresistible lure for a man who has not seen or touched a woman for centuries. He is a man with a destiny – and a desire – that could destroy them both…

His passion is a curse…

It’s been twelve hundred years since Kellan has walked among humans – and there’s no denying the erotically charged attraction he feels for Denae. But as a Dragon King, he is sworn to protect his secrets. Yet the closer he gets to this smart, ravishing woman, the more her life is in danger. All it takes is one reckless kiss to unleash a flood of desire, the fury of dragons…and the fiercest enemy of all.

Alright I feel bad about not finishing this book, but it just wasn’t for me.  I think there are a lot of people out there that will enjoy it though.  I just couldn’t get into in and rather than force myself to finish it and probably give it a lower star rating then it deserved I decided to DNF it and give no star rating.  It’s not a bad story, the writing is fine, the concept seemed really interesting when I requested it for review.  Something just didn’t click for me and I found myself constantly looking for something else to do and checking my progress on the Nook.  Telling myself, “Alright another 50 pages if you don’t like it by then you can put it down.”  Around page 110 I said enough and threw in the towel.

So now do I just quietly delete it from my Goodreads account and Net Galley shelf, or do I review it with out finishing it?  I often tell my patrons it is alright to not finish a book, there is no law that says once started a book must be finished.  It is alright to say this just didn’t work for me.  So in order to not be a hypocrite I have decided to write the review. After all a book needs to be reviewed by those that didn’t care for it as much as those that loved it.

So why didn’t this book work for me. As with other books I’ve not finished the two main characters just didn’t capture my attention.  Kellan keeps going on about hating humans and Danae always feels like she is apologizing for being one.  Sure they thought each other attractive, but I just didn’t feel the chemistry between them. I did like some of the background characters, but it wasn’t enough to keep me reading the story.  My mind kept wandering while reading, and instead of going back to see what I missed I was like eh and pushed on.  The start was interesting, but it quickly felt like the story was just spinning its wheels.  The story just couldn’t keep my attention and I got tired of trying to follow what was going on.

I would call the story more fantasy then paranormal, and perhaps that was the problem for me.  While I do enjoy some fantasy books I don’t pick them up as often as the paranormals.  I like a more urban fantasy story like The Hollows Series or Mercy Thompson’s series.  This one had potential, but did not move at a fast enough pace for me.  Perhaps I didn’t give it a long enough attempt, but after three days of reading and only making it 110 pages  I was done.    I tried,  I gave the book more pages to grab me than most.  I think there is a definite market out there for this story and wish the author all the best.  I hope the new series does great for her.