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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dragon’s Pearl by Jane Toombs

Dragon’s Pearl by Jane Toombs
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (144 Pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

Centuries ago, Merlin stole forbidden magic from the immortal black dragon to try to save King Arthur. To prevent the dragon from exterminating mankind in retaliation, Merlin set wards that forced the dragon into the depths of a mountain cave in Wales. But wards fail with time. To prevent the dragon from escaping, one of Merlin's blood and another of dragon's blood, plus a third, must reset the wards as they weaken. When the last of Merlin's blood and the last of dragon's blood left Wales for America, the evil within the dragon came, too. He is now tethered in the depths of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. But the wards are failing and those who must reset them aren't aware of their duty. If this evil isn't contained chaos will be let loose. And time is running out…

In ancient times, Merlin saved Arthur using stolen magic, then imprisoned the evil black dragon he stole it from. Moved from Wales centuries after Merlin died, the black dragon’s evil is held in an abandoned mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Now, centuries later, the evil is threatening to escape, as the current Keeper has died.

Summoned to Michigan are those who can contain the evil and take their places as Keeper and Guardian, the last remaining blood relatives of the last Keeper and those with the blood of the dragon will unite to try and prevent evil from escaping once again. Mona Rhys, Vran Pendar, David and Gwen Griffid and Ellis Atkins have gathered at Enid Terrick’s cottage, to say goodbye to Enid and follow her last wishes.

One will become Keeper, one Guardian, but before that can happen, evil must be defeated once again. Will these five solve the enigma of the Dragon’s Pearl? Can they stop the spread of evil, and strengthen the wards on the mountain in time? Who is the new Keeper? And just what are Vran and David?

I found Dragon’s Pearl to be a wonderful mix of legend and romance. The characters were well defined and the story was enchanting. I loved the historic snippets at the beginning, detailing the progress of the confinement of the black dragon, and its move from Wales to Michigan.

The characters each had a distinct personality, and each one was wonderfully portrayed. Mona is the nurturer, a nurse come to take care of her great aunt in her final illness. She is strong and compassionate, and confused when she dreams of Merlin. Vran Pendar is the mystery man, appearing naked at Enid’s cottage after crashing his Jeep. Strong, gorgeous and attracted to Mona, he is the only one there unrelated to Enid in some way. David and Gwen Griffid, the twins, both tall, gorgeous and confident. And Ellis Atkins, younger than the rest, and something of a loner with a dark secret inside.

The three cousins have an agenda: find the Dragon’s Pearl for themselves. Each has his or her own reason to want it, but the truth is, no one knows where, or what it is. I loved the mystery in this, or rather the mysteries. For there are several mysteries to solve here, and they unfold at a delightful pace. I loved the twists and turns this one takes as they learn about each other, and their connections to the ages old curse.

And I enjoyed watching as the attraction between Mona and Vran grew into love. This is a sweet and sensual romance and I recommend it to all of those who still believe in love and magic and happy ever after.