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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dragons at Dawn by Sandra Sookoo

Dragons at Dawn by Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: Eirelander Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Fantasy
Length: Full Length (267 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When fear and extinction threaten life, the only way to survive is to change…or fight back.

Mona Moussai is on the run—from her family, from a dragon and from herself. She wants nothing more than to stay in the Mortal Realm and live a normal life, yet when she tangles with a shape-shifting attorney bent on her capture, instinct demands she hide. However, the secrets buried deep inside could have deadly consequences.

Braeden Hollister has long ago made peace with his dragon heritage but he refuses to live it. He’s a man with many vices, always living for himself, and when the opportunity to drag Mona to the Moussai Realm for a bounty presents itself, he can’t resist the glitter of gold.

What happens next is a foray into a backward realm circa the 1820s where dragons not only exist but they’re intent on ruling the realm and restoring power. Personal agendas are forgotten, battle lines are drawn in a world where familial ties strangle and old foes resurface. Political angst explodes all around them. In the end, only the strong will survive to live, and love, another day.

It’s time for Mona to make a stand, whether she’s ready to or not.

When I read the blurb for Dragons at Dawn, I was immediately intrigued. I have read Ms. Sookoo’s book Vegetarian at Midnight, so I have encountered Mona and Braeden before. I was surprised that Braeden would be filling the role of hero in this book since my impressions of him from the previous book were less than favorable. Still, I was more than a little curious about what sort of trouble Mona and Braeden would find themselves in, so I eagerly started reading. Note: though it is helpful to have read Vegetarian at Midnight, Dragons at Dawn can be read on its own.

Mona wanted nothing to do with Braeden. However, she found herself bound to him by a dragon ring that she accidentally put on. At first, Braeden’s only interest in Mona was monetary. Her family has offered a substantial reward for her return, and so he and Mona found themselves tramping through the wilderness of Moussai. On their journey, Mona and Braeden bickered constantly. In the beginning, I found this amusing. Personality clashes in a hero and heroine can make for some interesting chemistry. However, Mona and Braeden fought all the time about absolutely everything. Braeden was even downright mean to Mona. It was a little hard to take after a while. Every time I thought Mona and Braeden would reach some sort of truce, they’d end up fighting again. This made it hard to get into the book at time, and even harder to hope for a happy ending. Despite this issue, I still wanted to know how Mona and Braeden’s story would end.

Mona showed impressive character growth as the story progressed. When I first starting reading, she was a lost soul with nowhere to call home. She typically ran from her problems or let other people solve them for her. By the end of the story, she had matured considerably. When dark forces threaten to take over Moussai, she digs deep and finds strength she never knew she had. I was glad that I’d been able to watch her blossom into a strong, independent woman.

I had a very hard time warming up to Braeden. He came off as selfish, arrogant, and even mean. Yet, every now and then, Ms. Sookoo gave me glances of Braeden’s soul. Though Braeden wrapped himself in a tough exterior, deep down, he really did have a good heart and was more insecure than he ever let on. I was so relieved when Braeden’s shell started to crack. Though Braeden kept insisting that he wasn’t a hero, I had the feeling he just might surprise everyone, even himself.

I enjoyed reading Dragons at Dawn. Although Mona and Braden travel a rocky road, their happy ending made it all worthwhile. Anyone looking for a paranormal romance with a feisty couple should give Dragons at Dawn a try.