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Friday, June 15, 2012

The Dragon Master by Allyson James

The Dragon Master by Allyson James
Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Carol Juan doesn't really believe that her grandmother's friends are dragons, though she'll admit that Caleb and Malcolm are unusual. But when a Fire Dragon, a very rare creature who can not only take human form but turn himself into pure flame, seeks her out, she has to put her disbelief behind her. The arrogant and wild Seth teaches Carol not only about fire dragons, but about her own latent mage powers that pulled him instinctively to her. The secret of the Fire Dragon might help Carol win the day or be the means to her destruction.

Sexy dragons, mysterious mages, naked men and ferocious magical battles all take turns at amazing and astounding a reader in this rich and vibrant world created by Ms. James.

First off, this is absolutely a standalone read. Why do I say that? Because this is the first book in the series that I’ve read and I wasn’t lost or confused or felt left out. It definitely whet my appetite for more of these sexy, macho and alpha dragons and from the sounds of it, two others preceded this one. If they are as good as The Dragon Master is, I’m in for a nail-biting treat.

This story is filled with suspense, drama, dark and furious action, populated with enough varied and eccentric characters to keep a reader fascinated. The dialogue is easy flowing and sounded believable to the characters. I noticed how the dragons spoke a bit differently than modern day speech which enhanced their flavor of ‘otherness’. It was a good touch. They seem to be not from Earth but not separated from it either. It’s like there was this door in the space time continuum that long ago was easier to breach and they used to visit Earth. Nowadays there needs to be a person with special magical abilities to open the ‘door’. From the sounds of it, that was one of the dragon stories I missed, which I’m on the lookout for. For the purpose of this story, it’s a done deal and that skill is used in crucial moments, to track, to reconnect, and to heal. It’s an exciting plot component.

The darkness comes in the form of the threat from a secret organization. They are twisted, and criminal and extremely obsessed about succeeding in their quest at all costs. Only two people stand in their way and they are Carol, the heroine, and Seth, the dragon and hero. However, the first order of business is for Carol and Seth to overcome their differences, scales notwithstanding, learn to trust and believe in the intentions of the other and discover the strengths and weaknesses in their relationship. One thing's for sure, their sexual compatibility is explosive. The author wrote those scenes effectively, they were seductive, sensual, romantic and scorching hot. They were a pleasure to read and were crucial to the plot. It’s a fire thing.

It’s not all stress and mayhem however. There are quiet moments of reflection, of loving and of learning. There is the sense of family and connection and yet, although it takes place in the United States, because it’s in Chinatown, it has an exotic feel as well. It was a good mix of modern day life mixed with ancient heritage and beliefs. At first they clash but as Carol learns to accept her new reality, they align themselves so I figure she’ll eventually be able to function in both worlds. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it with Seth at her side. Certainly the heroine’s personality grows and matures after the adventures she experiences in this book and a lot of the catalyst for change comes from the hero. Loving him brings more than just power, it gives her a future. It’s a wonderful thing.

One of the aspects of this book that I greatly enjoyed was the not knowing. The author presented so many fascinating and unusual ideas and concepts and her writing brought them to vivid life to the point that I couldn’t stop reading. Every chapter had its own hook, its own special revelation that kept me on the edge of my seat. Because I had to know, had to find out, had to make sure Carol and Seth were going to safe, I found this story completely engrossing and couldn’t put it down. Ms. James has an amazing writing skill.

Whether you’re a fan of dragons, paranormal romances, romantic suspense or just naked alpha men, The Dragon Master is an marvelous adventure story that delivers a wonderful happy ever after. It has so much going for it and has such an incredible amount of detail to enrich a reader’s reading experience, it’s a must read. I may have chosen the book initially because of the cover and blurb, but I’ll be going back for more because of the quality of content and writing. I had a great experience.