Author: G. A. Aiken
Title: Dragon Actually
Series: Dragon Kin 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.
Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong...
I knew from the first moment I saw the cover what I was getting into with this book. A mostly naked man with perfectly defined abs obviously means that this book will contain lots and lots of descriptive sex. I do want to say that I chose to read it because of the summary and only saw the cover when I picked the book up from the library. Still, I was well prepared for the explicit content.
I was right to be prepared. There is sex and it's graphic, yet at the same time it's well written. The main characters build up to it slowly, figuring each other and their relationship out first before the clothing inevitably comes off. It also doesn't feel like those scenes were included solely for the purpose of gratification. They helped me to understand each character a little better and allowed Aiken to build the relationship between the main characters. The sex was over the top and unrealistic in terms of human capabilities in the bedroom, but that is to be expected in this particular genre so I am letting that slide.
What I didn't like was how repetitive the words and phrases used to describe the character's reactions were. There was repeated mention of nipples getting impossibly hard, to give one less-explicit example, and it seemed like every sex scene or even just a basic lust scene had to absolutely contain those phrases. The repetitiveness of it made the second half of the book's sex scenes boring, which is the main reason why this book only received three petals.
Since I'm supposed to be reviewing the fantasy side of the story, I have to mention the dragons. Their society and their magical abilities were phenomenally written. They are not human creatures. In fact, they have been known to eat humans on occasion, yet they can take on a human form and find love with them. It's an interesting balance to maintain and Aiken manages it. I also thought their claiming was very interesting. It requires sex, of course, but it also creates a brand in the shape of a dragon to mark then as taken. I thought it was an interesting take on the mating concept.
You need to like reading graphic sex scenes to enjoy this book, so I will recommend this book only to those readers. For the most part the sex is well-written, but it can feel repetitive after a while. I did like the dragons and their society a lot, which is why I will be getting the next book in the series.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.