The Only Option
Author: Megan Derr
Title: The Only Option
Genre: High Fantasy
Pairing: M/M, Bi
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
A desperate dragon. A lonely necromancer. A marriage neither wants.
When he is summoned to the royal castle, Rochus anticipates nothing more than a particularly difficult assignment. The bothersome journey is almost made worthwhile when he is propositioned by a young, beautiful dragon, Tilo, who seems untroubled by the fact that Rochus is a necromancer.
When Rochus arrives at the castle he is ordered to marry the very same dragon he spent the night with. Though Rochus would rather sign papers and return home, he is helpless against Tilo's pleas for help, even if it means spending more time around a man he is desperately drawn to but who doesn’t seem to want him.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a welcome flash from the past. Derr's recent books have all been very good reads, but it was stories written much like The Only Option that first got me hooked on her writing. The Only Option was short with a sweetness to it that I couldn't help appreciating. It reminded me of Derr's earliest works, where the adventure occurred for adventure's sake and there was fun to be had even in the most harrowing of battles. Derr has since matured in her writing, but every once in a while it's definitely fun to read something like The Only Option for the light bit of fluff that warms the heart and satisfies the reader.
Rochus' arrival at the castle is met with an extremely abrupt order to marry Tilo, a dragon Rochus happens to know from a brief bedroom encounter. It's no wonder Rochus meets the order with rude skepticism, yet he goes through with the marriage anyway. Arranged marriages aren't always my thing, primarily because it's usually a cause of drama solely for drama's sake. This type of story line often adds a level of tedium to the plot because there's never enough build-up before the marriage. The Only Option managed to skirt that line. The way Derr wrote the situation added a layer of realism to the plot. It made sense that Rochus would be snarly about the situation and that he allowed it to influence his actions through most of the book. I liked that Rochus also wasn't stupid about it. He didn't allow himself to get too distracted from everything else happening around them, although Tilo did a couple of times. There was plenty of ridiculous drama over the marriage that had me rolling my eyes, but it still managed to work in the context of the overall story.
I wasn't a huge fan of the ending of the story, which is why I only gave three petals. It felt very abrupt with a time-skip that left a lot of the wrapping up to the imagination. The ending also contained much more telling the reader than showing what actually happened. I won't go into more detail so I don't spoil it, but even the less than perfect ending couldn't detract too much from my overall enjoyment.
Despite the abrupt ending, I still enjoyed this story. It had a level of sweetness to it that I really liked and the plot, while a little overly dramatic, was cute and fun. I do recommend this story and I hope Derr writes more stories set in this world in the future.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.