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Book Reviews: Draekon Warrior & Draekon Conqueror, by Lili Zander & Lee Savino

In December of last year, I picked up a freebie copy of Draekon Conqueror (by Lee Savino and Lili Zander). Only later to discover it’s book two in a series. (Yeah, I don’t always pay enough attention. I know.) In March of this year, book one Draekon Warrior popped up in my feed as a freebie. So, I grabbed it too.

I chose to read them now as a little bit of a cheat. You see, I need a Z for my yearly alphabet challenge—where I read at least one book by an author with a last name for each letter of the alphabet. I’m swapping the order of Savino and Zander and calling this my Z…or at least a Z.

draekon Warrior cover

About the Book:

Captured in space. Imprisoned. Sold to the highest bidder.
But my biggest problem is the bossy, aggravating, impossible, alien who’s supposed to rescue me.

The bossy alien I kissed.

That might have been a mistake.

Kadir is dangerous. I’ve seen him fight and his body is littered with scars. He’s a soldier. A warrior. And when he loses control, he turns into a big scary dragon and breathes fire.

Everyone’s terrified of him. I’m not. No, call me the biggest fool in the galaxy, because I’m attracted to the big jerk.

When I first met the small human I was sent to rescue, she punched me in the jaw.

And broke her wrist in the process. Irrational woman.

Then she insists that the two of us set out immediately to find her missing friend.

No, what I have to do is get Alice Hernandez to safety.

She’s soft, yet she’s strong.

Fragile, yet so brave.

She’s everything I’ve never known I wanted.

Everything I can’t let myself have.

When the scientists tortured me, they broke me. And when Alice finds out the truth about the fearsome, raging dragon inside me, I will lose her.

You know, I’ve seen quite a lot of discourse lately on why people enjoy monster romance/smut. And a lot of it comes down to how monsters in such books are often bigger, scarier, more powerful than the female main character. But they are also almost always very obviously conscious of this fact and go to great lengths and courtesies to reduce themselves as perceived threats…to mitigate any risk they pose. They’re often super conscientious about consent and big ol’ cinnamon rolls underneath the scary exterior. (And how many parallels are there to real world men and their perceived threats in that paragraph, hmmm?)

Kadir is honestly too humanoid to qualify as a ‘monster,’ but he shares many of those same qualities. Not least of which is seeing himself and feeling himself perceived as a monster. And he is every bit as careful and considerate of Alice as any monster, even before he sees her as mate material and the real romance starts. It’s sweet.

The story isn’t complicated. There’s no more to it than any number of other alien romances. But it’s well done and sweet enough that I’m happy to have book two on my kindle.

drakon warrior photoI did at some point realize that this must be a spin-off series, as characters started showing up that were obviously pairings from other book. Turns out it’s a spin-off of the Dragons In Exile series. However, as much as this normally annoys me, I have to say this one stood alone well enough that I noticed but wasn’t too bothered. I didn’t feel like I was missing too much information having not read the previous series. There were also a couple minor consistency mishaps. But all in all, I enjoyed this.


Draekon Conqueror cover

About the book:

I’ve lived an eternity. I’ve killed thousands. Destroyed worlds. I thought I’d seen everything. I didn’t think there was anything left in the galaxy that could surprise me.

Then I met her. Lani Dennison. A human woman. My mate.

My mission was simple. Find Lani Dennison.

Zorahan scientists tortured her. I killed them, of course.
Okaki pirates abducted her. I tracked them down and infiltrated their ship. Routine stuff. Nothing that presented a problem to a trained soldier that could shift into a fire-breathing dragon.

I expected her to be smart. You’d have to be, to survive the Okaki pirates.

I didn’t expect her to be lovely.
I didn’t expect her to make me laugh.
And I definitely didn’t expect her to be the one woman I was destined to be with, the missing piece of my soul. My mate.

Now what?


I enjoyed this for many of the same reasons I enjoyed the first book. The Draekon is marvelously solicitous to the human mate. Everyone is careful about consent. There aren’t any needless misunderstandings or mind games. Everyone is delightedly straight forward.

But I admit that I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as book one. I didn’t find Ruhan quite as charismatic a lead male. Sure, he’s cocky and cock-sure to cover his brokenness, which hits you in the feels. But I just didn’t like draekon conqueror photohim as much as I did Kadir from the previous book. That’s not to say I didn’t like him, just not as much. Similarly, I didn’t find Lani as multifaceted as Alice. I liked her. But I didn’t think she had quite the depth.

But the real question is whether I would read another book in the series and I would. In fact, book three, which involves pirates, looks especially tempting. I don’t have it on my Kindle yet. But I look forward to reading it in the future.


Other Reviews:

In Between the Pages: Draekon Series Reviews

Scary Mary Hamster Lady: Book Review: Draekon Conqueror

 

 

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Book Review: The Dragon’s Midlife Mate, by Haley Weir

I picked up a copy of Haley Weir‘s The Dragon’s Midlife Mate on one of it’s Amazon free days.

the dragon's midlife mate
Welcome to Cress, a mystical small town with magic, mystery, and golden-eyed men…

Ariah

Who says you can’t restart your life in your 40s?

I’m trapped in a loveless marriage. When my husband discovered that I’m a dragon shifter, he twisted my secret to keep me bound to him. He treats me like a circus animal. His prized possession.

It’s time for me to dust off my wings and fly.

I packed my bag and ran. I didn’t know where I was going, just that I had to get out of there. I left the big city and stumbled into a small town lost in time.

The last thing I expected was to run into one of my own kind. Zachary is a sexy-as-sin bartender with shimmering golden eyes.

But can I trust him the way my heart desperately wants to?

Zachary

I came to Cress as an orphan. The people of this small town took me in. They accepted me for what I am–a dragon shifter. They protected me.

And now I protect them.

I never thought I’d want anything more…until she shows up on my doorstep. She’s scared and tired, but far from helpless. When her gaze meets mine, it hits me.

I’m staring into the eyes of my mate. And I’d do anything to keep her safe.

my review

This simply wasn’t very good. It’s not sloppy bad, it’s just all tell (no show), which creates a distance between the reader and the characters, and it has a really simple, shallow plot. Everything happens in a linear manner. This happens, which leads to this, which leads to that, and then this happens and then that happens. There are no red herrings, no mysteries, no need for characters to consider or figure anything out. Everything is presented on the surface and proceeds in an orderly (and there fore boring manner). There are also loads of inconsistencies, especially around time and distance. And the plot just makes no sense. Why Marko was allowed to do ANY of what he did when they had the power to prevent it? It felt artificial. No way I believe Zachary let that happen one chapter after we were shown him go all alpha male on Cornelius.

I’ll be honest, I read the first half and skimmed a lot of the second half. And I’m not often a skimmer. I consider it cheating myself out of a book. But I just wanted to be done with this without having to give it much more of my time.

the dragon's midlife mate photo