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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: That Time I Got Drunk And Saved A Demon, by Kimberly Lemming

I purchased a copy of Kimberly Lemming‘s That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon.
that time I got drunk and saved a demon

All I wanted to do was live my life in peace. Maybe get a cat, expand my spice farm. Really anything that doesn’t involve going on a quest where an orc might rip my face off. But they say the Goddess has favorites. If so, I’m clearly not one of them.

After saving the demon Fallon in a wine-drunk stupor, all he wanted to do was kill an evil witch enslaving his people.

I mean, I get it, don’t get me wrong. But he’s dragging me along for the ride, and I’m kind of peeved about it. On the bright side, he keeps burning off his shirt.

my review

This was a ‘TikTok made me buy it.’ I’d seen it recommended so many times that I finally gave in and bought/read it. And I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed it. It’s a fun read. Now, it’s silly-fun. There is nothing here to be taken seriously, including the plot and characters. Unbelievable conveniences pop up constantly to keep the story moving along. The characters aren’t deep or prone to phenomenal personal growth. The villain is a caricature and defeated with ease. The modern vernacular felt weird at times.

But, IMO none of that matters because it’s not why I read the book. I read the book to laugh and enjoy my time with it. And in that it was a success. I think I grinned the whole time I read it. I have no complaints on that front.

That Time I Got Drunk And Saved A Demon photo


Other Reviews:

Book Review: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming

Myth and Magic Book Club: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon

 

 

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Book Review: Kiss of Darkness, by Taylor Aston White

I picked up a review copy of Taylor Aston White‘s Kiss of Darkness through Netgalley. It was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. You can hop over for an excerpt.

kiss of darkness cover

He despises her… almost as much as his beast craves her.

Kyra’s seen and survived the worst things imaginable, all because of the magic she was born with. Trapped by her secret, she has no choice but to serve Councilman Gallagher or risk everything she has tried so hard to build. Because despite black magic being banned, her very survival depends on it.

When she’s commanded to summon a Daemon, a Breed notorious for their corruption and brutality, she’s torn between keeping her secret and doing the right thing.

Xander’s hate for black witches was notorious, but nothing frustrated him more than the one witch that brings trouble with a capital T. With dark amber eyes, and a controlled strength that fascinated his beast – the monster he’s cursed to share a soul – Xander will do anything to push her away.

So when he’s forced into protecting her, he must put aside his prejudice and ignore his growing desire that’s an insult to his past.

Because he’s had an entire childhood to remember why you can’t trust black witches.

And he definitely can’t trust Kyra Farzan.

my review

This was fine, not exceptional in any way, but entertaining enough. Before I get into any specifics I have to have one major gripe, and it’s one I feel like I’m making constantly.

This book is very clearly labeled Book 1 of the Curse of the Guardians series. That’s why I chose to read it. However, I made it about 20% in and put it aside, went over to Goodreads, and read the blurbs of the author’s other books to find out what Curse of the Guardians is a spin-off of. Because at that point, I was 100% sure that Kiss of Darkness is one. The characters had met previously, previous events are referenced, the world-building was sketchy (as if I was meant to already know it), there was a strong couple that was clearly from another story-line, there were even internal jokes between characters that the reader was obviously meant to understand.

Point blank, no argument, if I can tell a book is a spin-off because I can feel previous books are missing, the book does not stand alone well enough to be a new series. And in those scenarios I kiss of darkness photocall the ‘book 1’ label a lie. I am super tired of having this happen.

OK, that’s my big gripe. Outside of that, the book is fine. I liked that Kyra is strong, even as she’s put in impossible situations. I never really took to Xander though. He was just kind of a bland, generic paranormal romance hero. But the writing is easily readable. And while there wasn’t anything that stood out as stellar in the plot, it wasn’t all out bad either.


Other Reviews:

Archaeolibrarian: Kiss of Darkness

Book Him Danno: Kiss of Darkness