Saturday, August 31, 2013
Ashlyn Chase - How to Date a Dragon
Alright, so this isn’t the best set-up for a joke but it’s a pretty fun one for a paranormal series. Author Ashlyn Chase brings her lighter touch to the normally dark world of paranormal romance in her newest book How to Date a Dragon. The story is a nice break from your standard PNL books that seem to take themselves way to seriously with leagues of Alpha heroes all angsty and brooding in their lairs until the kick-ass heroine breaks down their walls. Here, we meet a dragon shifter who may be the last of his kind but it doesn’t save him from having to hold a day job or meet a nice woman he can settle down with.
Drake Cameron is a decedent of one of the last branches of dragons and with the recent death of his mother is most likely the last surviving member of his extended family. With that knowledge always in the back of his mind, Drake is ready to fulfill his mother’s dying wish for him to find a female dragon and start making little dragons.
Creating a coded profile on an internet dating site, Drake goes back to his normal life as a Boston firefighter and waits to meet the woman of his dreams. It doesn’t take him long at all when in response to a building fire he saves the life and laptop of Bliss Russo, a normal human woman. When she goes out of her way to thank him for his efforts on her behalf, Drake can’t get the woman off his mind and tries everything to find her. In the meantime a female dragon answers his dating profile, but she’s not quite the kind of woman Drake expected and she pings his dragon-senses for all the wrong reasons. Another building fire throws Drake and Bliss together again and he knows that she’s the woman for him even if she’s a different species.
When her apartment went up in flames, the last thing on Bliss’s mind was hooking-up with the sexy firefighter that saved her. Her first concerns were finding a new job, trying not to move back in with her parents and recreating the unique greeting card designs that might win her a reality show grand prize. Her best friend helps her on the employment front by getting her a part-time waitressing job at Boston Uncommon, a local pub with some strange patrons and a reclusive owner. Meeting Drake again while searching for an apartment seems like fate, but she questions how some of the barflies know her new boyfriend and why it seems like a firebug is following her around everywhere she goes in town these days. Little does she realize that she’s unintentionally pissed off a female dragon who sees Bliss as competition for Drake’s heart or that her boyfriend and some of his friends at the bar are not quite what they seem.
I happen to like my paranormal books on the lighter side of things. True I went through my BDB phase and have intentions of reading some of the other heavy sagas later on, but I really enjoy the stories where the author knows what she’s writing is fantasy and just goes with it. I realize that Bliss and Drake are fairly 2D characters, but they are also fairly entertaining and they react to situations like normal people would in an abnormal world. When Bliss learns that Drake is really a dragon-shifter she has a moment of complete hysteria and I don’t blame her for it! That’s a lot to take in when all you know about your world is trying to start a snarky greeting card company and having to pay the bills. Drake doesn’t get all dark and gloomy about his life even with the knowledge that having a relationship with Bliss means the end of his line of dragon. He just realizes that his own happiness means more than an unhappy future with a bat-shit crazy female dragon.
How to Date a Dragon is actually book two of Ms. Chase’s Flirting with Fangs series and there were a few moments within the book where I felt lost about what had come before. We seem to walk into Bliss’s life as if we already know about her participation in the reality show so I can only assume that was running in the background of the first story. A lot of the set-up around the Boston Uncommon pub was probably all in the first book too because we meet the owner, his own crazy ex-girlfriend and the previous hero and are just supposed to go with it. Add into this strange melting pot of Paranormal tropes the existence of Gods and Goddess of myth and towards the climax of the story things get a little jumbled for a new reader. I won’t steer new readers away from starting with this book because I did and came out no worse for wear, but there will always be the sense you’re missing something.
For readers who enjoy a bit of comedy when they read or like to avoid angst in their books, Ms. Chase’s lighter hand and the stories she crafts will be good reads. The stories are quick to engage and are a great way to entertain for a few hours.
~Reviewed by Sara
P.S. - I do have to make a small comment about the Cover-Fail on this book, but it shouldn’t effect anyone’s decision to read it. The cover model is obviously supposed to be Drake (the firefighter tattoo tells me so), but the artist failed to capture Drake’s one distinguishing feature described quite a few times within the story. Drake has sandy colored hair with bright Yellow stripes running through it. Not blond streaks, but YELLOW hair. We’re just supposed to be struck dumb by the handsome model and ignore that here he’s got pretty dark colored hair? Doesn’t Photoshop have a yellow paintbrush tool they could have used on the stock photo they picked?
Book: How to Date a Dragon
Author: Ashlyn Chase
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Other books in the Flirting with Fangs Trilogy: Flirting Under a Full Moon, Kissing with Fangs