Waking the Dragon by Juliette Cross
Lyrical Press: June 9th, 2015 (Paranormal Romance)*
I read these because they’re like candy. Fun, quick and easy to devour, and not at all nutritious. I also have a low tolerance for them – reading too many at a time leaves me feeling bloated and a little bit ill.
This one has all the familiar paranormal romance tropes – a brooding, domineering not-quite-human hero who protects and guards the independent human heroine as they protect the world from the big bad evil that threatens to destroy everything. Their initial dislike of each other which quickly transforms into desire and love. Oh, and they’re almost star-crossed, too, with the humans and the half-dragon Morgons not getting along very peacefully and Moira (our heroine) being the scion of one of the most powerful human families.
I would say this has a unique element: Moira, a reporter, gets into trouble – and meets Kol, the no-bedside-manner captain of the Morgon guard – because she is investigating a series of grisly murders of young women. Yet, even the crime drama/mystery genre has been blended into paranormal romance before, with the World of the Lupi series (Tempting Danger) and the Kate Daniels series (Magic Bites), among others. The plot follows Moira as she gets ever more deeply involved in her investigation, as Kol protects her and tries to order her around, their feelings for each other grow, and they hunt the baddie. The baddie, by the way, is a crazy fanatic of a bloodthirsty demon that wants to rule the world.
Obviously a continuation of stories that also take place in this world, readers new to the world will quickly understand the gist of the previous novels. The world-building is done well enough that it is convincing and not confusing. The romantic tension definitely leads the story throughout; the mystery is never really a mystery. But the suspense supports the romance arc, and there’s plenty of action and even some witty banter to keep readers interested.
While there’s nothing novel or exceptional about this story, it is a fun paranormal romance. So, if that’s your thing, this might be a book you would enjoy.
*Advance copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Cloud Watcher, while set in our own world instead of another, uses similar tropes and shares many characteristics.
One of my favorite mystery/urban fantasy series is the Chronicles of Elantra series by Michelle Sagara. With a kick-ass heroine, a fascinating collection of races living side by side, and lots of action, it’s just too good to miss.