Monday, June 29, 2015

Would you read romantic suspense with dragons?

My brother used to ask why anyone would read science fiction. It's about people and worlds that don't exist and probably never will. Why should anyone care?

For myself, I used to wonder why anyone read romance. It's about repeated misunderstandings and you always know she'll end up getting the man. Why should anyone care?

Then we grew up. Big brother doesn't read any fiction if he can help it. I guess as a historian he learned that even historical fiction's mostly unreal too. Meanwhile I read pretty nearly anything and everything.

This week I read two books in a series of romantic fantasy novels with winged people, otherwise known as dragons. And I cared. Those people and worlds that don't exist can change our point of view, making us see our own world through different eyes. Those misunderstandings, eventually resolved, give us hope, making us see our own mistakes and failures are less final after all. And the sensual love scenes that I surely never read when I was a kid--they can be very nicely done, especially when there's the added intrigue of what to do about dragon-fire.

So here are some book reviews:

First is Dragon Lover by Jeanne Guzman, a romantic suspense where demons may not be demons, black and white may not denote motive, and orphaned twins might soon come into a curious heritage. I wasn't so sure about the cover, but the myth-and-world-building is very cool, and there are some intriguing questions of guilt and forgiveness, trust and betrayal, and more. So enjoy an elegant complex 4-star coffee while you read.

Next is the sequel, the Dragon Within. Darker than the first book, the paranormal romance in this one is balanced with edgy realities of abuse and recovery. The author expands on the mythology of fires of prophecy too, and the result is another exciting tale, with fire-drawn sensuality and a pleasing undercurrent of the need to forgive oneself. Enjoy with some bold, dark intense five-star coffee.

Striker’s Apprentice: the chosen series, volume III, by Andrea Buginsky, is set in a very different fantasy world. The romance is low-key, with characters enjoying their honeymoon while friends learn to hunt. Friendships are quickly formed in this novella of elves and dwarves, designed for younger readers. There's a nice thread of respect for earth and life, plus a touch of magic and fun. Enjoy with some lively easy-drinking two-star coffee.

Finally, a short sweet book for even younger readers is The Prayer by Stephan J. Myers. Like the Chosen series, this is a book for all faiths and none. Evoking the Night before Christmas, it invites small readers and listeners to see a Dickensian underworld where the child with no hope wonders why the world ignores him. Lyrical, haunting and beautifully illustrated too, it's highly recommended. Enjoy a well-balanced smooth full-flavored three-star coffee as you read.


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