From the BLURB:
A FIERY TEMPER IS NOT EASILY EXTINGUISHED
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful–and passionate—of the Elder Races.
As the most feared and respected of the wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in one another.
Pia Giovannis is dead. Well, not literally – but it’s only a matter of time. Thanks to a no-good *EX* boyfriend, she has been suckered into an impossible task. A task so blatantly dangerous and stupid that she may as well pick out a burial plot right now. Because Pia is between a rock and a hard place when she is force to steal a penny, from a dragon. And not just any dragon, but the oldest, most notoriously feared and revered dragon in the world – New York’s very own wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre.
When Dragos visits his loot and senses a penny missing he is enraged. Blazingly, uproariously pissed off and . . . oddly, charmed. Having been around since the dawn of time, not much is left to impress Dragos. But this cunning little half wyr half human female, with her beguiling sunshine scent, has caught his attention. True, she will also incur his wrath . . . but in the meantime, Dragos is beyond fascinated, he’s well and truly smitten.
‘Dragon Bound’ is the first book in a new paranormal romance series called ‘Elder Races’, by Thea Harrison.
There have been rumblings in the book blogosphere. Whispers and rumours have been spreading like wildfire . . . word on the blog-street is that there’s a new paranormal romance writer to get excited over. And her debut hero is smoking hot, literally. Having finally succumbed to the excited testimonials of Smexy and KC, I finally got around to reading the first book in this sizzling new series, and I was blown away.
‘Elder Races’ is set in an alternate world. There are other lands where supernatural meets reality; there is a Dark and Light fae court, and wyrkind can be anything from Gryphons to witches, elves and goblins to the very rare and very powerful dragon. In this world, the oldest dragon of them all is Dragos Cuelebre, and he rules, absolutely. He lives in the imposing Cuelebre Tower (a sort of Trump tower, for the reptilian set) and has his finger in any number of successful international enterprises. There are no photos of him (in dragon nor human form), no video footage and he has his very own fae PR-rep. So when Pia Giovanni is tasked to steal from this dragon’s centuries-old accumulated loot, she is rightfully petrified. And when the deed is done and a penny stolen, she knows her life is forfeit;
The roar was a hundred freight trains, tornadoes, Mount Olympus exploding in a rain of fire and flood.Pia fell to her knees and threw her arms over her head. Others screamed and did the same. Still others looked around wildeyed, trying to spot the disaster. Some ran panicked down the street. The nearby intersections were dotted with car accidents as frightened drivers lost control and slammed into one another.Then the roar died away. Buildings settled. The cloudless sky was serene, but New York City most certainly was not.Alrghty.She pushed upright on unsteady legs and mopped her sweat-dampened face, oblivious to the chaos churning around her.She knew what – who – had made that unholy sound and why. The knowledge made her guts go watery.If she were in a race for her life, that roar was the starter pistol. If God were the referee, He had just shouted Go.
I’m not a huge fan of the Dragon storyline. I mean, I like Smoky in Yasmine Galenorn’s ‘Sisters of the Moon’ series, and I have enjoyed my sporadic reading of G.A. Aiken’s ‘Dragon Kin’ series. But overall I would say that big, fiery and scaly is not really my bag, baby. Well, at least that’s what I always thought . . . until Thea Harrison and Dragos came along.
Harrison’s story grips you from the word ‘go’. It’s a combination of Pia’s infectiously sweet, lunatic inner monologue, and Harrison’s working old dragon mythology into a Trumped-up modern day being. I loved the idea of Pia stealing from Dragos’s ‘loot’ – and that their odd-ball pairing begins purely because old-as-dirt Dragos finds her ‘curious’, when he hasn’t felt genuine fascination in centuries. Harrison beautifully creates this David & Goliath romance between lowly, human Pia and fiery bad-ass Dragos. The beginning of the book is a cat and mouse game, as Pia tries to run from Dragos’s inevitable wrath. With such pent-up anxiety and high-stakes, Harrison ensures that Pia and Dragos’s first meeting sublimely sparks on the page;
“So, is that your long, scaly, reptilian tail, or are you just happy to see me?”
Pia and Dragos are, hands down, one of the best romances of 2011. They are paranormal perfection – Dragos is the typical Alpha, but with an extra dosage of hot-tempered and powerful. Pia is his lovely balance, snarky and wit-quick. These two explode on the page – especially in the early stages when Pia is both terrified of and lusting after the imposing Dragos. The sex scenes are powerful and gorgeously graphic, especially when tempered with the inherent beauty in one of the world’s oldest beings falling in love with a curious half wyr half human woman;
“I have learned so many things over the long years,” he whispered as he moved inside of her. “I've taken tribute from sovereigns and witnessed the end of empires. But you are my best teacher.”She stroked his lean cheek. “I love you.”A smile filled with simple wonder lightened those fierce gold eyes. “I know.”
The beauty of Harrison’s book also lies in the character-mystery woven throughout the story. Pia has a secret, a secret that she has kept since childhood and her mother worked hard to protect her from. Dragos senses Pia’s magical-brilliance, but Pia is so scared of herself and the power she possesses that she tries to secret herself away from him. While Pia and Dragos fall into an unlikely and combustible romance, the true test of their relationship will come when (or if) Pia chooses to reveal herself to Dragos. I loved this added mystery to the story – especially because Pia’s eventual reveal is darling and clever, and a total curveball for unknowing me.
‘Dragon Bound’ is paranormal romance perfection. Honestly, Thea Harrison ticks all the boxes – a deliciously imposing Alpha, spit-fire heroine, an interwoven mystery and enough interesting secondary characters to pull me into this new ‘Elder Races’ series. ‘Dragon Bound’ is definitely a favourite book of 2011, Harrison has become a must-buy author and the countdown has begun for the second book, ‘Storm’s Heart’.