Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced #3
Also in this series: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2)
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…
Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. But when the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…
Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?
Gwennore is adopted sister #3 from the group of orphaned girls living in a convent on the Isle of Moon. She’s an elf, and because the elves are particularly vicious and have been warring with many other nations, she’s treated with disgust and revulsion pretty much everywhere she goes. She loves her sisters and their children, though, so she puts up with the abuse instead of running back to the safety of the convent. When Gwen and the princess of Eberon get kidnapped by a dragon, she finds herself taken to the kingdom of Norveshki, where a very kindly dragon and a very handsome man promise to keep her safe. Silas is better known as General Dravenko, and we met him in the last book when he helped Rupert. Some extremely shady and worrying things have been happening in Norveshki, and since Gwen is Embraced (born with one magical power) as well as intelligent, Silas thinks she can help him get to the bottom of the problem. Of course, things are more complicated than they at first appear, both in Norveshki and between Gwen and Silas.
This book has dragons! Whew, I love me some dragons. Unfortunately there wasn’t nearly enough dragon parts (harhar) for me, but there are a couple scenes of dragons saving the day so I wasn’t totally unsatisfied. I really love the fantasy world of this series. It is vaguely medieval but not strictly so, which means references to “underpants” and other modern phrases feel a little anachronistic but not inexcusably so. This is clearly not our universe, even if it it is very similar. Personally, I’d like a little more world building, like details about the religion for instance, but some of that may come later, too.
I really liked Silas and Gwen, if not 100%. Silas was such a sweetheart underneath, though he covers it up with jokes. In a way I felt that was a bit of immaturity due to his age, like he has to make all these big decisions and carry this big weight on his shoulders but he makes light of it by acting silly. I did wish he was a little more forthcoming to Gwen with information. He has one big secret he keeps from her and that was totally believable because knowing would have had serious consequences for her. Fair. (Although honestly he dropped enough hints that I’d argue deep down he wanted her to figure it out.) But he also leaves out a REALLY big detail about who he is…and his excuse is he just didn’t think about it?! I gave him some serious side eye there. Still, he is just so tender-hearted and good. He is trying his best to take care of the entire kingdom and save his family, and I felt so bad that he was forced to juggle all of that. Gwen is also amazing and so resilient despite all the terrible treatment she’s experienced. She has trouble believing anyone would find her worth loving, which is one reason she pushes Silas away for so long. Unfortunately, it went on too long. I didn’t understand why she was still fighting him for so many pages.
Silas and Gwen had some great chemistry together and at first it was sexy, but then it dragged out. They don’t even kiss until FAR into the book, and the only sex scene comes nearly at the end. It was just odd to build up this tension and then do nothing with it. I also wanted them to have some more conversations. Silas is so busy protecting Norveshki’s secrets that he doesn’t tell Gwen much about himself, and she doesn’t say much about her own life either. It’s not that I didn’t buy them as a couple, but I would have liked a stronger physical and emotional connection.
While it’s not a cliffhanger, there are no resolutions to all the threads in this book–I presume they will be continued in the next book. In particular, we have to find out more about Gwen’s parents and about Sorcha, another sister whose story started to come out in this book. We do also hear from The Chameleon, the villain from the earlier books, and we get some inkling that something more complicated is going on than anyone realized. I can’t wait to find out more.
I personally loved this book, although frankly that’s more for how it continued the series than for this book itself. If you are enjoying the series this will probably work for you, but I wouldn’t suggest you begin here.
The Embraced Series
Grade: 4 out of 5