Hello, and welcome back! Our long holiday weekend is nearly over here, and I've gotten a fair bit of reading done along with the household chores this weekend, so I'm well into the September books that need to be shared with all of you. On the other hand, I still have a nice stack of September releases waiting to be read.
This time out, I have newbie G. A. Aiken's Dragon Actually (Zebra), with two dragon stories. In 'Dragon Actually', Annwyl carries the moniker Annwyl the Bloody thanks to her prowess on the battlefield against her brother's army, but when she's mortally wounded, she won't go down quietly. Only it turns out her wound wasn't quite fatal, thanks to the dragon Fearghus and the witch Morfyd who visits regularly. Annwyl needs time to recover, but Fearghus doesn't think she has it in her to beat her brother for control of their father's kingdom. So, once she's well enough, she meets with a knight in Fearghus's forest to train. And what a knight--tall, dark and sexy. But she's more comfortable with Fearghus, which she thinks is rather odd, considering she's human and he's not. So does a girl pick a man or a dragon? Maybe she can have both. 'Chains & Flames' features Fearghus's parents Rhiannon and Bercelak. Rhiannon is royal, Bercelak just a soldier, but her mother has given her to Bercelak as his bride. Rhiannon won't go willingly, but her intended doesn't plan to give her up now that he finally has the woman he's always wanted. I liked these stories quite a lot, though there is some truly awful copy-editing (which I have also seen in another new release from the same publisher), and some very awkward phrasing in the storytelling. But the characters and their stories are so engaging and humorous, a reader should be able to overlook the other issues. Annwyl and Fearghus are endearing, while Rhiannon and Bercelak have some serious chemistry that will singe your fingers on the pages. Good stuff! This one gets four of Cupid's five arrows. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the next dragon tale from this author, due out in December!
Until next time, happy reading!