Target Audience: Adults
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Having read many of Gena Showalter's books I keep thinking that one day i will come across a book that won't press my buttons, but once again, I've been proven wrong because this book was another amazing edition to the paranormal romance genre.
I don't have any words to describe how refreshingly different i find Gena's books, because they don't just have different story lines, they also have the most amazingly different characters. This is definitely something to note with her books because they are very character orientated which i think is extremely important if you want to connect to the characters.
Heart Of The Dragon is about Darius and Grace, two very different people from two very different places. Darius lives in Atlantis (yes, the mythical underwater City) and is a Dragon who, after witnessing the brutal murder of his family becomes the guardian of the gateway to Atlantis, slaying anyone who crosses, and cutting off all emotions in himself.
Grace is a young woman looking for something more in life, and when she goes searching for her missing brother in the Amazon and accidentally trespasses into Atlantis, she finds a lot more excitement than she bargained for.
Instead of Darius killing her as he is supposed to, he stays his hand, and what begins is an adventure and romance that's more powerful and romantic than any I've read before.
The plot itself has a lot of depth and there is a lot more to it than just the romance. There is a clear mystery/adventure going on throughout and it blends well with the romance plot instead of feeling added on. The fight scenes in it weren't to graphic either, but i dare say if this were put into movie format it would be quite gory (as well as sexually explicit!)
On the romance side, there is only one word i can use to describe the love scenes...HOT! Seriously, this book is not for kids but will definitely fire the imaginations of the adults out there. Absolutely amazing providing you like that sort of thing, which obviously i do ;-)
If you prefer the more innocent/clean romances then you won't find it here, the description throughout will have you imagining all-sorts.
Moving on to the characters i have a few things to mention, the first of which is Gena's choice of heroine as
one of the things that often strike me about the women in Gena's books are the fact that the women are usually older Virgins. This makes a huge change for me as I was sick of reading novels in which the main characters were 18 year old and sleep with the first guy they fall in love with. Grace is twenty-four in this novel and a virgin, and although this is probably not a big deal, it does send out the message that there is no rush to have sex for having sex sake. Especially after you read the explosive encounter between them later in the novel and you realise that for her it was well worth the wait!
So i have to say, thumbs up to Gena for daring to follow a different character and romance path :-)
As for Darius, i have to admit i was conflicted with him, i hated his macho act in some instances and it got me all annoyed when he referred to Grace as 'his woman' and other things like that, but i warmed to him over the course of the book and i really felt for his past, as no one should have to suffer as he did. I was glad when he softened a bit and finally started using his heart rather than his head, and i loved how he came to regard Grace and how he admired her every aspect and part of her body.
There are some truly sad parts in this novel and i couldn't help but feel a bit sad at Darius's recollection of his past, it was truly emotional. But to balance out the sad, there were also some amazingly funny parts as well. The banter and arguments between Grace and Darius in the first part of the book are hilarious and i couldn't help but laugh at them. For me, their ability to laugh at each other, annoy each other, love each other and comfort one another, makes them an amazing and beautiful couple and i loved reading about them and their story.
In short, another stunning novel from Gena Showalter, may she continue to write amazing Paranormal Romance for years to come!