Book Review: Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter

heartofdragonSynopsis from Goodreads:

Grace Carlyle’s world was about to change . . .
Deep in the jungle on the trail of her missing brother, Grace never expected to find a secret world populated by mythological monsters — nor guarded by a sword-wielding being whose beauty put mortal men to shame.
Darius en Kragin belongs to a race of shape-shifting warriors sworn to guard Atlantis and kill all travelers who stray within its boundaries. Yet when Grace stumbles into his realm, he finds himself tempted to betray his centuries-old vow.
Now their forbidden love will either bring their worlds together — or tear them both apart.

While not perfect, Heart of the Dragon is exactly what I look for in a book that I can just shut my brain off with. It was fluffy and easy to read, and I mean, Atlantis and dragon shifters? Please and thank you.

The characters were interesting enough, with a few faults. For the most part they were all determined to do what they had to whether it be unravel some mystery, overcome a past, take over a land, or simply survive. For that there are mad props. I also kind of loved Darius for thriving and finding strengths where there should be weakness, no matter how cheesy it is. Even Darius’s soldiers were entertaining because even though they essentially sought to drive him nuts, they still cared about him and followed him without doubt.

This book is part mystery, part love story, part dragon shifters (I can’t get enough of that). There were a lot of things that I liked. Like dragon shifters. And explaining the backstory of Atlantis and all those who live there as well as the importance of what Darius does. Oh and showing human faults. Humans aren’t perfect either – that’s clear here. I was hooked, even through the bits that kind of drove me insane and I wanted to keep reading.

While all that other stuff about the book was fine and dandy… let’s talk about what wasn’t. The insta-love. Sometimes, insta-love doesn’t drive me nuts. But, this story takes place over a very short period of time and there are not one, but two budding romances here. I mean, really? You’ve lived three hundred years and then drop head over heels in love with this one chick you just met like, a day ago? It’s a little much for me. Also, Grace was very naïve for a twenty-something living in NYC. Being a virgin as an adult is one thing, being utterly clueless in these days is more along the line of unbelievable.

Aside from those things, my biggest issue was probably the pacing. At times pacing for the story was spot on, but then there were times where everything just felt so rushed and it really did bother me a bit. I was also left with questions like… will Grace ever learn the language or will she just let magic do their talking/understanding for them forever. These are things I want to know.

Overall, Heart of the Dragon was a decent book. I would have preferred that Grace be less naïve for the sake of reality and a more constant pacing throughout the story, but all in all I did enjoy this book and I do plan to try the next book in the series. Because still, dragon shifters. 3.5/5 stars.

Atlantis series:

1. Heart of the Dragon
2. Jewel of Atlantis
3. The Nymph King
4. The Vampire’s Bride
5. The Amazon’s Curse

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