Writing with the sensuality of Kresley Cole and the same outlandish humor as Lynsay Sands. New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken brings readers the first book in her hugely popular Dragon Kin series, repackaged with a brand-new bonus novella.
It’s not easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear, or else salute. It’s true she has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man…the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.
Too bad Fearghus is a dragon. With him, Annwyl feels safe—a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger.
About the Author
With over 200 audiobooks narrated and produced, Hollie Jackson has worked with both indie and USA Today bestselling authors across a wide range of genres. Hollie's voice brings characters of all types to vibrant, compelling life, allowing the listener to sit back and enjoy the story.
Read an Excerpt
He'd heard the sounds of battle for quite some time. But, as always, he ignored it. The wars of men meant nothing to him. Never had. But those same sounds right outside his den? Well, that did stir him to move.
His tail unwound from around his body and he slowly moved to the entrance of his home. He didn't know what to expect and was not sure he even cared, but things were pretty boring right now and this just might prove interesting. Or, at the very least, provide dinner.
The blade entered Annwyl's side, ripping through armor and flesh and tearing through organs. Blood flowed and she knew she was dying. The soldier smiled at her cry of pain, which only brought out the telltale rage Annwyl had become famous for.
She raised her blade and, with a cry of pure bloodcurdling fury, swung it. The steel sang through the air as it swiped through the man, separating his head from his neck. His blood slashed across her face and arm. The other soldiers stopped. They had handily disposed of her small band of warriors without much trouble once they had them backed into this desolate glen. But she never allowed them an easy path to the killing blow. Until now.
Her life's blood drained from her body and she knew her time grew short. Her vision hazy, she felt weaker and lighter. She struggled to breathe. But she'd fight as long as she had breath in her body. Annwyl raised her sword, clasping the handle in both bloody hands, and waited for the next attack.
One of the men stepped forward. She could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to be the one to take her head. Present it to her brother so he could keep it as a trophy and warning to others who would dare question hisreign.
She watched him move with assured slowness. Clearly,he also knew she was dying. Knew she couldn't fight much longer.
Her legs shook as her strength fled, and her body ached to lie down for just a few minutes and sleep. Just a little nap....
Annwyl's eyes snapped open and she realized the soldier was that much closer. She swung her sword and he easily parried the blow. He smiled and Annwyl would give her soul for just one last surge of strength to wipe that smug smile off his face.
The soldier looked back at his comrades, making sure they were all watching before he killed her. But he left himself open. And one thing her father always taught her ... never let an obvious opportunity pass by. She ran him through with her blade, slamming the steel into his stomach as his head snapped back around to look at her in horror. For good measure, she twisted her sword in his gut, watching in satisfaction as he opened his mouth to scream but left the world with nothing more than a whimper.
She yanked her blade out of him and he dropped to the ground. She knew that would be her last kill, but she would still die with her blade raised. She turned to the remaining men but they, to her surprise, no longer found her of any interest. They looked past her. Into the cave she now stood in front of.
Annwyl tried to figure out what new trick this could be, but she never took her fading eyes off the men in front of her. Even as the ground shook under her. Even as they backed away from her in obvious horror. Even as the enormous shadow fell across her body, completely blocking out the sun.
It wasn't until the men screamed and began to run that she glanced up to see black scales hovering just above her. When the scales moved, as a large breath was inhaled into even larger lungs, she finally looked back at the fleeing soldiers.
The stream of fire flew across the glen, destroying trees, flowers, and, eventually, men. Using her sword now to prop herself up, she watched as the enemy soldiers were engulfed in flame, their bodies writhing as they desperately fought to put out the fires that covered them.
A small sense of satisfaction rippled through her, even with the knowledge that she would be next. As the screams died away, Annwyl again looked up to find the dragon now looking down at her. He watched her with obvious curiosity and made no move to blast her into oblivion. At least not yet.
"I'd fear you, Lord Dragon," she got out as the little strength left fled her body and she dropped to one knee, her hand still holding her blood-covered sword. "If I weren't already dying." She gave a bitter half-smile. "Sorry to deny you that tasty morsel." She coughed and blood flowed onto her chin and down her burnished steel armor. Annwyl's body dropped to the ground. And, soon after, she felt herself moving. She didn't know whether her soul had passed over to the land of her ancestors or into the mouth of a beast, but either way she was done with this life.
Annwyl heard moaning. Incessant, loud moaning. It took her several long moments to realize that she was the one making the annoying sound.
She forced her eyes open and struggled to focus. She knew that she lay in a proper bed, her naked body covered with animal furs. She could hear the crackle of a pit fire nearby and feel its warmth. Other than that, she had no idea where she was or how by the gods she got here. Last thing she remembered ... she died. But there was a little too much pain for her to be dead.
Her eyes focused and she realized she was in a room. A room with stone walls. She blinked again and attempted to still the rising panic. These were no mere stone walls. But cave walls.
"By the gods," she whispered as she reached out and touched her hand to the cold grey stone.
"Good. You're awake."
Annwyl gulped and prayed the gods were just playing a cruel joke on her. She raised herself on her elbows when that deep, dark voice spoke again, "Careful. You don't want to tear open those stitches."
With utter and almost heart-stopping dread, Annwyl looked over her shoulder and then couldn't turn away. There he was. An enormous black dragon, his wings pressed tight against his body. The light emanating from the pit fire causing his shiny black scales to glisten. His huge horned head rested in the center of one of his claws. He looked so casual. If she didn't know better, she'd swear he smirked at her, his black eyes searing her from across the gulf between them. A magnificent creature. But a creature nonetheless. A monster.
"Dragons can speak, then?" Brilliant, Annwyl. But she really didn't know what else to say.
"Aye." Scales brushed against stone and she bit the inside of her mouth to stop herself from cringing. "My name is Fearghus."
Annwyl frowned. "Fearghus?" She thought for a moment. Then dread settled over her bones, dragging her down to the pits of despair. "Fearghus ... the Destroyer?"
"That's what they call me."
"But you haven't been seen in years. I thought you were a myth." Right now, she silently prayed he was a myth.
"Do I look like a myth?"
Annwyl stared at the enormous beast, marveling at the length and breadth of him. Black scales covered the entire length of his body, two black horns atop his mighty head. And a mane of silky black hair swept across his forehead, down his back, nearly touching the dirt floor. She cleared her throat. "No. You look real enough to my eyes."
"I've heard stories about you. You smote whole villages."
She turned away from that steady gaze as she wondered how the gods could be so cruel. Instead of letting her die in battle as a true warrior, they instead let her end up as dinner for a beast.
"And you are Annwyl of Garbhán Isle. Annwyl of the Dark Plains. And, last I heard, Annwyl the Bloody." Annwyl did cringe at that. She hated that particular title. "You take the heads of men and bathe in their blood."
"I do not!" She looked back at the dragon. "You take a man's head, there's blood. Spurting blood. But I do not bathe in anything but water."
"If you say so."
His calmness made her feel overly defensive. "And I'm not just taking men's heads. Only the enemies of Dark Plains. My brother's men."
"Ah, yes. Lorcan. The Butcher of Garbhán Isle. Seems to me if you simply took his head your war would be over."
Annwyl gritted her teeth. And it wasn't from the pain of her wound. "Do you think that I've not thought of that? Do you think that if I could get close enough to the little toerag that I would not kill him if I had the chance?" The dragon didn't answer and her rage snapped right into place.
"Well ... do you?"
The dragon blinked at her sudden outburst. "Do you always get this angry at the mention of your brother?"
"No!" She barked. Then, "Yes!" Annwyl sighed. "Sometimes."
The dragon chuckled and she fought the urge to start screaming. And to keep screaming. His laughter wasn't an unpleasant sound, but chatting up a dragon ... well, perhaps she was finally going mad. The dragon slowly moved from behind her and brought more of his enormous body into the room. He settled to her right, but she could only see half of him without turning her head. The rest remained outside the alcove. She wondered what he looked like in his entirety.
"Why, exactly, am I not..."
"You would be, if I hadn't found you."
"And why did you save me?"
"I don't know. You ... fascinate me."
Annwyl frowned. "What?" Compared to a dragon, she was nothing. Just human.
"Your bravery. It fascinates me. When you saw me you didn't try to run like those men. You stood your ground."
"I was already dying, what was the point?"
"It doesn't matter. The dragon-fear affects young and old. The dying and the strong. You should have run for your life or dropped to your knees begging for mercy."
"I drop to my knees for no man," she snapped before thinking. He laughed outright. A low, pleasant sound. Like his speaking voice. Shame it belonged to a monster.
"I'll keep that in mind." He chuckled as he carefully turned his big body, his head coming frighteningly close to her, and walked out of the chamber. She watched as his tail swung into the room, its sharp end grazing against the stone walls. She tried not to panic when she realized that his tail alone stretched the length of at least two of the tallest men in her troops. "I will send someone to help you up and get you fed."
"What?" The dragon slammed his large head into the ceiling.
Annwyl lowered herself back on the bed. That had just been a dream. "Nothing. I'm tired."
"Then you best get some sleep."
"Wait!" He stopped and looked over his shoulder at her.
Annwyl took in a deep breath. "Thank you. For saving me."
"You're welcome, beautiful one." He started walking again. "But don't get too comfortable," he casually tossed over his shoulder. "Who knows what I'll make you do to repay me my kindness."
Annwyl leaned back against the soft bed and felt a shudder run through her. She just wished she could say that she shuddered from fear or, at the very least, revulsion. What truly worried her was that it felt like neither.
Fearghus rubbed the fresh bump on his head. He'd heard about Annwyl the Bloody's rage, but he had no idea how overwhelming it could be. Her angry bellow was damn near as powerful as a dragon's roar.
No wonder she hadn't defeated her brother yet. He terrified her. He could tell from her overzealous rage at the mere mention of the man.
If she faced Lorcan now, even if her body completely healed, he doubted she would defeat him. Either her anger or her fear would get the best of her.
And for some inexplicable reason that thought worried the hell out of him. When did he start caring about humans? Unlike some of his kin, he didn't hate humans. Yet he didn't live among them either. So his original plans for the human girl were to simply heal her wounds, then dump her near a human village. He didn't like complications. He didn't like anyone around him. He liked peace. He liked quiet. And not much else. But the mere thought of just leaving her somewhere sickened him.
He could already tell this was going to get complicated. And he hated complications.
"Good. You're awake." Annwyl looked up into the face of a woman. A witch, based on the precise, but brutal scar that marred one side of her face. All witches were marked in such a manner on order of her brother. The face behind the scar looked as if it might have been beautiful once. "You must have fallen asleep after he left." She pulled the fur covering off Annwyl's body. "Let's get you up."
Annwyl slowly swung her legs off the bed and, using one arm, pushed herself up.
"Careful now. Don't want to open up that wound again."
Annwyl nodded as she sat quietly, waiting for the nausea that suddenly descended upon her to pass.
"You're very lucky, you know."
"Most other dragons would have made you a meal. Not a guest."
Annwyl nodded slowly, "I know." She looked at the witch again. "I have seen you before."
"Aye. I help at the village when I can."
"The healer. I remember now. I had no idea you befriended the dragons."
"They have my loyalty."
Annwyl looked at the woman's scars. Not surprising she risked life among the dragons rather than of men. "Did my brother do that to you?"
"He ordered it. He is not a friend to the Sisterhood." The woman wrapped a robe around Annwyl's bare shoulders.
Her brother hated all witches. Mostly because they were women. And he absolutely hated all women. "He's always been afraid of that which he does not understand."
"Does that include you?"
Annwyl laughed as she slowly pushed herself off the bed. The laugh sounded bitter even to her own ears. "My brother understands me all too well. That's why both of us have struggled to take any ground."
"I see you did not escape his punishment." The witch motioned to the wounds on the young woman's back. The raised flesh healed but still an angry red.
"That's not from him." Annwyl pulled the robe tight around her body. Velvet and lush, she loved the softness of it against her battle-hardened skin. She wondered what rich baron the dragon took this from as he tore his caravan apart and ate the occupants.
The woman put her arm around Annwyl's waist and helped her to a table laid out with food and wine. "Your name is ... Morfyd. Yes?" Annwyl lowered herself into a sturdy chair.
"Did you help heal me as well?"
"Well, thank you for your help, Morfyd. It is greatly appreciated."
"I did it because the dragon asked. But betray him, lady--"
"Don't threaten me." Annwyl easily cut in without even looking up from the food before her. "I really hate that. And you need not remind me of my blood debt to the dragon." Annwyl sipped wine from a silver chalice and stared at the woman. "I owe him my life. I'll never betray him. And don't call me 'lady.'Annwyl will do."
Carefully placing the chalice on the wood table, she found Morfyd staring at her. "Something wrong?"
"No. I'm just very curious about you."
"Well," Annwyl grinned, "I've been told that I'm fascinating."
Morfyd pulled out the only other chair and sat across from Annwyl. "I have heard much about your brother. It amazes me you still live."
Annwyl began to eat the hearty stew, desperately trying not to think too hard about what kind of meat it contained.
"It amazes me as well. Daily."
"But you saved many people. Released many from his dungeons."
Annwyl shrugged silently as she wondered whether that was gristle she currently chewed on.
"No one else would challenge him. No man would step forward to face him," Morfyd pushed.
"Well, he's my brother. He used to set fire to my hair and throw knives at my head. Facing him in combat was inevitable."
"But you lived under his roof until two years ago. We've all heard the stories about life on Garbhán Isle."
"My brother had other concerns after my father died. He wanted to make sure everyone feared him. He didn't have time to worry about his bastard sister."
"Why didn't he marry you off? He could have forged an alliance with one of the bigger kingdoms." Annwyl briefly thought of Lord Hamish of Madron Province and how close she came to being his bride. The thought chilled her.
"He tried. But the nobles kept changing their minds."
"And did you help them with that?"
She held up her thumb and forefinger, a little bit apart.
"Just a little."
For the first time, Morfyd smiled and Annwyl found herself warming up to the witch a bit. Annwyl pushed her nearly empty bowl away from her and drank more of the wine. It shocked her how well she ate. Shocked her that she still breathed.
"Make sure you finish off the wine. I have added herbs that will heal you and stave off infection."
Annwyl stared warily into her wine chalice. "What kind of herbs?"
Morfyd shrugged as she stood, picking up Annwyl's empty bowl. "Lots of different ones. It's my own potion. It works quite well. It can also heal rashes and gout. And prevent a woman from becoming with child. But I guess that doesn't matter to you."
Annwyl glanced up from her wine. "Why do you say that?"
"Because you're a virgin."
Annwyl froze. That couldn't be just an assumption. She'd lived with a male army for well over two years; everyone assumed she'd lost her virginity ages ago.
"How did you ... know that?"
"He told me."
Annwyl knew the witch meant the dragon, and that's when the fury built up in her chest. A fury she never could control. "Dragon!" She bellowed his name so loudly, Morfyd stumbled back away from her.
The ground shook as the dragon returned to her. "What? What is it?"
Annwyl forced herself to her feet, her hand against her recent wound. "How did you know? And tell me true."
"Know what?" He looked at Morfyd who shrugged and quickly left. Almost ran.
"That I was a virgin. No one knows that. How did you?" She had no idea how long her deep sleep held her. Unable to protect herself. Unable to stop someone from ... she shook her head. She couldn't bear to even think it.
"This is why you demand my presence? Because I know your deep, dark secret?"
"Not that you know. But how you know."
He lowered his head until they were eye to eye. But Annwyl, too angry for logic, did not flinch or back away. Considering his head was the length of her body and she towered over most men, she probably should have. Instead she let her anger wash over her. Just as she always had. "Well? Answer me!"
His black eyes narrowed at her angry shout, and his nostrils flared. "I can smell it on you."
Annwyl reared back from the dragon. "What?"
"I can smell it on you. That no man has been with you. That your maidenhead is still intact. That you, beautiful one, are a virgin."
Annwyl looked at the dragon in horror, her voice no more than a whisper. "Really? You can smell that on me?"
"No," he responded flatly. "But you are quite chatty in your sleep."
She rolled her eyes. "You tricky..." Her anger fled as quickly as it came. She leaned against the table, her strength waning.
"So, did you think I somehow took advantage of you while you slept?"
"Well.... "Annwyl flinched as one talon tapped impatiently on the stone floor awaiting her answer. "The thought had crossed my mind." She lowered herself into one of the other chairs surrounding the table, too weak to stand any longer. "I'm sorry. I know only what I learned from my brother ... and he would have checked."
The great beast sighed. "I have heard tales of your brother. You do realize he should have been killed at birth?"
Annwyl smiled. "If only." She looked across the cave floor to the bed. It looked so far away and her body was still so weak.
"Here." He lowered his claw and opened it. Black talons as long as her leg glistened at Annwyl.
"You must be mad."
"How did you think you got in here?"
"Yes, but..." There she went again. Treating him as an animal when, in the little time she'd known him, he'd treated her with more respect than any man she'd met at her brother's castle.
She pushed herself up and took the two steps to his outstretched claw. With force of will she didn't know she possessed she stepped onto it, pushing out the vision she had of him shoving her into his mouth like a piece of steak. He lifted her up, gently moving his forearm until he had reached the bed. He carefully lowered her onto the fur coverings.
"Now, let's try not to have any more fits of anger until you get more of your strength back."
Annwyl laughed. "As you wish."
She sat down on the bed, her long legs hanging over the side. She watched his body leave the cavern. His long tail following behind. But Annwyl wondered if it had a will of its own as it whipped out and wrapped itself around her leg. For a brief moment she worried it might drag her across the room. But instead it caressed her leg, the ebony scales rubbing against her calf. Then it released her and disappeared with the dragon that wielded it.
Long after he'd gone and she slid herself back under the fur covers, Annwyl still felt where he'd touched her leg. And she wondered what insanity had begun to take over her normally sensible mind.
Lorcan of Garbhán Isle stared out over his battlements, watching the two suns lower in the west, and wondered how his sister kept slipping from his grasp.
No matter what he did or what he tried, she just wouldn't die. And the longer she lived, the more men she killed. His men. His troops. The number of headless bodies with her name carved on their chest rivaled even his own. Of course, his took thirty-one years to achieve. She'd accumulated hers in little over two.
He wished now he'd killed her when he had the chance. She was ten, he just fourteen. She had just arrived, sleeping soundly in her new bed. He held the pillow in his hands. He knew he could smother her, and no one would ever know. But she woke up, looked at him, and flew into a blinding rage. Which he returned. His father found the two of them rolling around on the floor trying to choke each other. The man had not been pleased and he made them pay for waking him out of a sound sleep.
Lorcan winced, remembering the brutality of the beating they both received. What gave him small satisfaction was that he'd expected the beating. His bastard sister apparently lived a simple life in her poor village and received little or no discipline. Her reaction to her punishment ... well, truly reward enough for him.
He didn't know one could hate someone as much as he hated this girl. But she continued to make a fool of him. There were several surrounding kingdoms that gave her campaign gold and troops in the hopes she would do what they could not. Kill him. Take his throne.
He'd see her head on a spike outside his castle walls first. And he now had the perfect ally to assist him.
He never much liked witches. Didn't like the idea of such weak beings as females having that kind of power that they probably could not control. But he tolerated sorcerers well enough. And Hefaidd-Hen was just what he needed. Pay him well and Hefaidd-Hen would hand you the world. He'd proven himself over and over the few months they'd been allies. Although he still hadn't captured his sister.
Lorcan heard the moan of the soldier pinned to the floor beneath his boot. With a sneer, he pushed his foot down harder on his neck. The worthless little bastard had failed him. He'd come back without the bitch.
He glanced over his shoulder at his lieutenants. They watched him, trying their best to hide their fear. But he could smell it. He looked back at the lowering suns. "I want my sister." He growled the words low. "I want my sister!" He slammed his foot down, snapping the man's neck and crushing his jaw. "Now get out of my sight!"
He heard them run from the room.
They better run.
He would have his sister. He would see the bitch dead if he had to destroy half the world to get to her.
"Well, I see now why the women in the village avoid her. She's crazy."
Fearghus the Destroyer settled his enormous bulk near his lair's underground lake. "She's not crazy, little sister. She's angry."
Morfyd settled against a rock opposite her brother, wrapping her cloak tightly around her body. Her human form was constantly cold, constantly shivering. And yet, she lived freely among the humans. They all believed her to be human. Merely a powerful witch and healer. Even as Annwyl's brother ordered her face sliced open during the early days of his reign, she stayed human. Fearghus could simply never understand why.
But for the first time, Fearghus needed to call on his sister as a human. His power could only keep Annwyl alive for a short time. Morfyd and her ancient dragon Magicks actually healed the girl by mending her damaged organs. And as a human female, she could comfortably tend to the girl's needs.
Morfyd nodded. "From what I've heard she has much to be angry about. It's a well-known fact that her father was a tyrant and her brother hated her from the day she appeared."
"Do you know why?" Fearghus found himself becoming obsessively fascinated with the girl.
"I know they don't have the same mother. Annwyl's mother never married her father. You know how important that is to these humans. And Lorcan never let her forget that she was a bastard. A poor bastard, no less, from some little village east of Kerezik."
"Can she be trusted?"
Morfyd shrugged. "Her men are loyal to her. And as much as the village women avoid her they do respect her. They trust their men's lives with her. But whether we can trust her? That I do not know, brother. She's still human."
Fearghus, too, wasn't sure he could trust Annwyl. Dragons possessed powers that far outweighed most creatures. But these powers, like their ability to use flame or to shift to human, kept them alive. Humans were a treacherous and dangerous lot and made killing one of his kind as some sort of rite of passage. No. His brethren relied on secrecy.He couldn't and wouldn't betray that to a girl he knew nothing about. Just bringing her to his lair was a dangerous risk he normally would never take. There were very few who knew a dragon lived in Dark Glen. And those who stumbled upon him in the past he quickly silenced.But that hadn't been an option for Annwyl. She really did fascinate him, just as he said. Her bravery. Her strength. Her beauty. And she was beautiful. Tall. Strong. Brown hair with golden streaks that reached down past the waist of her lean body.
"I'm still impressed she challenged you like that," his sister continued. "Although it could just be more proof that she's mad."
Fearghus heard her, but barely. His mind busy recalling when he first found Annwyl. He shifted to human to easily remove her armor and get at her wound. He remembered how quickly and strongly his human body reacted to the sight of her. Naked, pale, and covered in her own blood, there was something about her that called to him. As he chanted the spell that would keep her alive until Morfyd arrived, she watched him with the darkest green eyes he'd ever seen. Over the subsequent days, while he cared for her, he kept seeing those eyes in his dreams. That long, lean body covered in many battle scars there as well.
Without even trying, the girl trapped his attention and he couldn't stop thinking about her, which was unusual. Quite a few females had graced his life over the more than two hundred years he existed. All of them beautiful and cultured. Some human and some dragon. But none entranced him like this tiny girl. How tall was she anyway? Maybe six feet? He smiled; only his people would call her "tiny."
A small fireball hit him in the face. He again looked at his sister, smoke still curling out from her human nostrils.
"I said she'll want to return to her men as soon as she can."
His sister smiled up at him. "And will you be ready for that, idiot?"
"It's Lord Idiot to you." Fearghus rested his head on his crossed forearms. "And yes, brat. I will be."
No matter how beautiful Annwyl was to him, he wouldn't get involved with some human girl. He would simply let her heal, then send her back to her people. And that would be the end of that.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I reserve my reviews for the very best of books or to warn those of the worst. This is one of the BEST! It is Fun,Fast pase Adventure,Sexy, Steamy Romance, at one point I couldn't decide if I was for the Dragon or the Knight...oh yeah they are the same. Still you love the dragon and lust after the Man. I'm working hard for no spoilers. The female lead is strong with a strong male lead. The other characters of the dragon's family add the perfect blend to this really great read. These same characters show up in the next book and the author builds on them. Genius! I couldn't put it down. Now to be warned there are some graphic love scenes but I like Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter also.The second in this series is my favorite so far. HOT HOT HOT! and I couldn't stop Laughing! This series is a keeper for my personal library.I have already recommended this to my all my friends and bought my Mom her copies. I hope you all enjoy them also.
I bought this book because i was really desperate for a funny book to read while recovering from surgery. It was a totally unexpected find, this book has an sarcastic humor that makes the lead heroine endearing. The way the author portrayed the lead hero is nothing beyond a narcissistic self-evolved lovable Dragon. Though this book wouldn't be able to stand up to some others in the genre, it is ridiculously funny with characters that are nothing beyond lovable and a story line that keeps you engaged until the end.
Wow!!! This is the first romance novel I have read with dragons in it, and I likey! The description is enticing not overboard. The characters are complex and individuals. Tons of sarcasm and comedy. The leading lady is one tought chick, not even afraid of a freaking dragon! The plot is entertaining and exciting. The author throws a few twists here and there. A real page turner just in the fact of the herione and her relationship with the dragons she stays with. This is the first in a series revolving around the family of dragons. There are like four or five brothers and two or three sisters. You even get a short story at the end of this one that tells the beginning of the dragons parents and how they got together. Fascinating read!!!
Annwyl, a tough, no-nonsense warrior, leader of the rebellion against her brother who rules the kingdom, finds herself gravely wounded. But she just so happens to be outside the lair or a dragon--Fearghus, a recluse. Bringing Annwyn into his lair to save her, he senses something about her, he's drawn to her as he's never been drawn to another human or dragon before. Fearing that Annwyl is not strong enough to beat her evil brother, Fearghus offers a mysterious knight to train her. Annwyl agrees. Little does Annwyl know the knight is none other than Fearghus the Dragon! Annwyl is tormented by the brutish knight training her. Hating him, yet wanting him. The bantering between the two was highly engaging and very well done! Annwyl is in lust with the the knight by day, yet falling in love with the dragon by night. It's a hopeless battle of wills between Annwyl and Fearghus and one that was very entertaining to read. Even though she is known as Annwyl the Bloody, and he as Fearghus the Destroyer, the romance was actually very sweet and fun. I really enjoyed the dialogue between the two, sometimes very comical. I enjoyed Dragon Actually immensely. There's action, head-lopping, a bastard brother who deserves all the anger and rage Annwyl feels toward him. And of course some really great dragon petting :). And human petting! Dragon Actually, is actually only 217 pages. The remaining 116 pages is a short story, Chains and Flames, which is Feargus's parents. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good dragon romping story. It was fun, exciting and did not drag anywhere. The characters were extremely likable. And Fearghus's siblings added a delightful touch to this story. Just imagine sibling rivalry between a bunch of very large, very strong dragons! I loved reading this book and hope the second one, About a Dragon has the same witty humor as this one.
I really enjoyed this book...I was nervous it would just be a sexed up dragon book- but it wasn't! Yes- there was sex- but not outrageously so. The characters were all great- the plot was interesting- and the family you meet is just like your own crazy family...but dragons...Plus this book was surprisingly funny. I never read any other book from this author- but I will def be looking at Aiken's others. Really great writing.
...and the cover? I kept teasing my sisters with it lol All in all? A great read and buy- even though i ate it up in one day it was worth it.
One of my absolute favorite of all time.
I had to buy the whole series in paperback, they're that great. Seriously, the best. I love the way the stories and characters build in each book. Humorous, hot, and memorable.
Absolutely in love with this author. Her characters are not the cookie cutter, copy and paste heroes and heroines that many authors write about. They are human (and dragon), flawed, arrogant, funny, thoughtful, loving, amazing, and every thing in between that brings about outstanding character development in each book. A friend asked me what I was reading that I was laughing so hard. After 20 minutes trying to explain I bought her the first 3 in this series that starts with Annwyl the Bloody and her Lord Dragon. She's now just as hooked as i am. The author has an unbelievable knack to finish a story line entirely, and deeply leaves you wanting more.
Was recommended this book by a friend and although it was good, I'm not into romance novels as such.
This is my favorite author whether writing about dragons a G.A. Aiken or Shifters as Shelly Laurenston. Lots of action and sarcastic humor with hot sex thrown in. I read everything she writes (over and over) and have her works in e-book and paper.
Loved finding her alternate writing name. Enjoyed reading it even more! Wonderful, just wonderful. Funny, sexy as hell, a great all around read. And to top it off you get two books in one for the opener of the series! Both stories were great in there own way. The first a little darker. Hooked me. I dont always like dragon shifter love stories. They can get kind of woe is me and depressing, but she did a wonderful job with interspersing humor and adding strong females.
Its a great read. Read it a day then read all the others!
I originally read this story as an e-book and loved it so much I had to purchase it in print. The characters are strong and determined yet caring and lovable at the same time. I really like that the heroine is strong and able to defend herself. There are some yummy scenes in it but they don't overpower the story. It is also really funny, especially when the dragon's family comes into the story. There is also a second story in this book about the dragon's parents and their mating story. This one is just as good and probably could have been in its own book. About a Dragon is the second in this series. It is even better than this one! Try them, you'll love it!
very enjoyable fun read
Every book I read of hers is amazing
I honestly have to say I was in love with this story and the characters. G.A. Aiken has managed to: 1) Make me laugh out loud while reading. (It's very rare when I find a book I'm not just quietly chuckling at. But this I couldn't help but burst out laughing) 2) Create female characters who are strong, witty, independent, and more importantly can stand on their own two feet. (I really do hate whiny female leads) 3) Introduce more of the royal dragon family to keep me interested and determined to read their books. The characters live simple lives. Annwyl doesn't want to kill her brother to become queen. She just wants to kill him before he kills her! **"What the hell am I suppose to do as a queen?" "Well...you could try ruling."** Fearghus the Destroyer keeps to himself and doesn't involve in the human affairs, but the brave Annwyl has impressed him more than any other human...and she's not scared of him like most. **"You are so cute when you try to look scary."** The second book Chains & Flames is what I assume, suppose to be the first book because it's about Rhiannon and Bercelak (who are Fearghus' parents). Rhiannon is another bada$$ woman. She just wants to survive and eat people and cattle. Is that so wrong? But her mother (the queen) is determined to get rid of her and is willing to mate her to get rid of her. **"I'm only here because of her." "True. But you'll stay Princess, because of me."** Bercelak has fought his way of from his low born status. He fights for what he wants and has never had anything handed to him. Rhiannon is no different. He knows he's in for the fight of his life to prove to this princess that he wants her and she will love him. **"What I'll give you is someone worthy of you. Someone who can handle a dragoness such as yourself. I don't fear your rages. I don't fear your acid tongue. In fact, I like you mean. The meaner, the better."**
I enjoyed the story. Loved hoq funny the dialog was.
4.5 *Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. This book contains three stories in the Dragon Kin series. Full of humor, steamy nomminess, magic, treachery, and suspense. And dragons! While I enjoyed both Dragon Actually and Chains & Flames, I have to say that A Tale of Two Dragons is by far my favorite in this collection. Dragon Actually ~ 4 bites and a nibble Human Annwyl the Bloody and dragon Fearghus the Destroyer. Fearghus is son to Rhiannon the White and Bercelak the Great Chains & Flames ~ 4 bites and a nibble Rhiannon and Bercelak’s story A Tale of Two Dragons ~ 5 bites Braith of the Darkness and Addolgar the Cheerful (brother to Bercelak; son of Ailean the Wicked and Shalin the Innocent) Takes place before Dragon Actually
Based on reviews expected more from this book but it was mediocre at best. Story & characters were extremely typical of this genre...bland & cardboard nothing out of the ordinary. A lot of people mentioned graphic sec & can't remember if blub for book mentioned or not but honestly not really that graphic and/or well written. There are so many other authors who write in paranormal romance genre & who do much better job than this author.... Jeanine Frost, Ilona Andrews & Chloe Neill are several that come to mind.
paid 5$ for 16 pages
Shelly Laurenston tends to write humorously with a lot of heat and wit, and writing as G. A. Aiken does not appear to have changed that at all. The characters are vivid and feisty and I can’t get enough of them. The story is compelling as well, especially since the romance is so unexpected under the circumstances of war and difference of species. The family dynamics between Fearghus and his siblings are hilarious, while Annwyl’s are tragic, easily demonstrating depth in both the characters and the plot. I love the balance between human and dragon in Fearghus and between woman and warrior in Annwyl. The ending is cute with a short and sweet battle and fun family showdown. Fearghus’s siblings are so obnoxious I laughed out loud. His parents are a fierce mystery, which we thankfully get to see more of in the two following novellas that are included in the book itself. The first is the story of Fearghus’s parents, and the second is about Fearghus’s uncle whom we meet in the first novella. There’s a little kink with some light spanking and brief rope play, but nothing that would necessarily label this as BDSM. However, once you get into the novellas, that changes. Chains and Flames in particular involves, you guessed it, chains! It certainly grabs your attention right from the start. The story is such a tug of war and is such fun, though I still liked the primary tale in the book better. It was really nice to have the “rumors” mentioned in Fearghus’s story explained during his parent’s story. And I absolutely LOVE the ending – so funny! Tale of Two Dragons starts off as a prequel to Chains and Flames, but ends after it. This novella was a ton of fun, complete with someone getting tied to a bed, and I enjoyed it more than the previous one. Addolgar is so laid back and Braith is endearing. They have a very funny story and sweet ending. The political machinations were a little murky for me, but still followable enough. The ending is all that counts anyway. The book in its entirety leaves SO much room for sequels, prequels, and everything in between with all the siblings among the various characters.Dragon Actually is an easy read that brings the world of dragon shifters to vibrant life. The writing is so fun, sexy, and addictive with such vivid characters that you’ll only be left wanting more. I’m officially a fan of the series after only the first installment!