EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON
“Deeply satisfying, delightfully swoon-inducing.”Publishers Weekly on Kerrelyn Sparks’s Love at Stake series
Gwennore is an Elf able to track down the cause of a certain illness and heal ita valuable asset to her people. But when she is thrust into the realm of the dragons, she discovers a haunted place of power, passion, and magicone that is plagued by an ancient curse. When she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, Gwen knows she’s entered a whole new world of trouble. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon. So why does making a deal with the devil feel so good?
Silas has no way of saving the royal family he’s served for years. But when a beautiful, innocent elf comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to desire in a way he’s never felt before. But how can he trust a sworn enemy. . .and how can he live without her, in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks.
About the Author
Kerrelyn Sparks is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list.
Read an Excerpt
Gwennore was ready to scream.
But if she did, others might hear and foil her escape. What could she do but continue her climb up the hillside, even though she felt as if she were falling into a dark pit.
She was a storm on the verge of breaking. An overfilled wineskin about to burst. A sizzling pot threatening to boil over. Luna and Lessa, help me, she sent up in fervent prayer to the twin moon goddesses.
Maybe she should learn to curse like her sister Sorcha. But the ever-rational part of Gwennore's brain reminded her that it was more sensible to do what she always did. Remain calm. Eviana was beside her, and it would be a shame to expose an innocent child to foul language. The little girl was only three years old. Today.
"Gwennie?" Eviana tugged on her hand. "What's wong?"
Gwennore forced a smile. "Nothing. Everything is perfectly fine."
Eviana scrunched up her little nose with a dubious look.
The child was far too insightful, Gwennore thought, even though it was one of the things she loved about the little girl. "Shall we rest a moment to catch our breath?" When Eviana nodded, Gwennore glanced down the hill at the encampment along the Norva River.
Tonight was the Spring Embrace, when the two moons would align in the sky, and that meant a number of Gwennore's family and friends would be celebrating their birthdays. Her oldest adopted sister, Luciana, now the queen of Eberon, would be twenty-three, and her twins, Eric and Eviana, were turning three. Sorcha, just six months younger than Gwennore, would be twenty-one. The king of Tourin was turning twenty-nine. Ulfrid was his real name, but his wife, Brigitta, still preferred to call him Rupert.
And there were even more reasons to celebrate. Brigitta and Ulfrid had brought their little boy, Reynfrid, for everyone to see. The general of the Tourinian army, Stefan Landers, and his wife, Lady Fallyn, had traveled with them. Gwennore had been delighted to see the former nun again and meet her adorable two-year-old daughter. And more babies were on the way, since Luciana, Brigitta, and Fallyn were all expecting.
With so much to be thankful for, Luciana and Brigitta had teamed up to plan a huge party on the banks of the Norva River, which served as the border for their two countries. On the northern side of the river, in the country of Tourin, there had to be at least fifty tents set up.
On the southern bank of the Norva, the Eberoni had erected even more tents. On both sides of the river, meat was being roasted over large pits, and food was being prepared. People bustled back and forth over the bridge, a comforting reminder of the peaceful and relaxed relationship between the two countries. After all, the two queens, Luciana and Brigitta, considered themselves sisters.
Unfortunately, those same two women were competing with each other to see who could arrange marriages for the three remaining sisters. It was ridiculous. Gwennore was happy for Luciana and Brigitta, truly she was, but just because they were happily married, that didn't mean it could happen for her.
For the last few years, Gwennore's level of frustration had been slowly escalating. How could she tell her older sisters that they were wasting their time and money giving her beautiful gowns? The noblemen at the Eberoni and Tourinian courts wanted nothing to do with her. No matter how well she was dressed, she was still an elf.
She doubted her sisters would ever understand, for they had always considered her as one of them. The five young women had grown up at the convent, surrounded by love, so it had come as a hard blow when Gwennore had realized that people on the mainland saw her differently. All the love and acceptance to which she was accustomed was gone. To the people of Eberon and Tourin, she didn't belong.
With her white-blond hair, lavender-blue eyes, and pointed ears, it was obvious she hailed from the elfin kingdom of Woodwyn. But for some unknown reason, the elves there had rejected Gwennore and sent her as a babe to the Isle of Moon. She had no memory of Woodwyn and no recollection of ever meeting another elf. What little she knew about them and their language had been learned in the convent when she'd transcribed a few of their books. She felt sure she would never fit in there.
Just as she could never feel at home in the countries of Eberon or Tourin. The only place she had felt truly comfortable was the convent on the Isle of Moon.
But that had changed after Luciana had given birth. Gwennore had found two sanctuaries at Ebton Palace — the vast library where she could hide in a curtained-offwindow seat and escape with a good book, and the nursery, where there was no need to hide or escape. There, she was free to be herself.
The twins had grown up with Gwennore, loving her just as her adopted sisters had at the convent. It was Eviana, though, with whom Gwennore felt a special bond. From the moment the little girl was born, Gwennore had been drawn to her. She loved her with a maternal fierceness that gave her enough joy that she remained at the palace in spite of the prejudice she encountered from other courtiers.
The main problem, as far as she could see, was that no one understood the elves. They attacked Eberon to the west and Norveshka to the north, streaming across the borders to kill and maim, then retreating without bothering to claim any plunder or land. Since they didn't seem to want anything, other than the pleasure of killing a few people, they had a reputation of being coldhearted and vicious.
So what man in his right mind would want to marry Gwennore? The fact that she'd been raised in a convent to abhor violence didn't seem to matter. Nor the fact that she prided herself on her ability to remain calm and rational. She was intelligent enough to converse in all four mainland languages, yet she was still regarded as some sort of violent creature that might go on a killing spree at the drop of a hat.
A month ago, Luciana had planned an elaborate ball at Ebton Palace. Noblemen had flocked around Sorcha and Maeve, as well they should, since they were both beautiful young women. Usually at these events, the only men willing to dance with Gwennore were Luciana's friends Brody and the newly promoted Colonel Nevis Harden. But Nevis was usually away with the army, and Brody was a shifter, who could take human form for only two hours a day. Gwennore and her younger sisters had been shocked when Luciana had revealed the truth about Brody, but now Gwennore was accustomed to seeing him in his usual guise as a furry black-and-white dog.
At this particular ball, Luciana had invited two young earls, with the hope that they would fall for her sisters. The two earls had found Gwennore, half hidden behind a column, and after looking her over, they had smirked and talked to each other as if she weren't there.
"Maybe she's part fox," one had muttered. "Could be why she has those pointed ears."
The second earl nodded. "I wonder if she's hiding a tail beneath her skirts."
The first one snorted. "Who on Aerthlan would be willing to find out?"
"Maybe the Seer would have a go at her," his companion replied. "I hear the old man is blind. And he's lived alone for decades. He must be desperate."
The first earl snickered as he looked Gwennore over once again. "No one could be that desperate."
Gwennore's cheeks had flared hot. "Leave me be, or I'll tell the king and queen how rude ye are."
They had looked worried for a few seconds before the first one lifted his chin in defiance. "The king needs the support of us nobles. He doesn't need the likes of you." And with that, the two had sauntered off to enjoy the ball.
"Shall I clobber them for you?" Brody whispered as he came around the column.
He had heard. Gwennore's face burned even hotter. Of course he had heard. As a spy, Brody was accustomed to eavesdropping on private conversations.
"Come on, let me punch them," Brody growled. "They deserve it."
Gwennore shook her head. "Luciana has worked too hard to make this ball a success. I don't want to ruin it with a brawl."
Brody frowned. "She needs to know that she's matchmaking with a pair of assholes."
"I'll warn Sorcha and Maeve," Gwennore whispered. "That will be enough. I don't want to cause any more political problems for Luciana and Leo." They were still having enough trouble with a traitorous group of disgruntled priests led by Lord Morris.
Brody scowled at the two earls. "As soon as I shift, I'm going to bite them." He gave Gwennore a wry look. "And no one can stop me, because I'm a naughty doggy who never passed obedience training."
That had made her smile.
"That's more like it." Brody smiled back as he leaned against the column. "Did you want to dance again?"
"Ye've already done yer duty with me and Sorcha. Ye should dance with Maeve now."
His smile turned into a grimace. "No. Hell, no. Not as long as she persists in calling me Julia."
Gwennore's laugh abruptly ended when she spotted one of the earls talking to Maeve. "Oh, dear."
A growl sounded low in Brody's throat.
"Are ye planning to shift now?" Gwennore whispered.
"Considering it," Brody muttered. "I can either stay human and insist she dance with me, or become a dog and bite the bastard."
"Or ye could become a dog and dance with two left feet," Gwennore teased him.
Brody snorted. "I can do that while still human." He strode toward the earl and Maeve, and Gwennore had waited to make sure her youngest sister was safe before escaping back to the nursery.
But now that she was here on the Norva River, there was no library or nursery where she could hide. Her hope of enjoying the celebration surrounded by only family and friends was gone, for Luciana and Brigitta had both invited a number of single noblemen. And just a few minutes ago, the infamous two earls had shown up.
"I can't stand it anymore," Gwennore whispered as tears filled her eyes. If she had to endure one more man eyeing her like she was some sort of loathsome insect, she might explode like a screeching demon from hell.
The only solution to her problem, as far as she could tell, would be to return to the Convent of the Two Moons. Mother Ginessa and the nuns would welcome her. She would be loved there. But then she would have to go for months without seeing her adopted sisters or this little girl she loved so much.
"I can't stand, too." Eviana lifted her chubby arms in the air, her signal that she wanted to be held.
With a smile, Gwennore picked her up. With the little girl's arms wrapped around her neck, she closed her eyes to keep the tears from flowing. This was why she stayed.
But as much as she cherished moments like this that made her heart swell with love, she was always aware of an underlying twinge of heartache. For she had no doubt that this was as close as she would ever get to motherhood.
How could she give this up? No, she would stay at Ebton Palace to be with the twins. And when Luciana gave birth in three months, Gwennore would be there to help with the newborn. Twenty months ago, she'd gone to Lourdon to help Brigitta with her baby boy.
This was her life. Always the helpful one, moving silently like a ghost through the shadows of the royal palace and only coming to life in the nursery. Or her own imagination. For she still dreamed of a world where she could shine. It would be a beautiful world, filled with wonder and excitement. And a tall and handsome stranger would love her for who she was.
"When do we see the fwowers?"
Eviana's question pulled her back to the real world. A world where she was using a flower-picking expedition to evade scornful glances and crude insults.
Gwennore sighed. Why waste her time wishing for the impossible? This was reality, and she should accept it and make the most of it. "We'll see the flowers soon. There's a whole field of them on top of the hill."
She shifted the little girl onto her left hip, then held up her long silk skirt with her right hand to climb the last remaining steps. "I spotted them from the carriage window when we were arriving yesterday."
"I can give some to Mama?"
Gwennore nodded. "She'll think it's the best birthday present ever."
Eviana grinned. "Ewic won't have fwowers for her."
"Maybe we should pick some for him, too."
Eviana scrunched up her little nose. "He poked me."
"Did ye tell him to stop?"
She shook her head. "I poked him back."
Gwennore snorted. "Do ye have a present for yer brother? 'Tis his birthday, too, ye know."
Eviana bit her lip while she considered, and the movement made her look so much like her mother that Gwennore smiled. The little girl had her mother's black curly hair, but her green eyes had come from her father.
"I don't think Ewic wants fwowers," Eviana mumbled.
"Ye make a good point," Gwennore said. "We'll have to find something more suitable for a boy. Maybe a walking stick from the forest or a pretty rock from the riverbank."
"A big wock!" Eviana stretched her arms wide.
"All right." Gwennore took a deep breath as she reached the top of the hill. The winter snow had melted over a month ago, and now the afternoon sun shone on a carpet of bright-green grass dotted with flowers of yellow, orange, and purple. "Well, what do ye think?"
Eviana gasped. "It's bootiful!" She squirmed to be let down, then rushed about plucking flowers.
Gwennore watched her for a moment, then glanced back toward the encampment by the river. Kegs of beer and wine had already been opened, and the sound of laughter blew toward her on a breeze. She spotted the two kings, Leofric and Ulfrid, trying to teach their sons, Eric and Reynfrid, how to skip stones across the river. Her adopted sisters were busy overseeing the cooking. Luciana spotted her with Eviana and waved.
Gwennore waved back, then settled on a grassy spot to watch the little girl. A shadow moved across the ground, and she glanced up at the cloudless sky. A large bird was flying high overhead.
Her eyes narrowed. An extremely large bird. Was it Brody in eagle form, watching over them? She looked down at the camp and spotted Brody as a dog, following the two nasty earls and nipping at their heels.
She glanced back at the bird, but it was too far away and the sun was too bright for her to see clearly. Surely it couldn't be the Chameleon. No one knew the mysterious shifter's real name or what he even looked like, but since he apparently had the ability to change into any animal or human, Brody had dubbed him the Chameleon.
After causing so much trouble three years ago, the villainous Chameleon had disappeared. Brody had searched high and low for him to no avail.
"Look, Gwennie!" Eviana ran toward her with a big bunch of flowers in her hands. "Awen't they pwetty?"
"Oh, they're lovely!" Gwennore pulled the blue ribbon from the end of her braided ponytail and used it to tie the bouquet together. "There. Perfect. I think ye should pick some flowers for Aunt Sorcha. 'Tis her birthday, too."
"All wight!" Eviana bounced away.
Gwennore lifted her face to the warm sun, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. Life was good, she reminded herself. Two of her sisters had become queens, and now the countries of Eberon and Tourin were at peace. The Seer had predicted even more peace, so Mother Ginessa had finally relented and allowed Gwennore and her younger sisters to leave the Isle of Moon and live on the mainland. The other two countries, Norveshka and Woodwyn, still caused trouble every now and then, but they seemed far away now.
A screech echoed in the distance, and she opened her eyes. That hadn't sounded like an eagle. Whatever it was, way up high in the sky, it seemed to be circling. An ominous feeling crept under her skin, and suddenly she recalled the way Luciana had looked last night when Maeve had suggested they play the Game of Stones.
"We're all together again," Maeve had said when Brigitta had joined them. "We should bring out the Telling Stones, so ye can predict our futures."
Luciana had grown pale. "I'm too weary from travel. Perhaps another time."
Gwennore hadn't missed the worried glance Luciana had exchanged with Brigitta. They'd looked the same way almost three years ago when Luciana had selected a handful of Telling Stones to predict Gwennore's future. Luciana had completely avoided playing the game since then, and Gwennore couldn't help but feel that her oldest sister had seen something that had frightened her.
Green, brown, and the number three. Those were the pebbles Luciana had picked for Gwennore. To Maeve and Sorcha, the interpretation had been obvious. The colorssignified the country of Woodwyn, since the elfin flag pictured a tall green tree growing from brown earth.
Excerpted from "Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon"
Copyright © 2018 Kerrelyn Sparks.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love this series!
Gwennore is the sister, of all the five, with the most uncertain future: she is at least part elf as shown by her pointed ears, and is constantly subject to snide, sotto voice (or not) comments about her heritage. Elves are the least accepted people in the kingdom: warlike and secretive, with a coldness and single minded purpose that makes them fearsome in battle. While her sisters (and their children) all adore her, and her ability to both diagnose and heal illness are useful, she’s still more retiring and less willing to put herself into situations where her existence could or would cause trouble or discontent for those she loves. Silas (General Dravenko) is captivated by Gwennie and her ability to communicate through telepathy with he and other members of the ‘Cursed Clans” of his lands. Never before have they met anyone with this ability, and Gwennie’s elfin appearance conflicts with their own need for secrecy. Their kingdom of Norveshka is in crisis: people are not having children, the Queen is the most recent in a long line of queens who have gone mad after their losses, and the war with the elves of Woodwyn have stretched resources thin. While Silas is desperately saddened by his brother’s (the king) struggles and worries for his wife, he’s also seeing that something is amiss - from a curse that all but him believe in to the kidnapping of children for the Queen to replace children she had lost, to an apparent infiltration of palace security placing everyone at risk, he’s got a ton of issues to sort. And, it’s not made easier by the secrets he feels he needs to keep. Gwennie’s introduction to the Norveshkan people (or dragons) and the (for her) curious reactions she has to Silas and his ability to frustrate and anger her at every turn are amusing: she’s getting her feet underneath her and is actually pushing him (at times) because of this frustration – something completely foreign to her as aggressive demands are not in her nature. But, she’s also finding it difficult to not want to help the people and the queen. She agrees to spend a month helping Silas discover the real source of the problem: one she believes is two-fold: poison and plague, and discovering a way to heal the people – then she’ll return to her comfortable life with her sisters, helping with babies and avoiding marriage, shuns from eligible men and the risk of being hurt. Sparks grabs interest from the very first page, and the action never ends. From Gwennie’s growth and discovering her own new skills, to her blossoming under the true admiration that Silas shows for her skills and patience, and the confusion with her own feelings for him and those for the dragon she named “Puff”. With some moments where her naïve and unworldly nature showed in her not putting pieces together that everyone else can see, to the desperation and despair of the King in his need to keep his wife, his love, alive and safe contrasted with the interference from an old enemy designed to cause chaos, the story moves quickly with plenty of moments to love. Visits with characters from earlier books, discovery of family, friends and enemies, and Brody neatly moving through the story with his unique blend of loyalty, shape-shifting and logic and the story is easy to follow. Sparks has explained the most basic of the Embraced legends, and the interconnections between the characters are easy to follow, increasing your interest in reading the earlier titles
Book 3 in the Embraced series, this is Gwennore’s story. She is one of the five young women raised together on an island hidden away because of their special gifts and talents that have been feared in the past. Gwennore is an elf who has the ability to identify an illness and figure out how to treat it. While she is spending time with her some of her sisters who have become queens in different provinces, a young girl in her care is kidnapped by a dragon. Gwen enlists the help of another dragon to follow into a neighboring kingdom. Her kind have long been considered the enemy in the dragon land of Norvekshi. Gwen captivates General Silas Dravenko who desperately needs her help to figure out what illness has befallen his queen who is married to his brother. Silas bargains with her to stay and help and also find a solution for the people of his land who are suffering much from what is thought to be a curse. Since Gwen has been away from the safety of the island, she has been treated with fear and suspicion by the people in her sisters’ new kingdoms although she has never lived with the elves. They seem to have bad relations with their neighbors, near and far. Silas is immediately drawn to Gwen; he is very determined to make her his own. Some aspects of this story are a bit predictable; however, it is still an enjoyable sweet, fantasy romance. The humor in this series gives it a Princess Bride vibe. Dragon shifters are always good fun and make particularly enjoyable heroes.
This is a fantastic addition to the "Embraced" series. The story was well written with great characters and a well developed plot. Gwen was a strong, brave, sweet and protective character. Silas was sexy, smart, brave and charming. I loved the relationship between Gwen & Silas, their attraction was instantaneous. This was a fantastic read that I really enjoyed and highly recommend. I voluntarily received an advanced arc copy through NetGallery for an honest review.
Loved this book
Well, what can I say about this book. I thought it was okay. I don't think I really liked Gwennore as much as I liked the others. Again the Chameleon! He still wants Brigetta?! But why? I'm hoping theres more to it than an infatuation/obsession maybe. I'm STILL wondering if Brody and Maeve are going to get together and I believe Sorcha's book is next and will her tall and handsome stranger be from Norevsha? I look forward to the final books in this series.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks Book Three of The Embraced series Publisher: St. Martin's Press Publication Date: March 27, 2018 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): 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? What I Liked: This is one of those cases in which I'm like, I enjoyed this book buuuuuuuut... I also didn't really care for it. It was an okay read and not terrible but definitely not a new favorite or anything like that. I'm sure others will find this a great addition to the series. But I had a hard time really caring about the female protagonist, Gwenmore, and that can kill enjoyment pretty quickly. But I didn't totally dislike her. Gwenmore is one of the five adopted sisters raised in a convent on a lonely island, and she is the third to leave and face her destiny. One afternoon when she is playing with her little niece, she is captured by a dragon - only to be rescued by another dragon. The dragon takes her to the royal family of Norveshka, where she is taken in by Silas Dravenko, general of the royal army. When he realizes that she is a healer, he asks for her help in getting rid of a curse that has stricken his country for generations. Gwenmore never intended to stay in Norveshka, but how can she leave when she has fallen in love with the charming, smoldering general? Overall I thought Gwenmore was an okay protagonist, though she really got on my nerves at times (see below). I liked that she began to trust in herself as the story went on - and she began to trust Silas (something she doesn't do easily). It was good to see her grow into her gift and herself. She is an innocent girl, with a great deal of power. I loooooooooved Silas. He is flirtatious and roguish, with a very strong sense of honor and selflessness. He never hesitates to save Gwenmore or anyone else, and always puts everyone else first. He may seem confident and full of swagger, but deep inside, he is lonely. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
*ARC (Advance Review Copy) received in exchange for an honest review* Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon is the 3rd book in the Embraced series by Kerrelyn Sparks. This one features Gwennore , (Gwen) and Silas. Gwen ends up in enemy territory, Norveshki, after her niece Eviana is kidnapped by a dragon and Gwen grabs on as they take flight. The dragon is able to shake Gwen off but she is caught mid plunge by another dragon, one that doesn’t appear to have sinister intent. But can Gwen trust him? Gwen and Silas’s story is entertaining and interesting. I liked that Gwen didn’t fall into Silas’s arms. He had to woo her. It was amusing and endearing. We see another side to the Norveshki and I liked learning about its history and why they were at war. This is a story of danger, deception, enlightenment and romance. Silas works for peace for his people and Gwen discovers her ancestry and finally finds a place that she can call home. I thoroughly enjoyed Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Gwennore is an elf who grew up on the isle of moon with her adopted sisters. Now that they are moving away and marrying, Gwennore feels a little lost. However, when she visits them at their kingdoms, some of the locals pick on her. While avoiding more rude locals, a dragon takes her niece, so she jumps on him to try to protect her. Little did she know that her life was about to change. I loved the next adventure in this series. I thought that Siles and Gwennore were there perfect fit for eachother. The story and the characters were very well written and there were a number of funny spots in this book. I can’t wait for the next one. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Totally Worth Breaking Rules For! Like Alice falling through the rabbit hole, as Gwen tries to do a good deed she is whisked away on a magical adventure...one that, unlike Alice, she realizes she doesn't want to return home from. This series just keeps getting more entertaining, leaving me waiting on pins and needles for the next one! Thank You, Ms. Sparks for writing such imaginative tales.
I have all her books and couldnt wait for this new installment but I have to say it's very slow I put it down several times which I normally never do with this author it was okay at best
First off, I want to comment on the model for the cover of the book. Can we say “Yum?” He is what I pictured Silas would look like. Thank you to whoever had to good sense to choose this model. He will help boost sales on this book. I had an “Oops, I did it again” type of hiccup when I signed up to review this book on NetGalley. Usually, if I get the hint that the book is part of series, I look it up on Goodreads and make my decision. As it turns out, I didn’t see the “A novel of the Embraced” on the blurb that NetGalley puts up. Or the series list that Goodreads has. I was distracted when accepting this book. I am glad I did. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon was a great read. I did get lost with some of the references made about the plotlines of the earlier books and the Chameleon. The plotline for Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon was interesting. Gwennore is an Elf who was raised on a secret island with 4 other girls. They all have had the misfortune of being born when the two moons of their world eclipse. Any child who is born when that happens is born with a magical power. Gwennore was watching her adopted sister’s 3-year-old daughter when a dragon suddenly appears and snatches the toddler up. Gwennore clings to the dragon in a desperate attempt to rescue her. After being thrown from the dragon and being caught by another, Gwennore is brought to the land of Novreshka. A land that is dangerous. A land that Gwennore will fight for her life, to get to the bottom of an ancient curse, to heal the people of Novreshka, and for the love of a man who has many secrets. What Gwennore doesn’t know is that her secrets, secrets that have been hidden from her, could be the undoing of everything that she has fought so hard for. I liked Gwennore even though I felt bad for her. She was not accepted outside of her sisters because she was an Elf. That whole scene with those Lords made me mad. She was too sweet to even stick up for herself and she refused to let Brody shift and bite them. I did think that when she spoke Novreshkaish, it was a little odd. But when she told Silas where she learned it from, I laughed. She was speaking like they did centuries before. I liked that she was willing to do anything to find a cure for the curse that was affecting Novreshka. I figured out her parentage fairly early in the book. I did think it took her a little longer to figure out the connection between Puff and Silas. I figured it out before her…lol. I loved Silas. I thought he was awesome the entire book. He would do anything for his family. But if it crossed a line, which kidnapping Gwennore’s niece did, he was willing to right the wrong. He was such a mystery in the first half of the book. I liked how the author gradually leaked his background. His biggest secret, though, I guessed halfway through the book. I like it when the main character can make me laugh. Silas certainly did. He was a cheeky bugger. There is Instalove in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. I don’t like Instalove. I know most people do but I like a believable romance. One where the love is built up. Not one where all it takes is one look and bam, you are in love. Strangely, it does work in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon. But just because it works, doesn’t mean I will start liking Instalove.
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks is book three of The Embraced series. Starting with the third book presented no issues for me, I was able to follow the plot without feeling I was missing things, even when the characters referred to what most likely occurred in past books. Gwennor is an Elf, a race which is the sworn enemy of the Norveshka people. Through happenstance, Gwen finds herself on Norveshka helping General Silas find a cure for the ancient curse afflicting his people. This book was lighthearted, funny and sweet which was such fun for me. The banter between Silas and Gwen and the rest of the characters for that matter kept a smile on my face most of the novel. The couples were adorable. When events were more serious, it never became too dark which was appropriate for the setting. The mystery alongside the love story was quite enjoyable and kept me guessing. What I most liked about it is in a world of mages and shifters, their problems were resolved in part by real-world applications. This approach helped ground the story to reality in unexpected and interesting ways. Any issues I had, which were mainly due to Gwen being slightly too naive for my taste, was due to personal preferences. I was able to overlook it and have a good time reading Gwen and Silas's story. They were well paired and quite sexy. I received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own and may not be identical to others. I urge all readers to come to their own conclusions.
I will not restate the plot nor reveal any spoilers in this review. Kerrelyn Sparks has written an interesting and unforgettable novel about dragon shifters. The characters are well-defined and well-rounded with a great degree of depth. EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON is full of romance and suspense. I also found it to be very humorous. There are other books that take place prior to this one, however this book reads as a stand alone. That being said, this storyline continues as not all issues have been laid to rest. Overall, an excellent read with a great premise.
What a gem! Take one sweet heroine, a charming flirtatious alpha hero, a unique paranormal world and a dash of intrigue (with some dragon dating rules on the side LOL) and you’ve got the fantastic Book 3 in The Embraced series! I was a bit worried because it was apparent right away that there was quite a bit of back story with the first 2 books. But Kerrelyn Sparks does an amazing job summing it up so you’re not left feeling lost. So, this can definitely be read as a standalone and is from alternate POV. Gwen is a self-conscious elf with low self esteem due to past prejudices. Even so, she has an inner strength that, as the story progresses, helps her build confidence. Which definitely comes in handy because she has a lot on her plate. Having medicinal skills and healing powers make Gwen uniquely suited to help a desperate Silas find answers to a family curse. On top of that, it’s apparent that the people are suffering from some ailment that could mean the demise of a people. Gwen can’t ignore the problems if she can help in any way. So between navigating her new surroundings as the only elf in a foreign kingdom and striving to find answers to a mysterious curse, she’s a busy gal! But she’s determined…and of course drooling all over the gorgeous general Silas doesn’t help. LOL While Gwen is completely endearing, Silas, in my opinion, really makes the story shine. He’s a protective mischievous alpha male who’s quick to playfully tease and smile. But he’s not all games. He’s strong, thoughtful and willing to put himself on the line to do the right thing for his family and the kingdom. I was constantly looking forward to Silas’s POV. His charisma drew me in and held me fast from start to finish! Gwen and Silas were made for each other. They had some serious chemistry and as time passed they slowly come to the realization that they can’t be apart. The two characters played off each other beautifully and kept me invested in them as a couple. I was also impressed with the world building. There is a romance but it doesn’t overshadow the plot either. This balance left room for the secondary characters to thrive and gain depth. I adored the secondary characters! There were a couple of slightly cheesy scenes that seemed a bit out of place and random; but not terrible. It’s the only reason I brought the rating down half a star. Ultimately this was a truly fun read that I’d recommend to any and all paranormal romance junkies! I for one have now added Books 1 and 2 to my leaning tower of TBR list. I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This review was voluntary and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
I enjoyed reading this third installment of the Embraced series. I can't wait for Sorcha and the elves.
Wow once again the Author Kerrelyn Sparks enthralls the reader with a dynamic suspenseful entertaining read. Her intriguing presentation of the Norveshka and the dragons who protect them is described in brilliant detail that immediately draws the reader into the plot of the book. The humor of Puff and Silas, Lord General, add the chuckles to this story as they remind Gwennore about Eight Simple Steps for Dating A Dragon in slow steps. Gwen starts out with no confidence and throughout the book she becomes fearless and most entertaining as she fights to resist her feelings for Silas. Her need to help others endures her to those close to her. But what I really admire about her character is her ability to continually help others who scorn and dislike her. This book has a lesson for everyone. It doesn't matter what others think about you it only matters what you think about yourself. I am excited that this series keeps getting better and better and am anxiously waiting for the next books to this series about the other two sisters. I give this 5 BIG STARS for being so brilliantly written.
Rule number 1: When a Dragon takes you for a ride, hold on tight and never let go. Alright, to start off, this is book three in a series. I didn't know this when I got my hands on the book. Figured it out very quickly, however. As a positive note, it worked just fine as a standalone, but I will be going back and reading the first two so the little blanks are all filled in. I'll try not to spoil too much of the book, just give an overview. When I got the book, I figured I was picking up the typical 'forbidden because we're enemies' romance novel (which I love, let me say); as it turns out, I got that AND comedy. I was blown away by the humor that was presented in this book. I absolutely love it! The big, bad ass dragon isn't some dark and broody lout (though he tries REAL hard sometimes to be), but someone full of humor and good nature. A choice I didn't expect, certainly, but that I found I loved. To set the stage a bit... There are 5 gifted girls all raised together in a convent away from most of the world. The first two books were for one of the sisters each to find the loves of their lives and become queens. This third is about Gwennore, the only elf of the five girls who's gift is being able to know someone's ailment (ALL of that someone's ailments, actually) simply from touching them. She winds up 'accidentally' kidnapped by dragons who take her to their queen who just so happens to be both mad and dying. General Silas is Gwen's counterpart in all of this, and starts off as her only support in this strange world she finds herself in. Quickly, however, Gwen gathers to her many friends and allies and grows into her own shoes while she helps look for a cure for both the madness plaguing this country's sovereigns and the infertility of the entire population. We meet several dragons, some lovely trolls, talking trees, and a few crazy people along the way, and the story is a fun ride from start to finish (see rule #1). Though it can be read alone, it's obvious this is part of a series and there is an overarching story plot. Characters from the first books play an active roll in this third installment, and not just as flashbacks. I received an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.
A fast, fun read in keeping with the rest of the series. Unfortunately there was instalove, but at least the hero of the story was not brooding or cruel to the heroine. Because they basically got along from the start, with a few bumps, the physical attraction was believable. Even if declaring love and getting engaged was a bit of a stretch. I really like that Gwen lacked confidence, and gained more as the story went on. I also liked that the villain and his plan has become more complicated.The conflict has gone from one dimensional to layered and harder to beat. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
This book was just a whole lot of fun! I have been a huge fan of this series since I read an early copy of the first book so I was really looking forward to this newest installment. The fact that I knew that there would be dragons in the book made it all just a little bit better. I went into this book with some pretty high expectations and I am happy to report that they were all met. I read most of this book in a single sitting because I didn't want to put the book down. This is the third book in the Embraced series and while this book could be read as a stand alone, I do think that this is a series that works best read in order whenever possible. I have grown to love the characters that appear in this series and had a nice time seeing how some of them are doing. This book focuses on Gwennore and it was really nice to get to know her better in this story. I really like Brody's character and was happy to find that he played a large role in this story as well. Gwennore is an elf and like her adopted sisters she has a special power due to her birth date. She has the ability to determine the cause of an illness through touch which makes healing possible. She has a close relationship with her sister's daughter and doesn't hesitate to put her life on the line to protect the child when she is kidnapped by a dragon. Gwennore soon learns that she can speak to dragons and forms a bond with her rescuer, Puff. Silas is highly respected and carries himself with authority. He is also very easy on the eyes and is the kind of man that can make things happen. He has decided to watch over Gwennore while she is at the castle and takes on the role of protector. With her skills as healer, she can help the people of his country along with the queen. I loved Silas and Gwennore together. I really thought that all of their feelings towards each other felt completely authentic. Silas is able to see things in Gwennore that others have missed. She is used to be treated poorly because she is an elf so she is surprised to find that Silas is genuinely interested. They had a lot of chemistry together and I loved the spark that seemed to fill the page when they shared a scene. I would recommend this series to others. This was a book that brought a big smile to my face as I turned the pages. I loved that there was just a bit of humor mixed into the story at just the right times. I cannot wait to read more books in this fun series. I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press.
This was such a fun and entertaining story. The banter between Gwennore and Silas was fun to watch. He was such a jokester with depth. Gwen didn’t know what to think of his teasing and so she couldn’t take him seriously; she much preferred the dragon she named Puff to the General, which irked Silas something fierce. There are so many secrets in the land of Norveshka that Gwen finds it hard to trust anyone there and it doesn’t help that Silas’ method of keeping their working relationship a secret is by letting the courtiers think that she is his mistress. She has never been accepted by people other than her adopted sisters, so the snide comments and cruel rumors about her makes her desperate to go home. Silas knows he wants her, but he also knows that she doesn’t want to stay, but when spies are discovered and then murdered, and the truth about the Ancient Ones true curse comes to light, he knows that there is no one else he wants by his side through it all then Gwen. He just has to convince her to trust in him and not a dragon and he has to do it without revealing the best kept secret of his people-the true origin of the dragons. Too bad Gwen is too smart for her own good.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have to say first that I'm impressed. This book is clearly part of a series, and it's not often that I never feel lost when I jump into the middle of the action, as it were. There was enough background that I didn't feel the need to stop reading, go find the first two and finish them before starting the book from the beginning (it has happened, and those days were dark). But on the flip side, there were enough details that I found myself curious about the first two books in the series, so I probably will go back and read them at some point. That's a skill, and not every author has it. This is probably the first Kerrelyn Sparks book that I've read, and I enjoyed it. It was a beach read, with a good blend of romance and plot.The execution was good, the writing solid from a technical perspective. The dual POV worked well (and that's something I usually find choppy so VERY well done there) and it moves at a brisk pace so it's a quick read. I found myself wondering toward the end when the next book would be out, so Ms Sparks is effective at moving forward the overarching plot of the series without losing sight of the story she's telling now. Another rare skill. That's not to say the book is perfect. I have some issues with the title (it would make more sense on an urban fantasy or modern fantasy romance given the pop culture reference, and that's what I was expecting when I picked the book up and started reading). There were anachronisms throughout the book, usually when a carefully constructed rhythm of language was thrown off with a modern phrase. The world building was pretty thin- there were a few times when it felt like it would break if I breathed on it too hard. If this book were classified as a fantasy I'd be harsher but hey, it's a romance novel first and a fantasy novel second which means I'm less inclined to nitpick. There are a lot of romance series with fantasy underpinnings that don't lay the groundwork for a fantastical universe the way they'd need to if the books were located in a different genre and that's pretty much fine with me but if that's not your cup of tea consider yourself warned. Overall an enjoyable way to spend a rainy evening. Come for the romance, stay for the happy ever after and enjoy the dragons along the way.
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!! ***I choose what I read and review based on what intrigues me!! Yes, I got a review copy of this book, but no one tells me what to think, feel, or write about any book! I’m getting the paperback because sometimes it is more cost effective to get paperback!!! The cover is steamy! I love it! This is the 3rd book in this series, and it is for adults only due to violence and steamy content. I highly recommend reading each book in order because it is so much better when you know all the characters and how close they are. I devoured this book, and I couldn’t put it down! I really love this series! It has it all magic, special powers, shifters, fae, twin moons, and so much more! I love the sisters, and this is Gwennore’s story. So much going on in this book and Gwennore and her gifts are out to help. My heart goes out to Gwen and how cruel people can be based on her race. All your favorite people are in the story especially Brody because he is always there when you need him. Now I have a couple others to add Dmitri and Aleski because they rock too! Silas though is the best because he is always there to rescue Gwen whether it is from attack or cruel words. I loved this exciting read! So much going on that you are pulled into the story, and I loved every second! I haven’t read a book by Kerrelyn Sparks that I haven’t loved! Her books are full of life, mystery, twists and turns, and most importantly love! This world is amazing, and I can’t wait to be immersed in it again! I highly recommend to any paranormal fans who love complex worlds filled with paranormal beings and magic! I can’t wait to read more of this world!
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. 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? Review: A little fun, a little sexy, a little action = a great book! I liked this book as much if not more than the first two books and I really liked them.. This time around we have Gwennore who lets herself be kidnapped to protect her niece, who is taken by a dragon. I am going to try to give a spoiler free review, so things might sound a little vague...sorry. Gwennore ends up in Norveshka where everything is not as it seems. Children are being stolen because the King and Queen cannot have any. There is a curse and poison. A populstion being ravaged by the plague. Dragons, trolls and shapeshifters. At the heart of the story is the slow building romance between Gwen and Silas. It is at times, sexy, sweet, and full of heart. A very well rounded and engaging story. This story is a continuation of an ongoing story line, but they can totally be read as stand alone titles. For myself, I would read them in order to get the most of the. I am really enjoying this series and cannot wait for Sorcha's story. 4.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*