Dragon Actually—G. A. Aiken
"All I want is for her to suffer a painful, horrifying death. And for her head to be on a spike in front of my castle. That's all I want." (105)Part of Vaginal Fantasy Rewind
Back on the VF Rewind track. Although to be somewhat fair to myself, I read this several weeks ago and just haven't had the wherewithal to actually write about it. So expect a slew of posts in succession.
Annwyl hasn't had an easy time of it as a female warrior, not to mention with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. She's intent on fighting her despot brother for the throne, and she has plenty of followers to help her. Of course, things get off track a bit when she stumbles upon a dragon and is held in his lair. Luckily enough, there also happens to be a hot man who stunningly is only around when the dragon is not, and who helps Annwyl prepare for the battle of her life. Oh, and also helps rid her of that pesky virginity. (Because what's a period romance tale without a lady and her "intact maidenhead"?) Things are actually going along fine, and Annwyl barely even remembers that she's actually supposed to leave the cave to rescue the people from her brother, but then comes the reveal...Fearghus is not only a man, but also a wizard. And a dragon, actually.
Ugh, this cover. I mean, accurate for the type of book that it ends up being—having read this over three weeks ago, I barely remembered the actual plot of the book other than Fearghus being a secret dragon and getting sweaty with Annwyl—but still. This book was unremarkable in my mind. The writing was not great, and downright lazy at times. I remember making a note to myself on page 59 (ebook version), "Are we going to get anywhere?" It felt as if I were in a nonstop loop of chatting with the dragon and fighting (and other verbs starting with "f") with the man. The fact that it felt like a nonstop loop when I was barely 50 pages into the book is a great indicator of my general feelings throughout the remainder. Not to mention, the version I got from the library said that it was 352 pages, so when I was halfway through, it seemed like the story was basically over. That's because it was basically over—the book version also includes Flames and Chains, which is a story about Fearghus's parents. I made a note to myself on page 181, which was pretty close to where Dragon Actually ends which said, "What now? There's still almost half of the book left and what meager conflicts and plotlines were introduced have been resolved." So that was an interesting surprise.
Not shockingly, there were some unhealthy issues with the relationship between Annwyl and Fearghus which, shockingly, had little to nothing to do with him being a dragon shapeshifter. At a certain point, Annwyl goes to confront Fearghus's mother, because apparently that's a thing with dragons, and when she comes back, Fearghus holds her underwater in the bath to punish her for doing so. Lovely. After that, they engage in some make up loving, and there is this description of that night, "A few times she'd wake to find him inside of her." To which I noted, "The fuck?" Dude, you're not allowed to enter someone when they're sleeping. That's a big fat no no. Because, guess what? Nobody can give consent while asleep.
I have nothing else to say about this book, because it was unmemorable and blah for me. But another book marked off the VF Rewind list! So that's something.
The Hangout for this month! I really liked the main, Succubus Blues (thoughts on that coming soon), to the point that I read the other five books in the series within a matter of days. But as previously mentioned, this one was blah for me. Onward!