by Denise Lynn, paranormal (2009)
Silhouette Nocturne, $4.99, ISBN 978-0-373-61805-7
Dragon's Lair has druids that also happen to be dragons. Sorry, Dragons - the capital D makes all the difference, I guess. Since these Dragons assume human form instead of parading around with claws and scales, I don't know why they have to be Dragons, but I guess mixing and matching paranormal traits is all the rage nowadays.
So we have Alexia Reve-Drake, who is on the run when the story opens because she has in her possession a very important grimoire. Bad guys are after all, apparently because the grimoire will allow the owner to become the true Dragon that will rule the Isle of Mirabilus. I'm just quoting from the story, by the way. The world building is vague in this book and clearly I'm missing something because this one feels like a sequel of some book that I haven't read. At any rate, Alexia runs to her estranged husband Braeden for protection. He is, naturally, the Dragon. Alas, unknown to Alexia, her running to her husband is exactly what the villain wants her to do...
Alexia and Braeden are estranged due to the double combo of a miscarriage and plenty of communication breakdown. Then again, Braeden is a terrible fellow when it comes to communication. He is written as an alpha male who, in this story, refuses to open up to Alexia until much, much later in the book. Therefore, he comes off as very cold and uncaring for the most part. Worse, he speaks very patronizingly towards Alexia, and when she wants to talk to him, he will take off his clothes and show her the almighty dragon dong. Alexia will then pitifully wail, no, not the dragon dong, because she's too weak to resist the dragon dong. Braeden uses her pathetic lust for him to manipulate her, shut her down, and make her do things his way. Thus, I have a hard time believing the happy ending, because Braeden is just not good at opening up to the wife, while Alexia is the person who will fly off the rails and become unhinged if she thinks that she has made her husband unhappy in any way. These two is trouble waiting to happen.
To top it off, Braeden's creepy old aunt hates Alexia. There is just too much trouble needed to have a happy ending with Braeden. Were not for the contrived mate-mate-mate bond thing that forces Alexia to be associated with Braeden forever, there isn't any believable reason for her to stay with him once her troubles are over. The Drakes, as a clan, are just too high-maintenance to be worth it.
Alexia tries to get her husband to open up, which is nice, but as I've mentioned, she's quite pathetic in that the husband only has to unzip his pants and she'd automatically put out to him while feeling angry inside for being unable to resist him. Her sex scenes with Braeden aren't erotic because these scenes are Braeden's way of getting the last word over her. The love thing at the last chapter feels more like a woman finally being into subjugation by the uncaring and cold alpha male.
Dragon's Lair is too heavy on the mate-mate-mate thing and too light on believable romance for my liking. Fans of the stone-cold alpha male may find Braeden an appealing hero, but I think everyone else may want to approach this one with some degree of caution.
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