Genre Time Travel Romance Published 21 April 2013 Publisher Amari Press Series Bestiary Series book one
A Maiden Wrenched back in time through the magical power of an old dragon tapestry found in a vintage clothing store, Jill Donahue lands in an ancient medieval town where the villagers decide to sacrifice her to the local dragon. As if the threat of being eaten alive by a giant flying lizard isn’t bad enough, she learns there’s a curse surrounding the tapestry and she has to break it in order to get back to her time.
A Dragon Baelin of Gosforth is a valiant knight who has been cursed by a vindictive witch to live as a dragon for eleven months out of each year. Now he has thirty days to break the curse or he turns back into a fire-breathing beast and, as much as he hates to admit it, he needs Jill’s help to do it.
And A Curse Forced to face many challenges along the way—from the harsh world they travel through to the fiery passion they both try to deny—each is determined to break the curse so the other can get their happily-ever-after. And it just might work, if Jill can manage to overlook the fire-breathing, bat-winged remnants of Baelin’s dragon half long enough to see the man beneath the beast and get the job done.
The Urban Book Thief Review
A few years back I used to have this day dream where I would fall down Alice’s rabbit hole and find myself submerged in a magical kingdom where valiant knights battled each other for my fair hand, preferably on horseback and most definitely spinning a sonnet or two on my behalf. They also got very hot and sweaty doing this and I would offer to give them a run down and… you get the picture. So when I saw this sitting on the Netgalley website, I knew I had to read it. Knew it.
Unfortunately, this book is not the reenactment of my long lost dream.
For those of you who never grew out of watching old Disney Princess films, and squee with joy even now when a rerun of Sleeping Beauty or The Little Mermaid is on – this book won’t fufil those flights of fancy either.
Because this is so much better. This is for adults – hoo-frickin-ya!!!
It’s full of the old cliches, dashing knights who blush at the sight of a bare ankle and backwater English parishes complete with village idiot and obligatory village strumpet. Plus true to form in any time travel romance, we also have the unlucky (but secretly lucky), female protagonist with a barrel full of snark and lashings of contemporary wit up her sleeves – all too ready to share the odd joke or two about how backwards people in the past are. Not so original I admit, but after the first couple of chapters (don’t stop reading!) everything starts to change. The more we see of Jill, the more her snarkiness diminishes and the more I grew to like her.
Jill – you rock girlfriend.
She’s a Philly girl, modern, fun loving and out shopping for a last minute birthday present for her young niece. Providence arrives in the form of a quaint antiques shop where she is talked into purchasing a tapestry of a dragon from a crazy old lady.
Time travel romance 101 – never buy anything from crazy ladies… tutt-tutt.
Then before she can click her heels together and shout Jiminy Cricket, Jill lands feet first back in ye olde England. Not only that, but this version of history is a wee bit different – here there be dragons. Evil, bad-ass dragons. Unfortunately, a stunned Jill is seen falling out of the sky by pitchfork wielding villagers who quickly intervene and offer her up as a (born again) virgin sacrifice to their local dragon.
Oh the humanity…
“You… you were a dragon. And now, you… you’re a man.”
Jill’s addled mind tried to wrap itself around what she’d seen happen. She couldn’t do it. It was all too unreal. So her frazzled brain grabbed onto the nearest thought it could, inappropriate and irrational though it was.
“You perverted flying lizard. You saw me naked!”
Say hello to Sir Baelin who is partial to naked ladies and shiny silver treasure. He’s a knight extraordinaire and way macho to boot. We quickly find out that he’s under a spell to live as a dragon for eleven months of the year. This spell can only be undone by a virgin maiden from the local village during the one month he gets to spend as a human. Sadly, the ladies of medieval England are not interested. They haven’t been interested for 200 years! Poor Baelin, fast forward a century and the women would go cray-cray over you.
Alas – maidens are completely put off helping him when they find out they have to undergo three tests. No one knows what the tests involve, other than that they will be a testament to all of the knightly values of valor, integrity etcetera, etcetera.
Luckily for Baelin, Jill is up to the challenge. But are her motivations pure? Is she playing him so that she can return to the future or does she actually care for him? Halfway through the book they reluctantly join forces with Sir Roderick the dragon slayer and his squire, which added some romantic tension to the pot. But who wants some boring old knight when there’s a fire breathing dragon to be had?!?
These tests are frickin brutal – and this is exactly why I was surprised with this book. I just didn’t see this level of intensity coming into play. It sucked me right into the book, hook, line and sinker. It was a super quick read for me. Easy, wholesome fun with a squeaky clean ending. Superb.
The Urban Book Thief has awarded Fire of the Dragon a kiss factor rating of four – crank up the flames!