by Elisabeth Drake, fantasy (2007)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 1-59578-295-8
Elisabeth Drake's A Passion Draconic is a fantasy romance where our werejaguar heroine, Shaiandral of Clan Sharteka, feels obligated by her Healer's Oath to answer the summons from her enemies, the weredragons. The Dragonlord Veren lies dying and naturally our heroine feels that she has to save him. She shows up just in time to realize that a demon has possessed the Demonlord's body and now that the Demonlord is about to kick the bucket, Mr Demon here wants either a new host or his current host all fixed up. Because this is a paranormal romance where all roads lead straight up to Destination Choo-Choo Magic Land between our heroine's legs, it's shag or Satan for poor Shaiandral here. It's something to do with the amazing effectiveness of tantric magic, I believe. Or maybe it's just Shaiandral's Choo-Choo Magic Land that's effective, I don't know.
However, after that Choo-Choo thing is done away with and Shaiandral is forced to play with Veren, things take the turn for the more animalistic as our main characters happily behave in manners that... well, let's just say that the hero and the heroine actually fight over a tapir so we are talking about animals here. I like this, actually, because there is a campy and exaggerated tinge to the violence and hate-love saga comparable to why I often enjoy watching bad B-grade horror movies: it's fun in an "Oh my god, I don't believe this!" manner.
However, I'm not sure about the love Shaiandral and Veren are supposed to have between them since Ms Drake has them too busy going through the love/hate cycle for the supposed love between them to be believable. Still, that won't be so bad were not for the fact that A Passion Draconic becomes increasingly joyless to read as Ms Drake amps up the skanky sex scenes and ridiculous villainy from the bad guys. I also don't know whether to laugh or not when one of the villains is called Ice Bitch.
I feel like I'm being tested as I read A Passion Draconic because the author seems to be throwing scenes after scenes calculated to shock at me. The problem is, the heroine gets more tortured and bruised up as the story continues and alpha male hero behavior gives way to too many skanky joyless antics from the villains. Therefore, this story soon comes off more like a tale designed to shock me. Well, I'm fine with that if I am, say, watching horror films which are supposed to shock me. On the other hand, I'd prefer a little more romance to go with the skanky scenes of violence and what not in my romance novels. A Passion Draconian has too many draconian creatures and not enough passion for me.
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