This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #1
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include What a Dragon Should Know, Last Dragon Standing, About a Dragon, The Dragon Who Loved Me, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy, Supernatural, Light My Fire, Feel the Burn.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
First in the Dragon Kin paranormal romance series.
Originally published as To Challenge a Dragon. It also contains “Chains and Flames” which introduces us to the courting days of Fearghus’ parents.
The best I can say of this start to the series is that it is all about dragons. I did enjoy Aiken’s (a.k.a., Shelly Laurenston) totally dragon perspective. For the rest, it could use some work. Aiken’s writing in this is pretty juvenile and I would like to see it raised up to at least her usual standard.
I’m normally pretty OCD about reading stories in chronological order and I was pretty miffed when I started reading “Chains and Flames”, but by the time I finished it, it made sense in an odd way that we met their children first and then were given the backstory.
Dragon Actually is a fun story about a solitary dragon who meets his match in Annwyl the Bloody. She’s brash and aggressive and it’s her lack of fear that first attracts Fearghus. And she fully intends to take her half-brother, Lorcan, down. Just not quite the way Fearghus intends to take her. Down.
“Chains and Flames” explains the chains used in Dragon Actually with this back story on how Bercelak and Rhiannon met and took the dragon throne from her nasty mother. This story is funnier and caused me to reconsider the rating I had intended. In this, I realized that the series’ saving grace is the dragon perspective on life.
For even more back backstory, read Everlasting Bad Boys: Can’t Get Enough. It’s a short story about Ailean the Slut and Shalin, Bercelak’s parents (Dragon Kin, 0.5).
Annwyl the Bloody is the bastard sister of King Lorcan, the Butcher of Garbhán Isle. Brastias is the general of the Dark Plains rebellion and Annwyl’s second-in-command. Danelin is Brastias’ second.
Fearghus the Destroyer is a black dragon who just wants to be left alone. Morfyd is one of his sisters, a white dragon, in disguise as a healer. Bercelak is also a black dragon and Fearghus’ father. A battle-dragon. Rhiannon is a white dragon, the Queen of Dragons, and Fearghus’ mother.
Gwenvael (a gold dragon), Briec, and Éibhear are his brothers while Keita is Fearghus’ sister.
Hefaidd-Hen is a very powerful wizard employed by Lorcan. Poor Lorcan. Hefaidd-Hen has his own secrets, his own agenda.
In “Chains and Flames”, add Queen Addiena, Rhiannon’s bitch of a mother.
Bercelak’s father, Ailean, is a source of great embarrassment for he is a dragon slut. And Bercelak has no idea how his mother Shalin puts up with him. Maelona is his youngest sister and a green while Ghleanna is a black; Addolgar is an older brother and lent Bercelak the chains he used with Rhiannon.
The Cover and Title
The typical romance cover with a naked, muscled torso, his head turned at an angle looking up as the wind blows his long black hair away from his head.
The title is actually about dragons, Dragons Actually. Nothing but dragons…well, except for the odd human tossed in.