Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (Embraced - Book 3) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Publication Date: 03/27/2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Imprint: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448

(Received for an honest review from St. Martin's Paperbacks via Netgalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Kerrelyn Sparks on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

1.) How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
2.) So I Married a Sorcerer
3.) Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature



Gwennore is an Elf able to track down the cause of a certain illness and heal it―a valuable asset to her people. But when she is thrust into the realm of the dragons, she discovers a haunted place of power, passion, and magic―one that is plagued by an ancient curse. When she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, Gwen knows she’s entered a whole new world of trouble. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon. So why does making a deal with the devil feel so good?

Silas has no way of saving the royal family he’s served for years. But when a beautiful, innocent elf comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to desire in a way he’s never felt before. But how can he trust a sworn enemy. . .and how can he live without her, in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks.


Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon is the third book in Kerrelyn Sparks' Embraced series. The Moon goddess has imparted special abilities to certain chosen people and they are called the 'embraced' but they are often treated with prejudice and disdain. Sparks has created a world that will draw the reader in. Mystery abounds, as well as, love. Readers looking for a series that is fantasy but doesn't require a glossary will love this one. And dragons and elves are really cool. *wink*

What I liked:

This is a book that I wouldn't consider a stand alone. There is so much to the mythology and world building of the series that readers will miss without the background from the previous books in the series. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon is a wonderful continuation of that world. Sparks has a real knack for creating customs and beliefs that readers can relate to even in a paranormal fantasy series. The plot itself for this particular novel is very engrossing. The idea of a mad queen who steals children to replace those she has lost is intriguing to say the least. There is everything from political intrigue to curses and poison. This one makes the reader delve deep and 'embrace' the culture of the people. 

Sparks also does something I consider difficult when it comes to writing. She is able to set a tone for the book that is both lighthearted and hopeful even though it centers around plague and infertility. It is often hard to strike the right balance that both excites readers but also convey's the seriousness of the situation. The right amount of humor is essential to pulling this off and I believe Sparks was able to do that with great success in this one. 

This book is part mystery and part love story. The characters Sparks brings us in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon, are charismatic and mysterious. Gwen is a woodlyn elf with the embraced ability to diagnose diseases with the touch of a hand. Silas is a dragon shifter with plenty of secrets. Readers can feel the tension between the two from their first meeting. I'm not one to fall for instant love in a book, but Silas makes it believable. He falls fast and hard but is not overbearing with it. Gwen was a bit naive and it took her awhile to realize that Silas and Puff the dragon were one and the same. I was glad that Sparks chose to build the relationship a bit before throwing them into a steamy scene. It was worth the wait and readers will find their relationship much more believable because of it.

What I didn't like:

First of all, I think this is a great series and I love Sparks' writing. This one continued the plot of the overall series, but it left a lot to the imagination. We don't know much about Gwen's past, she remains mostly mysterious throughout the novel. She is essential to solving the mystery of what is going on in the land of Norveshka, but the reader doesn't find out if her tonic works or not by the end. There is a short epilogue but it is not set far enough in the future to tie up any loose ends. I felt like Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon asked more questions than it answered. Part of that is because it is not a stand alone novel and i'm a sucker for having things tied up with a bow. Regardless, it was still an excellent novel. 

My only other problem with this one is simply a pet peeve. Why in the world would you give your dragon  shifter a very sexy intriguing name like Silas and then name his dragon Puff? Thoughts of Puff the Magic Dragon were strong in parts of this novel and I had to really concentrate on the plot to keep from humming the tune in my head lol... Not exactly what i think you are looking for in a romantic lead. Otherwise Silas was spectacular in every way. 

Bottom Line:

If you've read the other books in the series, this one will only leave you wanting more. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon has a strong plot, a very intriguing mystery component. It is a love story and Sparks' is never at a loss when it comes to that. Her world building here, is simply amazing and though I still had questions at the end of the novel, it definitely hit the spot. Just makes me anxious for the next one and if you think about it... that's the right idea isn't it?

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag. 

About the Author:

Kerrelyn Sparks apparently has issues with reality. After writing more than a dozen books about vampires, she has now completely gone off the deep end and wound up on another planet. But how thrilling that she can share this magical new world with her readers! Although she is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters. To learn more about her paranormal, historical, and upcoming out-of-this-world fantasy romances, please visit Kerrelyn on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

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