Friday, October 10, 2014

Dragon Revealed by Nulli Para Ora

What do you do when you can't stop yourself from becoming something you hate?

Tarial is changing. She knows what she'll become and she despises it. Half human, half dragon, duty demands she make use of the magic of her heritage.

But when an unexpected guest enters her life, everything she knows will be challenged.

Will his unique view alter her perspective? Can she hide the evidence of her ancestry, find love, and live a normal life? After a lifetime of denial, can she truly cage her dragon? Find out in Dragon Revealed.

Where to Buy

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book going into it, and having finished it I'm not sure if it was what I wanted it to be. I had faith that it would be good because I've never been very disappointed with any of this author's works, and I wasn't disappointed with this one either. Rich characters that come alive and pull you into their story combined with a steady pacing that keeps you engaged and turning the pages make this a fairly quick and entertaining read. Still, as I read, I found myself wanting something more -- though I'm not sure I could say what exactly.

Tarial is a character that is almost immediately very easy to relate to for anyone that's ever felt outcast or who experiences low self-esteem or self-hatred for any reason. The story starts off with her making a heartbreaking discovery and her initial reaction shows us very early on the sort of emotional pain she's had to live with most of her life. Her subsequent reactions demonstrate how she hides her pain and vulnerability behind a facade of anger and rudeness. It soon becomes clear that she is so used to maintaining the facade that she has no real idea how to respond to people in a non-bitchy manner let alone a friendly one. Her interactions with Lohin steadily begin to wear away her gruff exterior until it all but vanishes. By the end, it would seem that she's finally learned to accept herself and her heritage, though to what extent she has truly taken it to heart remains a bit up for debate I think.

Lohin is a mystery man from the first time we see him. He is blind, yet eminently capable, perhaps a bit uncannily so. He employs many tricks and strategies for moving about his environment with relative ease that will be familiar to most people with any knowledge of the blind I think, and yet at times you have to wonder if his other senses could really be so acute as they seem to be. The most impressive thing about him, however, and the thing that quickly endears him to the reader is the way in which he treats Tarial with respect and acceptance of her differences while at the same time refusing to put up with her attempts to treat him with the same sort of haughty attitude she gives to everyone else. He is very much a alpha male sort, though he's not a jerk about it, instead he simply demands to be treated with the same respect that she wishes him to accord her. It doesn't take long for him to become the catalyst for change that Tarial needs to finally find at least some measure of self-acceptance, nor does it take long for him to show her what happiness can be.

I found Tarial and Lohin's interactions to be quite fascinating, not to mention scorchingly hot when they finally get together (and yes, that is hot with a capital HAWT). There is something of a fated mates sort of attraction to their chemistry together, but it's not all sunshine and roses for them because of it. The road they have to take to find their way to one another is a rough one, full of many pitfalls, missteps and blowups. While some of their fights and reactions to one another are a bit predictable and you always know that they'll kiss (or more) and make up in short order, the scenes still manage to feel fresh and avoid becoming too cliché.

So what was it that bothered me in it that left me vaguely dissatisfied with it? I think in part it might be that it often couldn't seem to make up it's mind if it was a story about Tarial and Lohin or if it was a story about something that involved them but was about more than them. This is only really a problem because of it's relatively short length. In a longer work there is plenty of room for the story to wander around and explore various major and minor story arcs, but in a shorter work like this it really needs to stay more focused on one arc. That's not to say that there can't be more than one story arc going on, but it needs to stay fairly tightly focused. This story does do reasonably well with the focus, for the majority of the focus is on Tarial and Lohin where it really should be, and yet some of the other stories that are going on around them in the background distract the flow just a little too much at times I think. My confused reaction arises, I think, from the fact that at least one of the other story arcs that's being teased at all along proves to be fairly interesting, enough so that I almost wish the story had been more about that than about a fairly predictable (but hot...did I say it was HOT?) romance. Perhaps it will take more prominence in later books if the author continues the series.

My criticisms aside, I did truly enjoy reading this book and my rating reflects that. Fans of paranormal romance, shapeshifters, and fantasy alike will all probably find something to like here. Come for the great character studies and stay for the endearing romance, hot sex, and intriguing side plots that hint at becoming main plots later on. 4 solid stars and a definite "would recommend" to this one.

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