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Just Charm Publishing
on Oct. 09, 2013 :
This was a nice touch to the beauty and the beast angle; certainly with all the passion and lust that we always imagined between the two historical characters. I’d say Isabelle was a pretty lucky lady to even be given to the dragon, considering she wasn’t really “the beauty of the village”, but simply “ the only marriageable girl left.” I enjoyed this whimsical tale, predictable or not. I found it entertaining.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on Nov. 20, 2011 :
As tradition goes, when the old dragon that protects the village dies, the new dragon protector demands a price--a young virgin bride. As the only eligible woman in the village, Isabelle is given to the dragon. This story starts with Isabelle waiting for the dragon to come and take her away. He swoops in and carries her away to his mountainside lair and immediately performs a marriage ceremony. Poof...they are now husband and wife. Next up is the honeymoon night, but Julian, that big, fierce, sweetie of a dragon shifter, doesn't want to push his virgin bride into anything too soon. He turns out to be actually very sweet, tender, and considerate to her from the get go and I found myself really starting to like this character. As you might guess, Isabelle soon begins to have an "unfamiliar but growing desire" towards her brand-spanking new hubby and she wants to be a "good wife" so she overcomes her fears and romance ensues.
I felt the scope of this story was a little too big for the length. It felt very rushed. She is given to a dragon, he carries her off to his cave, marries her, there's some heavy petting/oral sex, she starts to have feelings for him, he calls her "my love", he fights a dragon, they consummate their marriage, and by the next night after she arrives she is in love, cue HEA...the end. I think this all happens in about the space of 24 hours or less. A longer story that could explore the plot and emotions even just a little more would have made a more believable romance for me. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a longer story then rushed the rest of the way through it. I wanted to know more about Julian and his back story and more about the village/dragon relationship. I also needed more connection between the main characters to buy into the romance.
I think it is difficult to do a romance in a short story length as a lot depends on making a connection between the characters, which can take time. There wasn't much dialogue in this story either--Julian doesn't really say much at all for the first half of the story--and that made it even more difficult to get that connection.
This story is categorized as an erotic short story but to be honest, I don't really think it qualifies as erotic. I would probably classify it as the spicier end of a regular paranormal romance. This is my opinion and yours may vary. There were only two sex scenes and only one was consummated and it was fairly short. The door was open but the description and language was not as graphic as I usually see in erotic romances and in some parts a little on the euphemistic side. That is not a complaint, just a description of what to expect. One issue I did have was that Isabelle was a virgin and when they did finally have sex, the scene didn't really reflect that at all.
On the technical side, there were some typos of course, but not an excessive amount, maybe about 8-10, but in a short story that amount stands out. There was also an odd hyphen thing going on and I don't know if it was intentional or a formatting glitch. It was quite frequent and kind of distracting.
Even though I have mentioned quite a few things above (and wow, I think this is officially the longest review I've ever done for a short story!) I actually did enjoy my time with this story and I really liked Julian's character. I would certainly consider trying other works by this author.
Word Count: 7200 (Short Story)
PDF Length: 13 pgs
EPUB Length: 24 pgs on PC / 18 pgs on my ereader (odd that)
Kindle Locations: 354
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)