Dragon Blues was a surprising paranormal read. Just when you think you've read everything there is to read in a genre, a book will come along that surprises you. Dark and sweet at the same time, Dragon Blues works in a variety of paranormal and plotting elements to come up with something unique, and unique in a world as saturated as PNR is definitely a good thing.
The story here begins with an interesting series of events that, except for coincidence, would have been unrelated. When a pair of drug addicts attempt to rob the store belonging to Noah Long, they set in motion events that will have an impact throughout the rest of the story. Noah is a dragon who shifted to human form 2500 years ago and stayed that way; he has the mind and recuperative powers of a dragon but has been passing in the human world all this time.
Against his better judgement, he lets the two thieves go, figuring that getting the crap scared out of them would be enough to keep them away from his store from now own. When the female thief returns, suffering from withdrawal and claiming she has nowhere else to go but the streets, Noah agrees to let her stay there until she gets things under control. While she's sleeping, he calls her sister.
That sister is Lila Fox, a lethal martial arts practitioner who's been put through the physical and emotional wringer by her family members time and again. She isn't surprised to find out her sister Izzy is in trouble again, but she's mortified to realize that Izzy's drawn a complete stranger into her personal disaster and Lila is on the next flight to Nashville to clean up the mess.
When Lila arrives, it becomes apparent that Izzy is making a complete mess of things at the request of her abusive and drug-addicted boyfriend, but Izzy makes her own, unfortunate choices. Lila understands that she can't make Izzy do anything she doesn't want to do, but it isn't in Lila to give up on people she loves, as she's been on the receiving end of that too many times.
When Izzy and her boyfriend, Kevin, do something really stupid and in the process reveal that someone is after the secret of Noah's health and longevity, Noah and Lila agree to work together to avenge Izzy's death and halt the threat on Noah's life. They didn't plan on falling in love (or as close to love as Lila is willing to own up to) in the process, but it just goes to show that not everything in life can be planned out to the last minute detail.
Dragon Bound was beautifully paced and written, not too long or too short, with lots of details thrown in for flavor that I haven't seen anywhere else. Noah's devotion to his music, Lila's unique personality and abilities, and the beautiful backdrop of Nashville all help with the setting and flavor of the story. The ending, too, was supremely satisfying. I hate the phrase "happy for now" and so was pleased to see this ending as "happy together for the first time in a long time." If anybody deserves peace and happiness and a committed relationship where the other person's loyalty is beyond question, it's Lila and Noah.
If you're already in love with PNR or are looking to explore the genre more fully (join us, JOIN US) then I definitely recommend giving Dragon Blues a go.
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(reviewed 75 days after purchase)