Ok, so right now I am hiding under my blanket fort, coughing like a nightmare, with no voice, praying for an early night’s rest–or, you know, SWEET SWEET DEATH.
I have a tendency to overreact.
But I’m not too sick not to tell you about this superduper book by Grace Draven because, not only is it wonderful and fun, it is also giving me an excuse to drink two glasses of really strong apple cider sangria. Don’t judge. I’m eastern european, it’s practically mother’s milk.
So the book. (I swear, I have only had one of the glasses so far, I’m just distracted by all of the pneumonia. QUICK! SOMEONE POSTULATE IF I’M ACTUALLY WRITING THIS OR IT’S MY DOUBLE AND I PROBABLY REALLY AM DYING!)
So this book. It has a dragon. Not like Puff, or Duke, or even the bearded variety, but the sexy “man-who-sometimes-is-a-fire-breathing-reptile” dragon. Also known as the best kind of dragon. (Way better than Duke and Puffy–but Pete’s runs a close second.) I love a dragon shifter. Too much. It’s becoming obsessive. Do you think it has something to do with my crocodile lingerie fetish? (I actually don’t want to know if that’s really a thing. It’s probably really supportive, but, no.)
Pro-tip: if you are a fire-breathing creature of myth, you probably don’t need that candle–but your human companion is really thankful for it.
THE BOOK AND BLURB!
Eight years earlier the talented fiddler, Elsbeth Weaver, gave up the man she loved to care for her ailing grandfather. Now, she must risk her life to save her grandfather from a lynching by playing for the wyvern terrorizing the countryside. When she comes face-to-face with the beast at the haunted cliffs of Maldoza, she is both frightened and fascinated. Something about the creature reminds her of the bard who once stole her heart, something more than just a shared name.
Alaric has never stopped loving the human woman he left behind in a dusty village almost a decade before. When he meets her again at Maldoza, wearing old dragon armor and playing her fiddle as if her heart would break, he is overjoyed. Elsbeth doesn’t know her erstwhile lover is only an illusion for the wyvern, and Alaric must convince her that the heart of the beast is no less devoted than the heart of the man.
My thoughts–besides the hotness of the cold blooded.
Elsbeth kicks ass. Even more than Alaric. She is a woman who knows what she damn well wants and isn’t afraid to wait for it, and go for it.
I am weary of weak-willed heroines, and in-spite of so many PNR novels(novellas) having such a strong tradition of independent ladies, I’ve seen a resurgence lately in the “please rescue me” pearl clutching heroine. WHY??!?!? I feel like I need to point them toward some Toril Moi scholarship, or just see if Gloria Steinem is available for a verbal bitch slapping. Or Toni Morrison. Madeleine Albright. Condoleeza Rice. OMG A WOMAN IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT CAN WE NOT WITH THIS SHIT?!?
And Alaric never tries to pigeon-hole her into some caricature of a woman. He has a bit of a history with women of granite and fire–and he doesn’t back down from the heat. (Probably not only because of the fire-breathing thing.)
The story itself feels like a gift of something to come–a tease. I wanted about a hundred and thirty more pages of angry villagers and heat in the cave/sack. However, what it lacks for in length, it makes up for in
girth adventure. The beauty of a novella is that they begin in media res, and keep jumping from altercation to altercation to fly through the pages and come to a secure conclusion. With Draven, her stuff tends to be very action-oriented anyway, and shaving a few hundred pages off might worry you that it will lose emotional build up and world-building, but it doesn’t suffer these problems at all. I do wish there was more time for romance, and a deeper understanding of how certain biological processes–namely aging–will affect their relationship moving forward, but I’m not vagburned over it. I still really really loved it.
ON WITH THE BOOZE!
Cider and wine have been around a really long time. So I combined them for Sangria. Apple Cider Sangria is easy, delicious, and it’s like a pumpkin spice latte for winos!
Apple Cider Sangria for the win.
What Goes In?
- 10 oz dry red wine
- 6 oz good apple cider
- 4 oz brandy
- 4 oz ginger ale
- fruits of the fall. (you pick)
- combine all ingredients
- let sit one hour at least
- this technically serves 4.