Title: Sea Dragon
Series: (Sea Captain's Daughter #1; Dragon Knights #9)
Author: Bianca D'arc
Format: Kindle EBook
Rating: 5 Stars
A blind dragon who just wants to be left alone…
Sir Hrardorr was once the mightiest of fighters. Now he’s blind and useless. His knight is dead and he can’t even go into proper mourning because he needs help just to get around. Part sea dragon, he decides to go to the Southern Lair to rusticate by the coast. He can fly out over the open water and dive into the sea, where he still has at least some ability to hunt on his own. He doesn’t expect to meet a human woman out on the water, fishing in her small sailboat, but he does, and unexpectedly, they become friends.
A young man who gave up the sword to help the Lair’s healer…
Seth grew up in the Lair and has long had a crush on the most beautiful girl in the town, Livia. But she is the famous sea captain’s daughter, and far, far above him. It’d be one thing if he was a knight or at least a candidate to be one, but Seth gave up all dreams of knighthood when he chose to apprentice himself to the Lair’s elderly healer—the closest thing to a grandmother he’d ever had. His gentle heart has changed the course of his entire life and he’s not sure it’s for the better, but he sees no other option.
A newly made knight who doesn’t know how to be one…
Sir Gowan is a warrior. He was a teacher of fighting when he caught the dragoness’s eye and she chose him as her new knight. Genlitha is a stubborn female and though Gowan tried to refuse, he found he could not turn down the magnificent dragoness, even though he knows nothing about being a knight. They have come to the Southern Lair so Genlitha can teach young fliers how to best navigate the tricky winds off the ocean, and to gain time for Gowan to learn how to be her proper partner.
Three humans. Two dragons. Attraction that cannot be denied…
Both Seth and Gowan are drawn to the lovely Livia, and Genlitha finds the attraction she had for Hrardorr when they were still both dragonets has only grown stronger over the years, but there are obstacles. Hrardorr has sworn to never choose another knight. Seth has sworn to be a healer, even though it’s not his true calling. Gowan is just trying to figure out how to survive in this new world of knights and dragons.
And then they are attacked from the sea by a mighty fleet with dragon-killing weapons, and the town and Lair find themselves totally unprepared to fight. It will be up to the five of them to save the town…if they can. It seems impossible, but they have to at least try.
Exclusive Excerpt: Livia didn’t know why it was so, only that all the married knights were parts of trios. Happy trios, to be sure. She’d seen a few of the Lair women shopping in the square from time to time, and they all seemed happy enough. Nobody ever claimed the knights were bad husbands. Quite the contrary. But for some reason, not many of the men who lived alongside the dragons up on the cliffs were married. There were few Lair wives and, because of that, few children. Occasionally, a knight would form a liaison with a town woman, but nobody had become a Lair wife from the town in recent memory. The affairs seemed merely to be of convenience, not love everlasting. “Mates, their dragon partners, and eventually children,” Hrardorr seemed to answer her question. “Little dragonettes and tiny human babies, with two dragon parents and three human parents.” “All of them?” Livia asked, intrigued by the concept. “Of course,” Hrardorr said. “That is the family unit of the Lair. They all share in the parenting of any offspring, dragon and human alike. It is the way we have always done it, since the first fighting dragon partnered with the first knight.” “I had no idea. I mean, I’d heard things, but nothing like this. It sounds kind of…nice.” She marveled at the idea of a baby dragon being raised equally by humans and dragons, or a baby human calling a dragon papa. “Do you have children, Sir Hrardorr?” The dragon’s mouth tightened.“No. And now, I never will.” “Never is a very long time,” she said softly, wanting to offer comfort.“Don’t I know it.” His tone was bitter. “Being blind isn’t the end of the world,” she said, confronting his depression head on. His great head reared back as if she’d struck him. “You know I’m blind?” “I figured it out. A few of my father’s people do business at the Lair, and they bring back news of new arrivals. I assumed you’re the new dragon that has come here to recuperate. Am I wrong?” A sigh gusted out of Hrardorr’s mouth, filling her sails for a brief moment. She had to change tack to get back to him, but he didn’t seem to notice. “No, milady. You’re not wrong. I’m the damaged dragon who can’t even fend for himself anymore.” “Seems to me you just bagged a menacing shark all by yourself and chomped him to little pieces without any help at all,” she mused. “You’re not helpless. Hopeless, maybe…and that can be changed.”“You’re a strange female,” Hrardorr said, making her bark a laugh she hadn’t expected. “You’re not the first person to tell me that,” she allowed, smiling. “I’m not a person. I’m a dragon.” He bared his pointy teeth, as if grinning at her. “Point taken, Sir Dragon.” She regarded him for a moment, searching for the right words, but she couldn’t find them. “I like fishing. I do it most days when my father is away. Maybe you’d like to meet me here again sometime? I mean, I need protection from the circling sharks, and I suppose you could make yourself useful in lowering their numbers before someone from the town ends up maimed or dead. The fishermen would be grateful, I’m sure, as would most of the townsfolk.” “You don’t say.”Hrardorr looked as if he was thinking over her words. “I like to swim. And I also like the taste of shark.” “Really? What does it taste like to you?” “Like victory.”
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Bianca D'arc's Sea Dragon is the perfect blend of courtly sensibilities, fantastic dragons, edge-of-your-seat action, and scintillating sensuality.
The story opens on Sir Hrardorr. A once heralded dragon warrior who, after being grievously injured in battle and suffering the death of his knight, has come to recuperate in the Lair at Dragoncove.
Because Ms. D'Arc opens her story with her dragon as the lead character, rather than a human counterpart. Readers are put on notice from the beginning, that dragons will not be relegated to the secondary role of sidekick, transport, or prop in this adventure.
It is in fact, Sir Hrardorr and his forays into the sea, that act as the catalysts for all human interactions taking place within the read.
Dragons are so central to this plot, that they are the cornerstones on which the foundation of this book's world rests. This changing of the guard in adult fantasy, allows a great deal more of said fantastical element to permeate the story in much the same way it does in stories intended for younger audiences.
To their credit. The human element in this yarn do their dragon brothen proud. They, both collectively, as with the townspeople, and singularly, as exemplified by leads Gowen, Livia, Seth provide a drama, carnality, and emotional touchstone for both dragons and readers as the story progresses.
If you are a fan of swordplay and water battles...this is the book for you. The action found in this book's battle scenes, is enough to get one's heart rate up and keep it there.
Adding to the splendor of this battlefield bounty, are the surprising ways in which the gifts of Hrardorr, Livia, and Seth are called into play.
Allowing each character time to shine, without making his or her spotlight glaringly obvious.
Where this story differs most from others of its ilk however, has to be in the structure of its romance. Because the humans who are destined to live with, partner with, and care for the dragons can only mate within a triad. Livia, Seth, and Gowen's bond, and the love scenes that result, are nothing less than spectacular. Not only do they showcase the ménage scenario beautifully; there is also the added treat of sub/dom play between Gowen and Livia.
Not to be left out. Sir Hrardorr even manages to find love in the person of dragoness Genlitha.
The one downside to this amazing story, is that it ends.
This tale of knights, dragons, battles of both body and mind, and mastery of destiny is one that you never want to relinquish.
Not to worry though.
There is hope.
The story is set to resume right where Sea Dragon
ends, in its follow-up novel, Dragon Fire
Reviewer's Note: I received a review copy of the above referenced literary work in exchange for the honest review provided.
Resulting opinions have in no way been influenced by the work's author, or Inkslinger PR.
Bianca D’Arc is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 romance novels. She has twice won EPPIE Awards for her work, along with the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Erotic Romance eBook of 2008 for her first werewolf romance, Lords of the Were. She is a native New Yorker who worked as an executive on Wall Street during the summer of 2001. She changed careers after the tragic attacks of 9/11 and started seriously pursuing publication in 2005. She has a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, a Masters in Library Science, and a Juris Doctor, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She loves her garden and plays the piano, ukulele and guitar.
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