This month’s theme for the TBR Challenge is Lovely RITA, meaning read books in your pile that have won or been nominated for the prestigious award. The RITAs are the awards given out by the Romance Writers of America, who just happen to have a conference coming up next month. I picked a book off my shelf that had been laniguishing there pretty much since it won the 2012 Paranormal RITA – Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison.
Before I tell you how this became the third TBR challenge book to get an “A” grade or higher, you should read the blurb.
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.
Our heroine, Pia, is a good girl who’s found herself in a bad situation. Her dope of an ex-boyfriend is blackmailing her into to doing something really stupid in order to protect part of her big secret. Her task is to steal from the most powerful Wyr (shape-shifters) around, Dragos Cuelebre. Dragos is, you guessed it, a wyr-dragon. He’s also ancient, having been created at the same time of the universe, really rich, and rules the Wyr from his skyscraper in New York City. Dragos is none too happy that someone stole from his treasure trove that no one is supposed to be able to find, and tracks Pia down. Instead of killing her like he planned on, he finds himself attracted and drawn to Pia and her big secret (which actually is pretty awesome when it’s revealed). So he does what every good paranormal romance hero does: he “rescues” her and then locks her up in his tower for her own protection and to keep him from going crazy worrying about her. There’s also some travel between realms, some elves, goblins, witches, vampires, and a menagerie of other mythological creatures, a great cast of secondary characters, secrets revealing, and a “happy for now” ending.
I’m picky when it comes to paranormal romance so for one to work for me it has to have a couple of elements. First, the world building and the characters have to be (mostly) believable. I don’t like back story info-dumps and I need to be able to see the setting and understand the world and it’s history. Ms. Harrison does a really good job in creating this paranormal/urban fantasy/alternative history world occupied by the Elder races.
The other thing I need is strong heroine. A paranormal pretty much guarantees an alpha hero, but if the girl is weak-willed, a doormat, or too stupid to live, I’m over it. I don’t usually finish those books. Pia is not the strongest female paranormal character I’ve ever read (that award goes to Elena Deveraux in Angels’ Blood), but she does her fair share of standing up to Dragos and insisting on her privacy and independence.
I really liked this book, enough that I’ve already acquired the sequel (Storm’s Heart) and plan to read it soon. Ms. Harrison did a good job building a world I want to come back to, and interesting, believable characters who actually deserve a sequel.
Final grade: A