Review: Luck of the Dragon by Susannah Scott

 

Title: Luck of the Dragon

Author: Susannah Scott

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology—and a problem. Her twin brother’s gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family’s grifter past, to save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts into Alec’s Gerald’s casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways to the test again.

Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to steal his largest diamond exhibit turns out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form forever. But before he can handcuff her to his bed and explain the details of a mating ceremony, an enemy attacks and threatens to destroy his casino, his people, and his newfound mate.


Review:

I still feel like a newbie when it comes to PNR, and I’m still trying to find tropes and authors that work for me.  One trope that I haven’t liked in the past is the destined mate trope, mainly because it takes some of the suspense out the romance.  The reader knows the couple will be together in the end, and there’s really no mystery to the pairing.  In Luck of the Dragon, however, I started wondering what would happen is Alec and Lucy couldn’t get their acts together and find a happy medium for their relationship.  Would they actually be stuck together forever not trusting each other?  While we do get a HEA, I was worried for a few chapters!

Lucy comes from a family of con-artists.  Her father was sent to jail when she was a child, and her brother seems to be following in his footsteps.  Joey just can’t say no to a bet, and worse, he longs to work the hustle.  He falls in with Gino, a dangerous gangster, and lassoes Lucy into helping him steal jewels from Alec Gerald to pay off his gambling debts.  If she doesn’t help, Gino makes it painfully obvious that he’s going to take the debt out of Joey’s hide.  Terrified of losing her brother, Lucy jumps to it and agrees to help with the heist.

What Lucy and Joey doesn’t know is that Alec is a dragon.  He’s a very old dragon, and a very powerful dragon.  He’s just opened a new casino in Vegas, and his gem collection is going to be the center piece of his new endeavor.  He’s retained Lucy to appraise and catalog his collection, unaware that Lucy’s up to her neck in trouble.  When they meet, Alec is convinced that Lucy is destined to be his mate, much to the dismay of his followers.  The dragons don’t think highly of humans, and many of them have a problem accepting one as their leader’s mate.  Once Alec discovers that Lucy was only interested in stealing from him, even he begins to doubt his own judgment, and he despairs at losing his dragon form without his mate.

I really liked this story, and I think I went into thinking that I wouldn’t.  I’m not sure why, because I was hooked on the story and the characters right away.  I liked Lucy – well, I liked her when she wasn’t trying to steal from Alec.  I just wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up and stop trying to keep her brother out of jail.  Joey is a selfish, jerk of a brother, who knows how best to manipulate Lucy.  He cares only about himself, and expects her to extract him from every sticky situation he finds himself in.  I could not stand this guy, and was kind of hoping one of the dragons would eat him.  Sorry, Joey, but you are a pin-head!

Alec made the story for me.  How could he not?  He’s a freaking dragon!  He also knows how to woo a lady.  After realizing that Lucy is his mate, he goes into Romeo mode, and wow, he would have won me over about midway through breakfast.  This guy is a charmer, and he’s a gabillionaire to boot!  Lucy is instantly suspicious of his motives, mainly because hers are less than pure, and because she’s be raised to not trust anybody.  She has spent most of her adult life trying to keep her brother out of prison, and keeping the taint of criminal activity away from her.  While her intent to steal from Alec irritated me, especially after she started developing feelings for him, I did understand why she would feel compelled to go along with Joey and Gino’s schemes, at least at the beginning of the book.  About halfway through, I found her behavior inexcusable.  This did knock down the enjoyment factor a bit.

If Luck of the Dragon is an indication of how dragons live, I need to find one for myself.  Or just wait until the next book in this series to hit store shelves, so I can live vicariously through Susannah Scott’s characters.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Cindi Myers, Author of The Wedding Gamble

 

 

Please welcome Cindi Myers to the virtual offices this morning! She’s here to celebrate the release of her latest Indulge Romance, The Wedding Gamble.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Cindi Myers] One of those quiet girls you have to watch out for–loves chocolate, dogs and smart men.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Wedding Gamble?

[Cindi Myers] The Wedding Gamble is a romantic romp that looks at what happens when the quiet "good" girl hooks up with a sexy undercover FBI agent in the ultimate fantasy land — Vegas. Laura agrees to marry David in a quickie Vegas wedding in order to save him from a couple of mafia hit men, but she sticks around for the adventure of the lifetime — and to teach a macho loner that he doesn’t have to be lonely anymore. It’s a fun, fast-paced and sexy story.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Cindi Myers] I love Marriage of Convenience stories, but they’re tough to pull off in a contemporary story. But I thought a quickie Vegas wedding might work, so I started playing around with the idea — what kind of people would end up in that situation and why? I decided that a "good girl" — someone who was used to looking after others and helping others — could be talked into such a wedding for a good reason — for example, to save someone’s life. From there I had to have a man whose life needed saving — from there my undercover FBI agent, David, was born.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Laura?

[Cindi Myers] responsible, passionate, lonely

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If David had a theme song, what would it be?

[Cindi Myers] Hmm — that’s a tough one. But I’m going to go with "The Loner" by Three Dog Night — http://www.songlyrics.com/three-dog-night/the-loner-lyrics/

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Laura is never without.

[Cindi Myers] Her purse. She feels naked without it and all the things in it — from cough drops to postage stamps to her phone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link:

About the book:

Preschool teacher Laura Nichols is celebrating her birthday and sister’s bachelorette party in Vegas. Being in Sin City is thrilling and she intends on tapping in to her wild side. Laura can’t resist the added excitement that comes with saying yes when a hunky man off the street proposes…

FBI agent David Abruzzo has been working undercover as a thug to bring down the Zacolli crime family, but his cover depends on convincing the mob he came to Vegas for a quickie wedding. If they catch on to his plan, his cover’s blown, and he’s as good as dead.

Over the course of 48 hours, David and Laura use rollercoasters, glowing condoms, and exotic male dancers to stay alive and bring the crime family down. But it will take more than Lady Luck, one night of passion, and a little Vegas magic to turn their fake marriage into something real.

You can check out Cindi’s website here: http://www.cindimyers.com/

Happy Birthday! A Brazen Celebration!

Entangled’s steamy Brazen line turns one year old this month, and they have a huge celebration planned.  Check out the press release below for their giveaway plans, as well as their sale on select Brazen titles!

 

Brazen Books, who brought us Wrong Bed Right Guy, Officer Off Limits, Seducing Cinderella, and Tempting the Player – to name just a few – is turning 1 this month, and they’re celebrating in a big way. They’ve got a ton of great things going on this week, including Twitter parties, FB events, and even a huge sale!  Full deets below: