Reviewed by: Toni
The Paranormal Romance Guild
A story about a dragon who didn’t want to become a man…
…and the woman who made him change his mind.
Marrkiya of the Eleventh is an Aqua dragon, the kind who eats virgins for breakfast, and other meals, as well as mid-morning snacks.
He’s also the last Drakkon. In order to keep peace with mortals, all the others have forsaken their species, transforming themselves into humans, giving up their immortality, their wings, and compiling their treasures to provide for their wives and children.
When Marrkiya is told if he doesn’t agree to transform also, it’ll be done against his will, the Aqua responds by incinerating those sent to issue the ultimatum. It’s done anyway. With the aid of the magical Phoenix amber, Marrkiya becomes human…while in flight.
Momentarily bereft of his ability to fly, he promptly crashes through the roof of a barn on the estate of a castle owned by Samantha Montgomery…
…and another version of Beauty and the Beast begins.
Sam thinks the naked man in her barn is a knock-out but crazy as a loon. He insists he’s a dragon. And yet…she can’t get him out of her mind, or her dreams. Even when he’s gone, he’s still there…in her thoughts.
“… he looked like some mythical god all naked and sculpted to perfection beneath the pale hue of the moon. She blushed, looking past his groin. She’d seen naked men before, but none as well-endowed as this fruitcake. And she had no doubt he was exactly that, a nut, a kook, a madman.
He thought he was a dragon, for crying out loud! Pity he was so damned good-looking. It was just her luck, though. A man falls through her roof like he was sent to her from God, and turns out to be a flipping lunatic. A lunatic who could read her mind.”
Samantha may not be impressed with Marrkiya upon first meeting him, but we’ve already got a good idea of which way that part of the story will go.
He simply has to grow on her a bit, that’s all…
Meanwhile, Marrkiya confronts Patrick White, leader of the transformed Drakkons. They strike a bargain of sorts…Marrkiya, now called Marcus Aquara, will give up his hoard and be restored to his true form. Marcus insists it no longer exists, so Patrick asks for more…he wants the thing Marcus prizes most, to hold hostage. If Marcus ever seeks revenge, Patrick will destroy that most priceless possession.
What is Marcus’ most precious possession, wanway?
Marcus swears revenge against Patrick and the others. Discovering his new body is considered attractive to human females, he starts out by seducing Patrick’s wife and making certain the former Drakkon learns of that.
Reveling in his human form while still learning about it, Marcus finds himself again thinking of the girl into whose barn he fell…
…wanting to see her again…just plain wanting her…not as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but something else altogether…
Marcus’ involvement with Samantha will test his remaining powers as a Drakkon, his abilities as a man, and all his hopes of again returning to his true form…
This is a…well, I don’t want to use the word delightful, but… yes, darn it…it is delightful, also entertaining, funny, romantic, and exciting. Except for a few mis-use of words, such as “wetting” for “whetting,” the story is well-written and continuity and narration excellent, easy to read, and engrossing.
Part of this novel is the old fish-out-of-water cliché, giving some sharp comments on Man and Society as viewed by an alien. Marcus’ observations while in dragon form are sarcastic, often bitter, but always sharply observant. His reactions to the humans’ way of life are often confused. His opinion of the man Samantha attempts to date biting. The give-and-take between dragon and his lady fair is a bit of snappy repartée with plenty of sarcasm and humor, as are Samantha’s opinions about the creature with whom she’s falling in love.
The rest is a modern fairytale…the beast tamed by the virgin…and vice versa.
Scorch is the first entry in the Rulers of the Sky series, and with it, author Paula Quinn is off to a great start.