The Dragon Master – Allyson James

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Back Cover:
Carol Juan never really believed in her grandmother’s old world tales of dragons and legends…

…Until she was set upon by a wildly sensual man sporting a blazing red mane -and nothing else. He is Seth, a fire dragon summoned into this world by a dangerous mage who is seeking to ignite his own evil ends by devouring Seth’s fiery powers. What the fire dragon seeks is a life mate, a human female who can help him explore the pleasures of the flesh.

Seth inflames more in Carol than the untapped magic surging inside her -and only she can save him from the mysterious mage who is guarded by an equally sinister cabal. Arousing Carol’s latent Dragon Master powers is only the beginning. Now she must risk her own life to save the fire dragon lost in her world -the man she has come to love and desire.

When Seth is summoned by an imprisoned Dragon Master to do his bidding, practical and non-believer Carol Juan’s own Dragon Master powers are unlocked and Seth is called to her instead. Higher powers have brought Seth and Carol together to prevent the unleashing of an ancient evil power onto the world. They don’t always see eye to eye but there’s definitely something more and powerful between them and they know they have to band together in order to succeed in saving the world and the people they love.

Carol is a workaholic. She’s tough, successful, smart but also compassionate, she doesn’t believe in all the magical mumbo jumbo her grandmother tries to fill her head with even if her best friend is a silver dragon married to a golden dragon and she can count a black dragon and a Japanese god among her friends. She simply doesn’t believe in the supernatural. She likes things that are tangible and can be logically explained. At least she does until Seth comes into her life and unlocks her own supernatural powers she never knew she possessed.

Seth is a fire dragon, the most powerful of all dragons. He is protective, solitary-minded and outspoken. He has something candid and endearing in his behavior and his perception of the human world that is so unknown to him. For Seth all human sensations are new. The concept of subtlety is unknown to him, he is direct and blunt and speaks his mind the way he sees things. Through his eyes I saw everyday things we all take for granted come to life.

I followed Seth in his discovery of the human world and his mate and I followed Carol in her discovery of the powers she never wanted to believe in and her acceptance of them inside herself. With the recognition of her newfound power that gives her control over others she also discovers that the tight control she had on her own life and emotions has disintegrated.

The supporting cast of characters consists of all the primary characters from the previous books, some important secondary characters from the previous books and a few new secondary characters. Special and important roles are reserved for Lisa, Caleb and Malcolm. I loved the bantering between the male dragons, especially when Caleb was present. It had a high entertainment level. So did Axel, the funny demon-god from book 1, whenever he made an appearance in the book with his quirky sense of humor. I’m still hoping for his book one day.

Some of the characters are not who or what they seem to be. The fine line between good and evil and the alliances made are not cut-and-dry clear. Different motives and interests are weaved into the intricate plot and what made the characters well-rounded and far from shallow was that they weren’t all the stereotypes of good or evil. With every advance into the book small facts were revealed to show that not all bad guys are true evil and not all good guys are without selfish interests. Right and wrong aren’t unconditionally attached to respectively good and bad.

Once more I was captivated by another one of Allyson James’ dragon stories. I just couldn’t tear myself away from the book and wanted to keep reading on and on. I instantly relived the vibe of the first two books in this series. I had no trouble picking up where I had left off with Lisa, Caleb, Malcolm and Saba. Again ancient oriental mythology, culture, and historical traditions are embedded into the story and merged with the plot, creating a romance novel of paranormal fiction that is full and rich. The plot was original, masterful and set up in a great way. Gradually unfolding and revealing linked subplots that were interlaced with the main story-arc.

With THE DRAGON MASTER Allyson James has expanded her world of dragons with another intricate and intriguing layer, enchanting me further with magical storytelling and masterful world building.

Quotes:
He’d been a beautiful dragon, and he was a beautiful man. The universe had decided to stuff that dragon beauty into an ideal human body, and Carol couldn’t find fault with the universe’s choice.

Carol: “The male solution to everything is to kill it. A woman’s strength is her ability to step back and think about it first. We know there are more solutions to problems than just one.”

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