Blurb: “It’s not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear-a lot-or else salute. It’s true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.
Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe-a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger. She’s wrong…”
~Common Female Protagonist Problems – While the narrative and characterization started out alright, Annwyl’s characterization slowly declined over the course of the novel. Annwyl started out with a good mixture of arse-kicking abilities, emotional vulnerability and psychological issues over her screwed up childhood. However, by the end of the book she was punching random people in the face just because she was upset and that random person just happen to be there and chucking sexually frustrated temper-tantrums because she can’t see her precious dragon (why she didn’t just write him letters I have no idea).
Action Women are hard characters to write, they need to have an equal amount of action scenes/fighting competency as the male characters and have a three dimensional personality, and while I personally find those components difficult to balance in my own works, I know that Action Women shouldn’t be essentially male characters with Vagina’s. I guess it comes back to the Double Standard writing trope “Real Women Don’t Wear Dresses“, which I disagree with completely.
A Writer doesn’t need to have a female protagonist beat up all the men and have the rest of them nearly pissing themselves every time the FP walks past, I don’t consider that character a “Strong Independent Woman”. I’m not saying women don’t participate in social posturing, if anything women do more social posturing than men, I’m just saying it’s not the same type of social posturing that men do nor should it be passed off as acceptable behavior. There’s a difference between someone with a fiery/spirited personality and a psychotic bitch.
~Dragon Smut – There’s quite a bit of smut in this book, alright fine a lot of smut, and most readers are willing to overlook character flaws in exchange for smut.
~Humourous Dialogue and Interesting Side Characters – I enjoyed reading interactions between Fearghus and his family members.
~Chains and Flames – This short story explaining how Fearghus’s parents, Rhiannon & Bercelak, got together and was included with Dragon Actually. I enjoyed the story of Rhiannon & Bercelak more so than Annwyl and Fearghus. A lot of things in Dragon Actually made more sense to me after reading Chains and Flames and I ended up having more respect for Rhiannon than Annwyl. It’s the reason why I gave the book three stars instead of two.
Over all, an okay book that didn’t really live up my expectations, but would still be enjoyable to the average reader.