Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dragon Rose

:My random thoughts:
A friend sent me a facebook message suggesting Christine Pope's books, Dragon Rose to be specific, to me.  She said it seemed like something I'd like to read.  She said it was a romance, and I instantly thought, "uh, no".  You see, I love romances, I love the butterflies, I love the way the hero is described, I love the feels, but its easier to find a purple camel than a clean romance.  Most of the time I end up just getting grossed out and vowing to never read another one.  But Sarah assured me it was clean, and focused more on emotions than physical love.  Which snagged my attention, this sounded promising. 
I checked it out on Amazon, and the synopsis had me hooked. Dragon? Beauty and the Beast esque? oh yes.  So I bought it in a sudden act of rush, and to give you a tiny secret, it's rare I buy books.  If I can't find them on paperbackswap, or my library's database, than I don't get it.  But I bought this kindle e book, (and I'm currently feeling proud of myself for supporting a little known author).  And. I. Loved. It.
Finished it within two hours. And reread the ending this morning because I loved it so much, re read it twice, actually.  It was so beautiful.  And, it had cloaks and hoods. (If you follow my personal blog, you will doubtless remember my "CLOOOOOOAAAAKKKSSS ANNNNDDDD HHOOOOODSSSS" episode...). I loved Theran. He was so beautiful a person.  Actually, he is my model man. Well, almost...But you get the point.  Something I really loved was how they were married through the whole book.  You see, it repulses me when romance books have pre-marriage sex more than anything else. It irks me, and grates on every fiber of myself.  But they were married, their love, their emotions, it was perfectly fine. And I loved that. It allowed me to not feel guilty over loving their love. And it was clean. There was only one sentence that spoke of the special love between Husband and Wife, and it was so very vague, I only know what it meant because I'm a big girl who wishes she was still a naive little girl. (sidetracked I was just...). Anyway. I leave you to the bare bones of the review:

:Publisher's Description:
The shadow of the cursed Dragon Lord has hung over the town of Lirinsholme for centuries, and no one ever knows when the Dragon will claim his next doomed Bride. Rhianne Menyon has dreams of being a painter, but her world changes forever when a single moment of sacrifice brings her to Black's Keep as the Dragon's latest Bride. As she attempts to adjust to her new life -- and to know something of the monster who is now her husband -- she begins to see that the curse is far crueler than she first believed. Unraveling the mystery of what happened to the Dragon's Brides is only the beginning...

:info to know:
Author: Christine Pope
My recommended age: 13+
Their recommended age: NA
Publisher: Dark Valentine Press
Number of Pages: 276

Rhianne was a spunky girl, and I immediately loved her.   She actually reminded me of another wonderful friend I am blessed with...
moving on.
She was fun, and easily to relate to.
But she was nowhere near my favorite character. 
That goes to Theran.  From the moment he entered the room where their wedding was being held, as soon as it was made clear he wore a hooded cloak to cover his monstrous form, my heart spazzed and did THIS. as before said, he is almost my model man, and I just couldn't hold all my feels inside.  I spent many happy sighs, and clutching-the-kindle-to-my-hearts over this man.  
But, all in all, they are normal Romance characters.  Sure, Theran has his own little quirk, and, as a writer myself, it is much easier to make unique male characters than female ones.  But as far as romances go, it is really hard to make characters who are solely unique. Theran had that beautiful "rich and soft voice" that it seems every romance character has. Honestly, I wouldn't like a hero who has a "nasally and whinny" voice I'm not going to gripe. What I especially loved was the tinkering Inventor that Ms. Pope threw into his character.  I haven't seen that done before in a Medieval fantasy, nor a romance.  It added it's own special touch.

Well, if the fact that I finished it in 2 hours isn't proof enough, it is so very addictive. I kept thinking, "One more chapter and I'll go cook dinner" but I simply couldn't end there, I had to know what was next.  Nowhere did it get slow, and her foreshadowing was delightful, and I just couldn't put it down. 

Writing Style:
It was delightfully easy, and yet had hidden gems.  And, something special stuck out to me was her description of the book of magic Theran let Rhianne borrow.  It was so vivid, I almost wonder if Mrs. Pope held the very book in her hands to describe.  On a whole, her descriptions were left vague, leaving the reader to fill in the blank spots, while still giving us enough to not turn everything entirely wrong in our heads.  The way she described Rhianne's depression felt so close, and real, the way you were inside Rhianne's head, and felt her the pain as Theran seemed to reject her, as she wished to die, you felt the love for her painted man right alongside her.
Honestly, it was lovely. 

I've read the ending three times. And I rarely reread things. 

World Building: 
It was stunning.  Since World Building is a weakness of mine, I always marvel at how well published Authors do it.  I could almost close my eyes, and see everything.  The places that Rhianne remarked on made me just yearn to mount a steed, and explore the land where Men may become Dragons.

One use of chit.
Drugs and Drink:  
Wine is drank at every meal, and I do believe Rhianne gets a little light headed once, but there is never any drunkenness.
Romance and sexual content:  
It's a romance, but a sweet one.  And there was absouletly nothing to make me hesitate to proclaim my love for it.  I closed the book with a happy sigh, instead of a wide eyed, "I didn't need to know that".  As I said, there was one sentence that spoke of intimacy, but it was perfectly vague, and since I doubt -13 YOs should be reading romances anyway, it is all well.

I'm always tougher on Romances, since I have high standards for them.  I hold them above a list of virtues that it seems they will never accomplish.
But Dragon Rose did.
It has made it into The League of Ashley's Favorite Books, which is shared by Lord Of the Rings, Phantom of the Opera, and Sherlock Holmes. 
Every second of the two hours I spent reading it, I enjoyed, and it sent me into such throes of angst that I felt I shall never recover from the acute feels. 
Ms. Pope really should have more fame.  "More Fame" as in, I'd gladly replace Stephanie Meyers with her.  I'd watch a movie of Dragon Rose over and over and over again.
So is it any surprise that I award it the most high honour of: 

5 lovely, delightful stars made from dictionary paper because those are the best.

I highly, HIGHLY reccomded this book to everyone. Everyone over 13. Everyone over 13 who are girls. Everyone over 13 who loves a sweet romance where you want to marry the Hero and OHIMIGOSH I CAN'T EVEN HE IS ADORABLE.


More about Dragon Rose and Christine Pope:

(paperback is 9.99 W/O shipping, and kindle version is 3.99 and doesn't require shipping).
I'd also give you her NaNoWriMo profile page...but that might seem just a bit like a I won't. ;)

Do you read Romance?

1 Reader views:

Jack said...

Oh! I hope I can find this one somewhere.

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