Dragon Bound (Elder Races, book 1) by Thea Harrison
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful - and passionate - of the Elder races.
As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited in each other.
Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave - although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul ...
There hasn't been a PNR debut that's gotten this much buzz since Larissa Ione first made her debut. Other reviewers who have similar tastes to me even stated it was ground breaking fantasy, right up there with Nalini Singh and J.R. Ward. Both authors—along with many other well known authors—gave Dragon Bound serious high praise. So I immediately bought this book against my better judgment, because you can't ignore praise like that.
After 20 pages, I thought I hadn't read enough of the book to get to the “ground breaking” bits. Then at page 148, I realized this book had nothing special to bring to the table. Harrison's world isn't anything new. The Elder races comprise of the Dark and Light Faye, Elves (who aren't Faye??), and the Wyr. Wyr is just a fancy name for animal shifters of a wide variety—as a treat they do get a bit exotic with Dragons, Thunderbirds, Gryphons, and Harpies. People are quite aware of the supernaturals walking among them, but the history of why is sketchy at best. Harrison's whole world building feels like an after thought. The writings average quality couldn’t make up for the lack of world building either. Even the sex scenes were been-there-read-that kind of material.
The humor had me coming back, as it was one of the few things that I loved about this book. The dragon sex jokes really had me rolling. Guessing what Pia's shifter form was another fun plus, until I realized my first guess was right only 50 pages in. From there things went down hill.
Dragos is older then the world itself—he doesn't feel old he just acts like a older then snot bully with primitive mind sets. Pia was hard to enjoy as a main character, the way she was written made her at times hard to follow and deal with on an emotional level. She was raised to be careful and go unnoticed, because of her mysterious Wyr form. Everything she does is almost like she's trying to shout out, “Hey everybody I'm right here!”
In the end I will not be paying anymore attention to author praise, no matter how good the author. This is definitely comfort food for hard core PNR fans who don't mind reading the same story over and over. For PNR readers who are a bit more picky, like me, and have standards step back! The same harem of men featured in the many mate-for-life reads out there didn't scream originality. So, I'm not too confident if the future books will have any deeper world building, or character depth. It just feels like this series is going to rely on riding the genre train to keep it a float.
Sexual Content: Cookie cutter sex scenes and some fun dirty talk.