Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races, Book 1)
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races, Book 1)

The perfect antidote for a paranormal romance slump. I have been sucked into another series!

Pia Giovanni has been blackmailed into stealing something from a dragon’s horde. After becoming the only being in the world to get away with it, she finds herself targeted by Dragos Culebre, a powerful member of the Elder Races. (Yes, he is a dragon. Yes, he lives in a big tower in New York.)

Dragos can’t believe someone has managed to steal from him, but instead of dismembering the thief he finds himself, well, feeling. At the same time, he knows that there’s more to this theft than meets the eye, and before long he and Pia are on the run, trying to unravel the plot against him.

First of all, I had to overcome a lot of resistance to reading this book. The lead character’s name is Pia, the name of my short, spunky, super curvy, bob-cut Asian ex-flatmate. While she has equally interesting adventures of her own, it was hard to imagine the name as a tall, lanky vegetarian blonde dating an almost seven-foot tall hunkachunkaburnin’ love (Okay, she’d do that too—Who wouldn’t?—but she is definitely not blonde!) and I worried I wouldn’t be able to get past that. Thanks to the amazing Decadence’s persuasive powers, however, I finally borrowed the book from her and promptly devoured it over a few train rides.

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been in a paranormal slump lately. So much so that I can’t even bring myself to pick up J. R. Ward’s latest—which is ironic since we will freely admit to starting this blog partly so we could get J. R. Ward ARCs.

Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound was the perfect antidote to that slump. Okay, so dragons have been done before. So have shapeshifters and hunky seven-foot tall alphas. What makes this book a breath of fresh air is just how everything is put together.

Pia is a respectable, admirable heroine who tries hard to get herself out of trouble, especially when it’s not really her fault. She’s spent most of her life lying low, trying to keep herself from being noticed. One nasty ex-boyfriend later and she ends up in the dragon’s den.

Dragos is, of course, the perfect alpha. He’s dark, he’s broody, and he has longish black hair that just brushes against his neck (sound familiar?). He has a personality, though, and it’s not all thuggish. Pia and Dragos come together naturally. It’s not one of those scenarios where suddenly they are thrown together and in two days, whoops, we’re walking down the altar. They do get there eventually, but it’s entirely plausible, at least in their world.

The secondary characters are priceless. Dragos has a bunch of boys who are not only sequel bait but amusing and fun to read. Harrison does a great job with the world building. The urban fantasy element draws you into the world but makes it believable, enough for you to be able to feel that you can live alongside them, the way they’re meant to in the novel. It’s fantastical but believable at the same time.

There’s a plot. It’s about people trying to overthrow Dragos (not that he really has a throne, but you know, he’s a powerful entity). It was a good story and I really got into all the adventure. Harrison does good on the adventure bits. And the romance bits. And the rest of it in general.

What didn’t I like about the book? I would have to say Dragos, while having that personality and being a great read and all, had too many similarities with all the other alphas I’ve read. I realise they all have to be a certain way, but he sometimes felt like an amalgamation of a whole bunch of alphas from other books. That said, I still really liked his character a lot.

Yay or Nay?

A resounding YAY. I intend to get my own copy and, yes, I have been SUCKED INTO ANOTHER SERIES. (Thanks, Decadence.) It is all worth it though. I’m really enjoying this and would highly recommend it to anyone who is a bit over your average paranormal and wants something well written and just a bit different from the rest.

Title: Dragon Bound (excerpts: one, two, three)
Series: Elder Races (Book 1)
Author: Thea Harrison
Publisher: Berkley/Penguin
A format: 9780425241509 (2011)

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EBOOKS: Not available
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Wandergurl is a sometime traveller who spends her daylight hours making sure that things go the way they're supposed to with minimum bureaucracy (don't ask!). A firm believer that thirty is the new twenty, she will probably never look her age (or act it!). An enthusiastic football supporter (that would be soccer to you) she will get up at odd hours to watch a game, and of course it's not just because the players are hot. She loves history, geography and is pretty good at trivia, thanks to her propensity to remember random bits of celebrity gossip. When not reading or travelling, she can be found indulging in her other passion -- eating -- and can be found at Wake up and smell the coffee.


  1. Decadence says:

    As soon as I picked up Dragon Bound, I knew it was going to be good. It had endorsements from some huge names in paranormal romance (JR, Nalini, Christine from memory — Wandergurl has my copy) almost to the point of overkill, a smooth and high gloss cover and a stepback (when the front cover is half a cm shy of the edge to expose a coloured picture on the next page). The publisher poured extra money into this book instead of shelling out for a cheesy ad campaign, so I figured they had confidence in this book. How often do they do this for a sort-of debut (she has been published years ago elsewhere under another name in another subgenre)?
    Dragos reminded me so much of Raphael from Nalini Singh’s Archangel series because they both get across an impression of the sheer age and power in their heroes. And the chase and conflict? Hot. Straight up hot :) That was one of my favourite elements in Angels’ Blood, too.
    And Pia is aware that he’s older than dirt, but still tells him that he can’t get what he wants from her by giving orders and that he actually has to introduce the word ‘please’ to his vocabulary. And he does :)
    And the sequel bait secondary characters reminded me of interactions between the BDB and how they might not initially like someone they’ve just met until that person stands up to them. Then respect has been earned. They also resembled Raphael’s Seven.
    So the way that Harrison took elements of characters that worked for me in other series and convincingly fit them into her book added to my enjoyment. One of the reasons why series are so prevalent now is because each book carries the promise of being the same, but different to the others so if you liked one, you’ll keep coming back. Dragon Bound had the same-but-different quality that evoked some of my favourites, if that makes sense.
    So Thea Harrison made some very smart moves in identifying what works in the genre, but expressing it through her own voice. I’m hoping that Tricks and Tiago (who Tricks compares to Dwayne Johnson, BTW, which cements Storm’s Heart as a must-read for me) can live up to the standard set by Dragon Bound.
    End of mini-review.
    Marg, buy this book now!

  2. Kat says:

    I wouldn’t mind, actually. I haven’t read many paranormal romances lately, and I think it’s time I tried a new author.

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