Audiobook Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

26 04 2012

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

Read by Sophie Eastlake

Tantor Audio

Length: (Hmmmm….) 12 Hrs 59 Min

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Quick Thoughts: If you like highly detailed sexual encounters in a magical alternate America, full of fae court politics and with a sexy, yet overly possessive male lead, than by all mean, give Dragon Bound a listen. Thea Harrison knows what her fans want, and she delivers the goods. Don’t worry, I’ll still respect you in the morning.

Note: I decided not to give this title an actual grade, because this is so far out of what I would normally listen to, grading it would be a disservice to the audiobook and fans of Paranormal Romance novels.

Dragon Bound was nominated for a 2012 Audie Award in the Paranormal category.

Fair warning ladies, if you are looking for a stunningly handsome shape shifting dragon to ravage you, fulfilling your deepest physical needs, I am not your man.  Obviously, I am not a shape shifting dragon, nor am I what you would consider classically handsome. Or, well, everyday handsome. While our shape shifting dragon has a chiseled, rippling chest, my chest is less rippling and more undulating.  One look at me will not take your breath away, and if it does cause you to feel an ache in your loins, I would recommend you go talk to your lady parts doctor. I am definitely not an alpha male, nor am I a beta male. I am the sort of male that follows at the back of the pack making snarky comments about those males leading the way. Last time I heard the term “enormous member” used to describe me was when I was considering signing up for Weight Watchers. You see, I will never star in my own Paranormal Romance novel and well, I am OK with that. I’m a flesh and blood guy whose parents are both human, and I work a pretty boring job. Not really fantasy making material. Recently, as part of the Armchair Audies, I took on the task of listening to all the audiobooks nominated in three categories, one of them being the Paranormal category. Luckily, most of the titles were novels I had some level of interest in. Well, there was one exception, that being Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison. Paranormal Romance really isn’t my thing. Personally, most romance novels seem to be about incredible attractive people who meet and fall into some sort of intense relationship. This really isn’t something that interests me. I have no disrespect for the genre, heck, I love books about zombies, ultra violent ex-soldiers roaming America, and Space Aliens coming to enslave the human race and eat our spleens, which, if your not familiar with those types of books, are not high literature. I am a big proponent of not being ashamed of what you choose for your personal entertainment, and while Romance is not really my thing, I will proudly stand next to my sisters and brothers who are Romance fans. I also may just try and sneak a peak at their voluptuous breasts and large throbbing members, you know, just for fun.

Dragon Bound tells the story of Pia Giovanni, a half wyr, half human resident of an alternative New York City, who is blackmailed into stealing something from the shape shifting wyr dragon Dragos. Dragos is one of the most powerful figures in wyrkind, and also happens to be, well, sort of hunky. When he tracks Pia down, he is instantly drawn to her in a mysterious way, and the two begin a whirlwind tryst that will put them up against the forces of the dark fae. Did I enjoy Dragon Bound? No, not really. Did I have fun with it? Absolutely. The main reason I didn’t enjoy Dragon Bound was I utterly despised with all the loathing possible in my heart, the character of Dragos. The guy was an utter asshat, treating his people, and Pia like property, ordering them around, and just finding multiple ways to act like an arrogant dill weed. Now, I understand this was all part of his dragon nature, but that didn’t make me like him. I personally hate when the female character falls for the alpha male. I still am pissed that Dee left Billy for Lee Adama (obligatory Battlestar Galactica reference.) Pia, whose response to Dragos misogyny and possessiveness was snarkiness followed by hissy fits and crying temper tantrums didn‘t really win me over either. Their relationship was the type that makes me feel awkward when exposed to it in the real world, so why would I want to read about it? Also, Harrison brilliantly, and in great detail describes every moment of physical contact between Dragos and Pia, whether sexual or otherwise, from limb placement to what parts of the bodies rub up against the other parts and its affect on their nether regions, yet, when it comes time for the Dragon to get all Dragony violent, she basically just says, “He rips them to pieces.” I want the gore. I want to know in what order he rends the limbs from his enemy. I want blood and splatter and giant dragon action, crushing skulls and eating the flesh of his enemies. Instead, I got a lot of Dragos boning Pia. Now, I enjoyed some of the characters, like Tricks, the fae PR “person” for Dragos, and the griffins. and the story was OK, but it was the romance that drove the narrative, and not the violence, or the mystery or even the magical alternate world she created. As someone who is not a romance fan, it’s just not what I’m looking for. Yet, for Paranormal Romance fans, I can see why this novel would be popular. If you like highly detailed sexual encounters in a magical alternate America, full of fae court politics, and with a sexy, yet overly possessive male lead, than by all mean, give Dragon Bound a listen. Thea Harrison knows what her fans want, and she delivers the goods. Don’t worry, I’ll still respect you in the morning.

Dragon Bound was narrated by Sophie Eastlake, and I feel she did an excellent job, even if I’m not sure I’d be able to look her in the eyes if I ever met her in real life. I like that her voice wasn’t especially sultry, but had an everyday, wry tone to it that captured Pia very well. You could tell she just embraced the novel, describing things that would make porn stars blush, with relish and excitement. She had fun with the characters, and gave them all her own little twist. I will warn audiobook listeners that is you are listening to this audio in your car with your windows down, and you roll up next to your old English teacher from high school it may lead to an awkward moment., but don’t worry too much, she’s probably hiding a Danielle Steele paperback under her Proust novel.

Check out these reviews from Actual Paranormal Romance Fans:

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8 responses

26 04 2012
Laurie C

Thanks for a very entertaining review! I’m starting to count on you for my morning dose of humor every day. No pressure, though.

26 04 2012

Amusing review. When I saw you were listening to it, I couldn’t imagine how the review would work out. –JEFF

26 04 2012

I’m very disappointed you don’t want to read more in the genre. I’d even send them to you if you’d continue live tweet as you go. That was a lot of fun to read; thanks for the entertainment.

26 04 2012
Loupe Duffy

Hahaha! Excellent! I love it!!! It probably reaffirmed what a contradiction we women can be….but I’m sure you already knew that. I love that you understand and don’t stereotype, this is just a different route for escapism and fantasy.
I completely agree with you, the sensuality of this novel was amazingly performed by Sophia Eastlake.
Again, excellent job!
Thanks so much for the mention!

28 04 2012
DevourerofBooks (@DevourerofBooks)

I’m not really a romance fan, but romance in audio scares me, listening to someone describe all the sex seems so much more blush-worthy than just reading it. Looks like you had fun writing your sexy dragons review!

30 05 2012
15 04 2013
Audiobook Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews | The Guilded Earlobe

[…] me for a few reasons. I have nothing against Paranormal Romance, but many of my readers know about my history with sexy dragons. I have documented my personal issues sex in audiobooks and with romance on a few occasions, and […]

20 05 2013

I only read your top paragraph and the fact that you didn’t rate it. After I eventually read it I will come back and read your thoughts. You know I don’t read these kinds of books often but when I feel like some overwhelming romance – which isn’t often I plan to try this one out.

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