Grace Carlyle, frustrated by her boring, predictable job and lack of romance in her life sets out on a potentially dangerous mission to find her brother who disappeared into the Amazon jungle on a research trip many weeks ago. After her guide steals from her and retreats into the jungle, Grace finds herself wandering, looking for the way out. Instead of getting out of the jungle however, she unknowingly heads deeper in, finally coming across a strange portal… the entrance to the mythical world of Atlantis.
Darius en Karigan, Dragon Warlord of Atlantis, feels Grace enter his world and runs to strike her down before she can bring peril to his homeland. Strangely drawn to her however, he finds he cannot bring himself to kill her like he has killed all the others who dared to venture into his homeland. After learning more about her, Darius realizes that the city of Atlantis is in danger. Alex had not just gone missing, he is the subject of a conspiracy, a conspiracy to strip Atlantis of all its riches and murder its mythical inhabitants. Together, Darius and Grace must solve the mystery and save Atlantis from greed and deception.
In the words of my fiancé: “This book is horrible!” Personally, I find that to be a little harsh. I knew going in that Heart of the Dragon was a romantic fantasy, a genre that Showalter is known for. That being said, I wasn’t expecting much and ended up pleasantly surprised. The reading is quick and easy, so it makes a good plane/beach read.
Heart of the Dragon got better the more I read. If you aren’t familiar with Showalter’s style, the first part of the book might make you want to roll your eyes a tad with the obvious clichés and overly fantastic style that many romance novelists have adopted in order to “engage” the reader from the first page. This is probably what made my fiancé laugh and make fun of me when I accidentally left my book in the bathroom after a bubble bath. In any case, this is definitely Chick Lit and that should be written on the cover in large, bold letters.
Keeping all of that in mind, I honestly liked Heart of the Dragon. It was pointedly less serious than the book I’d just finished, had lots of fun, mystery, romance, and just a sprinkling of danger which will undoubtedly lure me back to more works by Showalter. If you’re skeptical of romance novels, then stay away, but if you need something fun, short, and slightly mindless, this is a good choice. Heart of the Dragon held my interest, and even though I had to wade through a river of melted cheese to get to the heart (no pun intended) of the story, I sincerely enjoyed it, and I continue to be a Gena Showalter fan.
Julie Waineo, one of our earliest guest reviewers, earned an MBA at Bowling Green State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in French. Now living in Virginia with her husband and dog, Julie is an avid reader of not only fantasy, but historical fiction, the occasional “chick lit,” and children’s literature.
Atlantis — (2005-2009) Publisher: Grace Carlyle’s world was about to change … Deep in the jungle on the trail of her missing brother, Grace never expected to find a secret world populated by mythological monsters — nor guarded by a sword-wielding being whose beauty put mortal men to shame. Darius en Kragin belongs to a race of shape-shifting warriors sworn to guard Atlantis and kill all travelers who stray within its boundaries. Yet when Grace stumbles into his realm, he finds himself tempted to betray his centuries-old vow. Now their forbidden love will either bring their worlds together — or tear them both apart.