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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Author: Annette Blair
Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V3; S4; H4
Publisher and Titles: Berkley
      Naked Dragon (2010)
      Bedeviled Angel (2010)
      Vampire Dragon (2011)

     Vampire Dragon, the newest book in this usually funny series is out and it doesn’t quite meet the humor standard set in the previous two books. A review of that book comes at the end of this synopsis of the series so far:

     Vivica Quinlan is a witch in Salem, Massachusetts, who owns an employment agency called Works Like Magick. Vivica’s prospective employees are supernaturals, drawn by Salem’s magical lure. Each time a new supernatural (e.g., dragon, angel) appears, Vivica is warned by an onset of hiccups and she rushes off to gather him up and get him in training for his earthly life.

     In Naked Dragon, the newcomer is Bastian Dragonelli, a shape-shifting dragon who comes to earth to clear the way for his brother dragons to travel to safety from their embattled homeland. An evil goddess (Killian) is out to get all of the dragons, and she shows up to cause trouble in all of the dragon-related books in this series. Bastian's soul mate is McKenna Greylock, who is trying to avoid foreclosure on her bed and breakfast inn. Because Bastian doesn’t know the language, he takes everything quite literally, which is the source of much of the humor. There are also lots of “man lance” one-liners. Here's an example, as Bastian has a homonym-challenged encounter with McKenna:

     "Your eyes are violet," she said.
     "They're dragon-elli eyes....All my brothers have eyes this color."
     "It's in the genes, then?"
     "No, that is my man lance in my jeans. I am sorry if it distracts you."

     The villains are a sleazy land developer, who wants to tear down McKenna's home and build condos, and a supernatural enemy who has followed Bastian from his homeland. 
     Bedeviled Angel tells the story of a guardian angel (Chance), who comes to earth to rescue his agoraphobic soul mate (Queisha) when she is faced with a series of life-changing circumstances. Their relationship includes lots of bedroom humor (submarines rather than man lances) with minor interruptions by a few mild villains.

     In Vampire Dragon, the heroine is Bronte McBride, who portrays herself as the Vampiress of Salem. Bronte owns the building that houses three businesses: the Phoenix, a restaurant for tourists; Fangs for the Memories, a vampire fun-house for tourists; and Drak's Place, a club for true vampires. Bronte is very mysterious about her past and always wears a face mask to hide her true identity. She lives with a 12-year-old boy named Zachary who seems to be way more mature than he looks. The hero is Darkwyn Dragonelli, brother of Bastian and Jaydun, who drops to earth (naked of course) behind the bar of the Phoenix during the mid-day rush. As it turns out, Bronte and Zach are on the run from some Canadian mobsters—yes, that’s right, Canadian mobsters. They had to be foreign mobsters so that Blair could find a reason—in this case, an immigration issue—for Darkwyn to be forced into marrying Bronte early in the story. Once again, we get pages and pages of man-lance jokes that were funny in book 1 but are getting pretty old by now. There’s only so much penis humor that a series can take before it implodes, and I believe that we’ve reached that point. The villains are as sleazy as ever. In the scene when the villain is vanquished, there are so many illogical actions that I was shaking my head in disbelief. I won’t explain the problems, because that would be too much of a spoiler. You’ll know it when you see it. The face mask that Bronte wears is a meaningless piece of business. Bronte wears that mask ALL THE TIME—refuses to take it off…ever! When she finally does remove her mask (on the last page), you’re in for a hugely disappointing moment—definitely not worth all her mysterious carryings on throughout the book.

This blog entry was last updated on 5/7/2011.

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