43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Lisa Singleton inherited her late Grandmother's apartment along with everything in it - including the full-size dragon her Grandmother never warned her was living in the guest room! Caleb has been set as Lisa's protector by the witches who control him, a task he doesn't mind at all- especially when she talks to him and lets him have the remote for the TV.
OK, so it is a little unusual for a Golden Dragon, known as a powerful warrior, to enjoy life as a couch potato. But it is even more unusual to have a dragon living in your spare bedroom. Then again, things get even stranger when that dragon suddenly turns into a human hunk and settles himself comfortably and naked on the living room sofa!
When the infamous Black Dragon and an evil witch both target the innocent Lisa, Caleb will do anything to save the beautiful human woman he has come to love more than life itself.
Why, oh WHY did it take me so long to read this wonderful book that I have had languishing away on my book case for so long??? I bought Dragon Heat, the first story in Allyson James' Dragon Series, months ago. Unfortunately, I had not yet found time to move it up my too-large (no complaints, though) to-be-read pile. But it was certainly very near the top, since I have a particular penchant for any story that has dragons in it, whether they are the shape shifting variety or not.
Lucky for me, the sequel to this story came to CK2S Kwips and Kritiques for review, giving me the perfect excuse to move Dragon Heat to the top of that TBR pile! All I can say is, this series is now on my pre-order list! OK, that's not really all I can say about it; I'm way too long-winded for that.
One of the things I love best about this book is that, while it is not a comedy, Ms. James' infuses it with a good dose of natural humor throughout the story. As a person who finds humor in most real-life situations, I really appreciate that quality in the books I read. I mean, come on, the situation lends itself easily to laughter. A remote control wielding dragon living in a woman's guest-room? Plus, the juxtaposition of the comedy alongside the darker nature of the story as the villains attempt to destroy Lisa and Caleb keeps the story very entertaining.
The author delivers several twists to the plot, at least one of which I never suspected, but totally enjoyed when it happened. Having been bred on mystery novels growing up, I am pretty adept at figuring out the surprises in a story, so I always appreciate when an author manages to pull something over on me in a manner which is logical.
I really can't praise this story enough. For those of us who relish a romance with a great dose of fantasy, paranormal and suspense, Dragon Heat is a story not to be missed!
Dragon Heat (Dragon Series, Book 1)
The Black Dragon (Dragon Series, Book 2)
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
I was a bit apprehensive about reading a book that delved deep enough into fantasy to include dragons in the modern world. Still, I wanted to read something different so I gave it a try. This book truly succeeds in making the dragon/ modern world themes work together. Add romance, mystery, magic, and an intriguing plot, and you've got a terrific story.
Lisa's grandma has passed away, leaving her an apartment with a big surprise in the guestroom. When Lisa looks inside, she finds a 50- foot Golden Dragon. Over months of living together, Lisa and her dragon (Caleb) have become the best of friends. When enemies attempt to kidnap Lisa, Caleb convinces a young witch to turn him into a human man. Now he can stay close to Lisa and keep her safe where ever she goes. With their history of friendship and true affection for one another, Caleb and Lisa quickly become attracted to each other. Now that Caleb is human, Lisa can teach him how people make love. For Caleb, who has never known physical affection, this human form of mating is both fun and precious.
Evil witches enslaved Caleb centuries ago. They are now determined to capture Lisa as well. To her shock, Lisa discovers she has powerful magic that was passed down from her grandma. She has no idea what her powers are, or how to use them. Witches and a Black Dragon both want to use Lisa's magic for their own purposes. Caleb will fight to the death if necessary to keep Lisa safe. Now that he has claimed Lisa for his mate, he cherishes her above all things... even his own life.
I absolutely adore Caleb's character. He is sarcastic and arrogant, but in a very funny and lighthearted way. He made me laugh quite a bit. His innocence in our world was absolutely charming. His open and guileless love for Lisa was enchanting. Hero characters like Caleb are so rare. Powerful, yet pure. I want a dragon of my own!
I'm really looking forward to reading book 2. This new series is a breath of fresh air.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2008
DRAGON HEAT - ALLYSON JAMES
I had read a few books by Jennifer Ashley - AKA Allyson James - and I decided to give her a try. Lately, I have been reading on mostly paranormal/erotic romance and I picked this up at the recommendation of a friend.
Just like a few reviewers have stated - I liked this book ok but I just didn't LOVE it... I kept reading because I don't like to leave books unread - unless it is a total dud.
I will admit the first chapters were hard to get into. I liked most of the characters.. The Golden Dragon, Caleb was great! Loved him! Lisa.. well ... it is kind of hard to say without giving out the whole story. I liked "her" character well enough.. However what the author added made the soundness forged between the H/H rather insubstantial. Not being able to create validity of their remaining together.
The side characters were great though. Loved Malcolm and his relationship with Saba. Looking forward in reading their story.
The plot was a bit convoluted with Dragons, Incubi, good witches, bad witches... Though the Dragon characters were very well developed, their evolution and their home Dragonspace very well done. The dialogue between some of the characters was amusing - especially the well placed gibes between Caleb and Malcolm and Lisa's friends in China town.
The sexual intensity was not as I had hoped and I felt that the much awaited love scenes were hurried. Also a very confusing scene of Lisa and Caleb mating in dragonspace, which I felt made their intimate relationship a bit too far stretched.
I know a lot of readers reviewed this book with enthusiasm - but it was somewhat lacking for me. I will give The Black Dragon a try to see if this series can be redeemed for me!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I have had this book for a while and just did not think it would be that good. So many books about Dragons are out there and now we have so many with hot romances. But I was surprised and this is a good book. I did enjoy it and every time I thought she was gonna bog us down in sterotypes she avoided that problem. I am looking forward to the next book The Black Dragon (Dragon Series, Book 2).
Lisa Singleton has gone through some bad times and a bad marriage, now her grandmother has passed away and left Lisa her apartment and unknown to Lisa some very powerful objects and powers. Lisa has been courted by some wicca witches. However, she has not chosen to get involved with them. Imagine her surprise to find a dragon in her spare room. The dragon is Caleb and he has been sent by the witches to protect her from the Black Dragon.
Caleb is a golden dragon, a warrior dragon, the witches know his name and he must serve them. Watching Lisa is not a hard job for him and he finds himself caring for her. Dragons do not usually care for anyone but themselves. He convinces one of the witches that he needs to be able to enter our world and not be confined to Dragonspace.
When the sexy golden warrior and the surprising Lisa come togather there are fireworks. And now the Black Dragon and the leader of the witches are after Lisa, so Caleb has his work cut out for him.
I enjoyed the book and if you like this type of novel you will enjoy it too.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The good things about Dragon Heat are the originality of the world Allyson James has created, the delicacy of the dragon mythos, and the delightful culture and descriptive setting of San Francisco. It almost pains me to admit, however, that one significant flaw superseded those gems. I just didn't find the story to be all that well written.
It's odd, actually, because the pieces were all there. The heroine, Lisa Singleton, was a competent, reasonably intelligent young woman who, upon the death of her grandmother, was making a life for herself as an assistant to a televised cooking show. She's survived a failed marriage and difficulties with her previous employment, and I thought her character was realistic and sympathetic. The male lead, Caleb, is the dragon protector - quite literally. He's been conscripted by witches who know his true name to watch over Lisa, though neither Caleb nor Lisa know the full reasoning behind it. When Caleb takes human form to guard Lisa from the black dragon who is willing to destroy the world and Lisa along with it by using a dragon orb to end his exile from the realm of dragons, the author wrote him in such a way that his otherness was believable...if a bit too childish and boorish at turns. Even the antagonists, the black dragon and the evil witch Donna, were reasonably represented...though the progression of story concerning the black dragon takes a bit of a turn and he ends up not being quite the evil that was originally indicated.
So with all those nice pieces, what could go wrong? Well, for me, it was much like the author failed to assemble those pieces into a coherent, seamless, and pleasing picture. The mechanics of the writing wasn't at fault, I didn't find any significant technical errors that would point out the why of the failure, but there just wasn't any cohesion to the story and it became very much like reading about marionettes being pulled about by their strings. I felt no chemistry between Lisa and Caleb, despite the obvious attempts to instill it. I felt no sense of true danger from the witch Donna. Instead, she struck me as more a craven and debauched power junkie. Malcolm, the black dragon, was more sinister and he turned out to be a relatively decent - if patently black dragon - male.
The two bright spots were the reveal of Lisa's true nature, and the evolution of the relationship between Malcolm and Saba. And the fact that THAT relationship was more interesting and compelling than Lisa and Caleb's is dangerously indicative of the problem. It's not their book - it shouldn't have been. I know many people enjoyed this book, and every opinion is valid, but for me, it just didn't work. I ended up feeling nothing at all about the characters and caring nothing at all about continuing the series. Well...maybe I'll try Malcolm's story.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2007
Lisa Singleton had experienced her share of set backs recently. A lost job, a failed marriage, had sent her arrowing back to the one place she'd been happy and secure, San Francisco. Her parents had relocated to Hawaii, leaving Lisa's Chinese maternal grandmother, Li Na, as the only relative she could turn to for comfort there. When Lisa had been a child Li Na had spun tales of dragons and a legacy that Lisa would someday fulfill. Upon Li Na's death, Lisa awakens with a silver streak running through her red hair, the same silver streak that had decorated Li Na's own black hair.
When Lisa moves into Li Na's apartment she discovers that there were more to her grandmother's tales than mere fantasy. In the spare bedroom she finds she has inherited a roommate. Not just any roommate but an enormous golden dragon named Caleb.
Caleb is only the name used for others to call him by, for knowledge of a dragon's true name is to enslave him. Unfortunately in his youth, out of gratitude he had given his true name to a powerful witch. The knowledge of the name had been passed down through the generations of the witch's family tree. When summoned, Caleb had no choice but to obey. This time he had been summoned by a trio of witches, Donna, Saba, and Grizelda and had been charged with protecting Lisa, who is unaware of the incredible power she possesses, from a black dragon who had been trapped in human form. Golden dragons are the best warriors while blacks are the oldest and most intelligent and cunning. Once Caleb and Lisa meet and come to terms with their situation, the two become fast friends.
Malcolm the black dragon had been trapped on Earth in human form centuries ago. He is lonely and misses the freedom of flying in Dragonspace. All he has ever wanted is to go back home. Although Lisa is unaware of her legacy, Malcolm knows that she alone is the guardian of a dragon orb brought to the human world generations ago by Lisa's ancestor. The orb has the power to break the enchantment on Malcolm and send him home. Unfortunately the result of the orb's use would tear the human world apart. Human witches had been responsible for Malcolm's plight so he has no care for the safety of human kind. Malcolm intends to place his mark on any human close enough to Lisa to help him achieve his goal.
Donna, the mastermind of the witches who control Caleb, has her own use for the orb. Though she has forbidden the others to allow Caleb full entry into the human world, when it becomes apparent that Malcolm has begun to make his move, Caleb begs Saba to help him fully protect Lisa. The next thing Lisa knows she has a new roommate, a huge, muscular, naked man with golden hair, and Caleb's eyes. In human form Caleb feels for the first time the emotions that humans feel. His affection for Lisa now takes on a whole new dimension and he will do anything to protect the woman he now recognizes as his mate.
I'll leave Lisa's amazing legacy for the reader to discover, suffice it to say that the vivid imagery of this unique fantasy romance will take one soaring to a new world you might find yourself reluctant to return from. But never fear Malcolm has left behind a pair of black dragon tears in the hands of the witch Saba. They get their own story in book 2, The Black Dragon to be released in November 2007.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch for PNR Reviews
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2007
"Dragon Heat" had a good premise. The largest problem I had w/ this book was the writing style. The author's extreme avoidance of contractions of words such as "couldn't," "don't," "didn't," and etc was a little hard to read. Overall the writing style was on the amateur level.
The plot is about current Earth and a sort of parallel universe called Dragonscape. Witches are the villains and are constantly trying to steal powers from the dragons. Caleb, a golden warrior dragon, who has been enslaved by witches for a millennia, has now been charged w/ keeping Lisa safe from a black dragon. Unfortunately he cannot protect her fully because he cannot pass his portal in Lisa's apartment. When danger comes to Lisa, Caleb finds a way to be human to be near Lisa and to hunt the black dragon. Meanwhile, there is a nice mystery about who Lisa is and why everyone is after her.
The heroine's character was well formed. But the hero wasn't particularly deep and did come out as more muscle & beauty, rather than brain.
Because I still like the basic plotline, I will probably try another of the author's books and hope that the writing has matured somewhat. I gave this book 3 stars mostly because of interesting world building. However, the writing style could greatly use some improvement. Many sentences were strangely put together; avoidance of contractions distracted the reader; too much telling the reader about everything instead of showing; too many repetitions of the same point/observations; and the dialogue didn't appear natural. I could understand some characters talking in the stilted English language, but all the characters had the same speech patterns.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Everyone wants the dragon orb....
Caleb is a golden dragon, a warrior enslaved by witches and ordered to protect Lisa Singleton from the black dragon. Lisa has grown content with her dragon roommate but never expects to see him in his human form. Caleb is determined to protect Lisa at all costs, but just who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Witches, dragons, and even a few demons are invading the area as Lisa has a secret even she doesn't know. Will Caleb's love for Lisa triumph all else? And will Lisa learn the secret of the mysterious dragon orb in time?
Allyson James does an excellent job with world building. Who doesn't want to travel to Dragonspace? Allyson James creates vivid images that make this alternate world seem as real as the San Francisco setting in which most of the book occurs. The history and different designations of the dragons are also well explained, and I certainly hope to see even more of the various dragon castes in future books.
Lisa's journey to self confidence after her recent history of failures is a joy to behold. Caleb is likeable but I must admit that Malcolm, the black dragon, stole my heart. Allyson James does perhaps too good of a job with her secondary characters as I wanted more of Malcolm and Saba and am thrilled to see that the second book in the Dragon series will feature their story. DRAGON HEAT is an excellent start to what looks to be a promising new series!
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2007
Dragon Heat caught my attention for several reasons: the book cover, my recent foray into reading fantasy, and the comments on the back cover made me think of another recent series I read and absolutely loved - Stephanie Rowe's "Must Love Dragons," "Date Me, Baby, One More Time," and "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot." So I was looking forward to and definitely prepared to love this story. It didn't happen for me until about the last 100 pages or so.
The characters were colorful and the imagery was beautiful! I would like to have known more about "Dragonspace" though. I get that it's `home' for dragons and they miss the freedom of flying, breathing fire, etc. and yes, home usually always holds a special place in our heart, but there's no family, friends, anything there waiting for them. Why is the pull so strong for them to return or want to be there?
I'm also someone who loves for the cover or insert page images to represent the characters in the book. And while Caleb does that marvelously well, unfortunately, he never made me *feel* anything for him other than he was a nice bod and good in bed. The one thing I really disliked about Caleb is he was never seemed more than this. All of his dialogue barely consisted of a few words or "I'm a Golden Dragon," "I will protect you," or "Yes, I know." I just didn't feel any depth to him at all. And while I *read* the words of and about Lisa, she pretty much made me feel the same way. I think she was just to even keeled. The ingredients were all here for Lisa and Caleb's character but they just never came to fruition for me.
Malcolm and Saba were a totally different story! Malcolm reminded me of some of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters: something of a bad boy, with a lot of baggage, but basically with a heart who ends up doing the right thing. I felt their pain, struggles, inherent goodness, and feelings much more than I ever did with Lisa and Caleb. I *wanted* to read about Malcolm and Saba! Badly!
Bottom line: the first half of the book, 3 stars. The last half, 4. Malcolm and Saba, 5 stars! And I absolutely can't wait to read their story! "The Black Dragon" should be a 5 star read for sure and I look forward to it! =)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2007
I was looking though the book isle of the local Wal-Mart and this book caught my eye. Why do you say well I saw the cover of the hot hunk on the cover of course so I just had to pick it up and I read the back and well...This book is great! I love the idea of a Golden Dragon protecting the heroine and all that but boy when that dragon turns into a man well watch out. Major hot sex scenes. Oh and I loved the Black Dragon Malcom oh I know he was supposed to be evil at first but man what with all the black leather and silver eyes and the long sliky black hair well I just knew that he would be readeamed and indeed his story comes out in November. Anyway back to our hero. He is all golden skin and hair and has the bluest eyes, well he is a golden dragon after all. The basic summary of the story is this There is 3 witches that have enslaved Caleb out hero and have charged him with the task of guarding Lisa our heroine from the oh so sexy Black Dragon. The Black Dragon is after only one thing or maybe two which is to get back home to Dragonspace for he too is enslaved to the 3 witches. In order to do that he must have the dragon orb or talk one of the witches into opening a protal and sending him home. Actuall there are kinda two romances going on in this one that of our hero and heorine and Malcom and Saba(one of the 3 witches) Well actually there is only one evil witch who wants to capture our heroine and harness her power for evil her name is Donna. Yeah she associates with evil incubi and the like and she is truly evil. Great storyline, Hot sex scenes(oh yeah Malcom has a few too with who? Saba Watanabe) REally looking forward to reading the second book in this series. So buy this book you will not be dissapointed if you are looking for a paranormal with witches, dragons, and romance.