Penelope Fletcher's Smolder is an entertaining read if you are willing to suspend any expectation of realistic behaviour (and I don't just mean because it is fantasy). Marina and Koen are another stunning example of insta-love, granted it's also a case of instant hate too. The whole scenario is made more ridiculous by the fact that she is COMPLETELY unfazed by the fact that he is a dragon. This is where my sense of realism is stretched beyond it's brink. Marina isn't afraid of anything. She is too brash, too fearless, and too loyal to a man she just met. But still it's entertaining enough if you just roll with the punches.
Honestly, even though she is largely too much of just about everything she is also really funny. This kept me reading even when I wanted to yell 'yeah right they would let you get away with that!' or 'Oh, how convenient for you.' Koen is noble, but you don't see much of his personality. It is too buried in being honourable and duty bound, but Daniil and Nikolai are fabulous side kicks. They made the book worth reading.
I was even willing to ignore the book's desperate need for an editor, because though noticeable it wasn't all that distracting. What I was not willing to overlooks is the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger...no that isn't right. I don't consider it a cliffhanger. Yes, the final page of the book is ultra suspenseful, but it isn't an ending. Marina is literally halfway through the quest she set out on. That's not a cliffhanger, that's half of a book! Yes ,Smolder is appropriately long, at roughly 250 pages, but it's only half a story. When did this become the accepted norm? It makes me mad. If I take the time to read 250 pages I expect some sort of conclusion as a payoff before having to wait for the second instalment. I didn't get that here and I am not a happy camper. Still, I want to know how the story ends so should the second one come out before I forget about having read this one I will pick it up.