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Treasured Claim: A Mythos Legacy Novel (Volume 1) Paperback – May 16, 2015
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
"If you like your female leads feisty, this is the book for you. All around just a fascinating read that will stick with you and delves deeper into dragon legends than any other book I've found so far." -- Book of the Moment Club
"A completely fresh approach by this new to me author and I found myself flipping the pages very quickly. ... The hero Alex felt like a breath of fresh air... I applaud the author..." -- NetGalley Review
"Not at all what I was expecting, it was better ... The chemistry between Alex and Elaina was beautifully written..." -- Lovers of Paranormal, Maria D., Reviewer
From the Author
Welcome to the Mythos Legacy!
Treasured Claim is the first full-length novel in the Mythos Legacy series, where real myths find real love.
Each standalone story in the series can be read in any order--and ends happily!
Short Story Intro: Unintended Guardian
Book 1: Treasured Claim
Book 2: Pure Sacrifice
Book 3: Ironclad Devotion -- Winner of the 2015 National Readers' Choice Award!
Book 4: Stone-Cold Heart -- Newest Release!
If you're new to the series, check out Unintended Guardian (smarturl.it/UGKin), the short story introduction to the world. I hope you enjoy these contemporary fantasy/paranormal romances, where mythological beings (like shapeshifting dragons!) find their perfect match among humans.
Treasured Claim Is a Multi-Award-Winning Story:
- Grand Prize Winner and First Place in the Valley of the Sun's RWA Hot Prospects contest.
- First Place in the Yellow Rose's RWA Winter Rose contest.
- First Place in the Tampa Area Romance Authors' RWA TARA contest.
- Additional Twelve-time Finalist: OK RWA's National Readers' Choice Award (Paranormal Romance & Best First Book), FF&P RWA's PRISM contest (Paranormal Romance & Best First Book), Greater Detroit RWA's Bookseller's Best Award (Paranormal Romance & Best First Book), Toronto Romance Writers RWA's The Catherine contest, Smoky Mountain RWA's Laurie contest, FF&P RWA's On the Far Side contest, Northeast Ohio RWA's Cleveland Rocks Romance contest, Missouri RWA's Gateway to the Best contest, and Indiana RWA's Indiana Golden Opportunity contest.
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One such difference is that the dragons from Gold's Mythos world need to "claim" a critical mass of treasure to establish and maintain their hoards in order to stay alive. The gold and jewels comprising their hoards must "bond" to them for that life force energy to be accessible. Alex and Elaina's first encounter finds them at his residence where she had gained access to his annual fundraising dinner through her disguise as a catering service employee. She has been compelled to resort to stealing jewelry from his fancy party guests because her hoard is too small to maintain her heart beat. After initially feeling an overpowering attraction to one another, he catches her with the stolen items--his outrage over her thefts setting up their first conflict hurdle. At this point, Alex does not know Elaina is a dragon in humanoid form.
As events unfold, Gold adroitly weaves their interactions throughout to underline how the negative beliefs and self doubt residing in both, coupled with the vast gulf of "cultural" differences between a dragon and human, need to be resolved. In the process, the story of Alex and Elaina provides a credible platform for highlighting the variety of issues any aspiring couple needs to take into account to convert white hot chemistry into a long-term relationship success.
A good example of this is the scene where Alex and Elaina dive into their first intimate encounter. Mindful of ensuring her pleasure despite his almost overwhelming passion, Alex brings the naive, dragon virgin to ecstasy through his intense, yet sensitive ministrations, turning it into a seminal experience for her. By doing so he sets the stage for his skeptical lover to take a deeper look at her belief that dragons can't love.
A short time later, however, Elaina turns the tables when in the quiet aftermath of their love-making, she discovers the physical scars on Alex's body from his repeated abuse as a child. Her probing but sensitive questioning pulls out long-buried emotions in him--internal conflicts and memories he has never shared with anyone else. Bringing that kind of baggage to the surface, where it can be examined and released, is essential to good relationship health. Sharing it with a beloved only deepens the experience and makes it more healing.
Despite a clearly familiar plot line, neither the actions nor the events in this story are predictable or expected. Each sexual encounter emphasizes where the lovers currently find themselves at every stage of their relationship. Unlike many other stories of this type, the shared intimacies between Alex and Elaina are not simply pornographic diversions, but symbolize instead the challenges they face in their evolving commitment to each other, yet serve the narrative that there is much more to genuine intimacy than its physical expression.
The immediate and strong attraction that initially brought them together needs to work through many trials before their relationship reaches the level of stability needed for a long-term commitment. Facing Elaina's grandfather and father at the end serves as the climax to the dilemma facing them at that point. The dramatic struggle with Volus, Elaina's father, triggers the onset of Alex's own heretofore unknown but unnatural abilities--abilities that begin to answer the mystery of how a dragon and a human can be romantically involved at all.
When that encounter concludes, it leads the exhausted couple to embark on a new path forward. At this point they have navigated enough obstacles to the love and trust they have doubted along the way so that now they can realistically evaluate their prospects for a long-term arrangement. The ever cautious Elaina (at least in the "feeling" department--not her actions) concedes that yes, love is possible for a dragon, while Alex is satisfied he has found his match in the relationship equivalent of a "fair fight." Both can now acknowledge the other essential elements required for a successful partnership: commitment, respect and the status of best friends, without which no romantic attraction can reach its full potential.
This book is quite well edited, but I have my usual gripe about the missing subjunctive in most of the "if" and "as though" clauses throughout the book. There are three or four instances where that grammatical construct is correctly applied, but in most cases it is ignored. That is the only stumble I found in an otherwise well crafted, hard-to-put-down story that is sweet without being saccharine and appropriately humorous amid the drama. It also contains realistic, well-developed characters and natural, recognizable dialogue. Highly recommended--
The first half of the book kept me turning pages like a mad-woman. I loved the characters and their hang-ups were as original as their individual plights. Since I'm not an erotic reader, I will say that I was disappointed to see graphic sex within the first few chapters of the book. Consenting adults and all that, but I take my personal moral code with me where ever I go. Although the use of the "f-word" I don't like was sparing, the book would have been more enjoyable (for me) without it.
I love dragons. The spin Ms. Gold put on her dragons was new to me. I liked that they weren't carnivores and that their nature had a duality (with the dragon aspect becoming stronger as they aged). The "daddy" issues that both characters had served the story and character development arcs quite well. Although there wasn't really any dull spots, I did get bogged down on the island. Even in hindsight, I feel like most of what happened there didn't serve to further the overall story.
I predicted from the reading of the blurb how the story would end. It was the way it had to end, and it was a happy ending, so who's complaining? If you don't mind erotic scenes (and I could have been happier without the dominance-submission but can see how that was a part of the characters' personas), and like dragons and happy endings, you should pick up this book at your earliest opportunity.
Fans of Michelle Pillow, Cynthia Eden, and Harmony Raines will love this book.