Bound to the Alien Dragon Mage by Thea Dane
Released: October 26, 2017
Reviewed by Sheena
Freelance researcher Jasmine Andrew takes a job at Pax Corp, a secret organization in search of extraterrestrial life. One night when a stranger with eyes of amber fire appears out of thin air, she barely has time to gasp before he pulls her into a black void. On the other side lies Ozar, a world of dragon shifters, and Jasmine is now bound to one of its strongest and mysterious kings.
Braegon Bloodsworn is the last dragon mage-king in his technological world. He fiercely guards his volcanic island kingdom from meddlers, but he never came upon one like the brown-skinned, curvy beauty from Earth before. He discovers she’s his long sought-after mate. Jasmine, despite her powerful attraction to him, has doubts. Now that he’s brought a fertile female to the island, Braegon has to protect her at all times. Yet amid all this, a great threat looms over the entire planet. Only Braegon and Jasmine hold the key to uniting the five kingdoms and destroying the danger for good.
Favorite Quote: “You talk a lot and very fast. You’re nervous.” Jasmine flung the remains of her soggy, textured curls out of her eyes. From this position, the ground was a long way down. “You bet I’m nervous. I’m on a weird island with man-eating plants that stink like roadkill, in the middle of a stormy sea, talking to a half-naked guy with some dead serious magnetism–”
“I meant, magnetic- powers”
I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!
Kind of sums it up. I’m really (really) into alien romance and dragons are a girls best friend so I was supremely excited to dive into what promised to be a human woman, thrust into the alien, dragon shifty world where she would face danger but be protected by her male that would be all “MINE” over her and at first she’ll resist because hello, “all my women, independent, throw your hands up at me!” – but he’d storm her defenses and they would mate and HEA *fans self*
So you see, I was all in. Ready. Locked and loaded for all of the campy, smutty tropey marbles. And the first chapter totally took me there! I felt a world coming together, things were moving fast, but I like fast, so I went with it, Jasmine in her research position, her shady corporation, the mysterious captive alien. I was completely juiced! Annnnnd then from there, things hit a screeching halt.
The world that seemed to be forming became a world of cards, barely built, the flimsiest of foundations. Main characters, Jasmine and Braegon had almost no chemistry. I don’t care if you *tell me* that he got a stiffy around her and she was attracted to his man muscles and blood sang etc, chemistry isn’t told – it’s shown and the interactions between the two were stilted and screamed bad blind date, but let’s make it work!
I can appreciated fated mates, but I also like to know that there is actual love and desire to back up the physiological imperatives that a couple be together. I never really bought that Braegon and Jasmine should have mated- they felt like they were in the early stages of dating, even by the end of the novel. He was just going with the flow (his blood called to her so that was good enough for him.” And unable to go back to Earth because of thin safety reasons and the fact that he wasn’t giving up his mate, Jasmine was stuck and made the best of a situation with few options and hey, he was hot and a King so, *reluctant winning?*
There is an element of danger, the planet she’s been taken to is warring with another faction of cyborg Dragons and heathens from a prison planet set on destroying them all. Great premise, interesting plot but it needed more.
In fact that was my problem with this novel, It is chock full of really great ideas, but it kept coming up short on the execution. For instance, the alien world that Braegon ruled, Ozar, what are the natives like? Are they humanoid? Are they all dragon shifters, or can only some of them shift? The author describes the plant life and environment well, but came up short depicting the inhabitants. There were a few human women in the alienverse, and I believe they are from other books, but there isn’t much explanation there either besides knowing they were brought to the planets and found mated happiness with fellow dragon kings. What are the rules of this world? Too much was missing.
It checks the smut boxes just fine *wiggles eyebrows*..but if you are going to go there and make a well-rounded sci-fi romance – go there and build a solid world while you are at it. It goes a long way to lending credibility and authenticity to the story. But since I brought it up..
“You’re so wet you’re raining.” He touched her while she balanced on her hands and knees. “I want you to rain on me.”
Jasmine’s thighs were slick as he brought her almost to the point of climax. She soaked the tip of his cock as he dipped it in and out of her in a mischievous tease. Then he grabbed her hips and thrust deep inside. She gasped, clutching the sheets on the bed as he pumped in and out. His cock was so big, filling her to the top. He seemed to get bigger the harder he thrusted…
“Jasmine…” He uttered her name before he exploded into her. He filled her with his seed until it trickled down her thighs. He pushed one final time before pulling out. They fell on the bed. Jasmine turned over and went into her mate’s arms. The quiet of the night settled in on them. Tomorrow morning, she’d wake up a queen. Hard to believe a short time ago, she had no idea he existed in a distant galaxy. It had been worth everything for them to find each other.
Was it Jasmine….was it really worth everything? I have doubts sister! I still got “She’s just not that into you” vibes right down to the end. Her love declaration was more like a resignation. Lemonade out of lemons, eh, Jazz?
Aside from my problems with the lack of execution, I didn’t get to know these characters. Things centered on Braegon and Jasmine and I should know more about them both besides the fact that they are mates, Braegon has a grudge with a fellow King and necessary ally and that Jasmine was a scientific researcher who is a BBW. I don’t much like the heroines size being used as heavily as it was in this novel, like I get it, put down the thesaurus and relax on trying to find 101 ways to say she is round, curvy, thick, etc etc. I love the inclusion of curvaceous women in romantic fiction, in this particular instance, the point felt drilled home a little too aggressively.
What I did find was done exceptionally well was Jasmine’s realistic concerns and doubts. I don’t believe she overcame them, rather just accepted them, but it always bugs me when human women in sci-fi or paranormal romances go with the flow too perfectly. Like really girl, you aren’t the least bit HOLY SH^# WTF- GETMEOUTTAHERE?? I found that Jasmine’s inner dialogue regarding her circumstances was a refreshing point of view.
Overall, Bound to the Alien Dragon Mage definitely had its challenges, but I am optimistic that the author is on to something. Dane has obvious good ideas and the beginning of the book is so inviting and clever that I know she has the chops to begin expanding the plots, shoring up her world building and turning out more solid stories. I’m definitely adding her to me authors to watch list and I look forward to checking her out in this genre again someday.