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Topic: G.A. Aiken Dragon Books

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Subject: G.A. Aiken Dragon Books
Date Posted: 12/29/2009 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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This week, I read the two latest GA Aiken Dragon books and wondered if anyone wanted to discuss. (I suppose these might technically be more "fantasy" than "paranormal", but I don't seem to find as many kindred spirits in that forum.)

I love this series. I'm always fond of magic and dragons and strong female leads. Usually the wise-cracking over-the-top characters in more modern style chick-lit drive me crazy. For instance, I can't stand Janet Evonovich books.  Yet somehow I adore Aiken's characters - wise cracks, major attitude and all!. The women are so unique - strong, funny, and totally blood-thirsty.  It's been awhile since I read Dragon Actually, so parts of that storyline are hazy.  I seem to recall liking it a lot but maybe not "best thing since sliced bread". However, reading the two newer books this week (back to back, no less) was a huge treat. The characters are often like they came out of comic book, but then they are so endearing. And the males are hysterical.  Big. strong warriors feared by all, but often managed quite easily by their women.  I didn't think "Gwenvael the Handsome" (3rd book) would be all that interesting. But he's definitely one of the best. He's known as a great warrior and lover of anything female - yet he makes such delicious fun of himself, fake-crying to get his way and making eyes at the Reinholt brothers just to make them uncomfortable. 

Lounging around for hours reading these two books was about as decadent as eating several pounds of rich, creamy fudge.  Mind candy and definitely yummy!

P.S. If you haven't read these and plan to - definitely read them in order. The same characters and pieces of story line continue through the books. Each book stands alone concerning its major plot, but you'll enjoy it much more if you know the characters and backstory.

Dragon Actually (2008)

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear -a lot- or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fills her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger.

She's wrong...   

(And just wait until you meet the rest of the family...)

About a Dragon (2008)

For Nolwenn witch Talaith, a bad day begins with being dragged from bed by an angry mob intent on her crispy end and culminates in rescue by -- wait for it -- a silver-maned dragon. Existence as a hated outcast is nothing new for a woman with such powerful secrets. The dragon, though? A tad unusual. This one has a human form to die for, and knows it. According to dragon law, Talaith is now his property, for pleasure... or otherwise. But if Lord Arrogance thinks she's the kind of damsel to acquiesce without a word, he's in for a surprise... Is the woman never silent? Briec the Mighty knew the moment he laid eyes on Talaith that she would be his, but he'd counted on tongue-lashings of an altogether different sort. It's embarrassing, really, that it isn't this outspoken female's magicks that have the realm's greatest dragon in her thrall. No, Briec has been spellbound by something altogether different -- and if he doesn't tread carefully, what he doesn't know about human women could well be the undoing of his entire race...
 
 
Only for those I love would I traipse into the merciless Northlands to risk life, limb, and my exquisite beauty. But do they appreciate it? Do they say, 'Gwenvael the Handsome, you are the best among us -- the most loved of all dragons?' No!

For centuries my family has refused to acknowledge my magnificence as well as my innate humility. Yet for them, and because I am so chivalrous, I will brave the worst this land has to offer. So here I stand, waiting to broker an alliance with the one the Northlanders call The Beast. A being so fearful, the greatest warriors will only whisper its name. Yet I, Gwenvael, will courageously face down this terrifying... woman?

It turns out the Beast, a.k.a. Dagmar Reinholdt, is a woman -- one with steel-gray eyes and a shocking disregard for my good looks. Beneath her plain robes and prim spectacles lies a sensual creature waiting to be unleashed. Who better than a dragon to thaw out that icy demeanor? And who better than a beast to finally tame a mighty dragon's heart?


Last Edited on: 12/29/09 2:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 12/29/2009 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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I loved those books. I love how the brothers wallop each other or throw one out the window. I laughed a lot reading them! Looking forward to reading more!

Date Posted: 12/29/2009 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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I agree. And "wallop" is the perfect word to describe their interactions.

** Tiny Spoiler ** 

One of my favorite scenes was when Dagmar sells Gwenvael to another man for an hour or so because he's stopped in the street to chat with a couple of beautiful prostitutes and the stranger assumes Dagmar - the plain one - must be their manager. She walks off with the gold and him not knowing about the transaction. But he turns up later (extricating himself without delivering services), not concerned she sold him as a man-whore and left with the money, but that she charged so little when he was worthy of a much higher rate!

-----

I mean, really, how do you write a scene like that about the big, strong, warrior dragon and yet not even ding his masculinity or power?  Like you, I laughed a lot during this book.

Date Posted: 12/29/2009 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Oh yes, that was so funny! And I loved how he tortured her brothers.

Date Posted: 12/29/2009 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I like this series too..I usually can't handle much violence but there's enough  humor in these that I've made it through! friend at work loves them as well.

Date Posted: 12/29/2009 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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oh yeah, i love these and they totally crack me up.  i mean, i figured as soon as i saw the heroine in the first one was Annwyl the Bloody it would be something i'd like, but they're wonderful.  strong women, strong men, wonderful interaction with not only the romance but with the families.

also, in case anyone missed it, G.A. Aiken is a pen name for Shelly Laurenston, and there's another Dragon Kin story (about the grandparents of Fearghus, etc) in the anthology Everlasting Bad Boys

if you like the Dragon Kin books, but haven't read any Laurenston, i suggest starting with The Mane Event which was released a couple of months ago in mmp.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
Posts: 5,639
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I have read the first two, and have the third in my TBR pile.  I just got it in a swap a couple of weeks ago.    I really liked them too.  I found them when i was looking for Dragon books for the 999 challenge.  i had never read any dragon books before that challenge. 

    I didn't realize  Aiken and Laurenston were the same.  I wonder why authors publish books under different names?  I am reading Pack Challenge  right now. 

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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These books were orginally published under Laurenston with different titles.  (I think as eBooks even before that.)  When they came out as mmp under a different publisher, they were under G A Aiken.  Which makes me think it was a publisher decision rather than the author's choice.  It might have been a marketing decision as the dragons do fit more into SFF than the other books.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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I am reading The Mane Attraction, and will be reading The Mane Event ASAP, as I have to send it to Ellen soon. Great series! She really has a way of bringing those animal characteristics into the human that is just so funny, and so right!

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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One bit of Mane Attraction was so funny...

Mitch says, "You're not taking good care of me."

Sissy replies, "Did I hold a pillow over your face while you were asleep?"

That kind of thing just cracks me up!!!! I gotta use that one on my DH the next time he whines about something :P

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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I only read the 1st and really couldn't get into it....the humor was lost on me.  I thought it was a cheesy paranormal staring dragons.  Maybe I should try to next one just to see since everyone seems to like them so much.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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I am reading The Mane Attraction, and will be reading The Mane Event ASAP, as I have to send it to Ellen soon.

uh, you mean The Mane Squeeze, right?  :)

Marie, really if you didn't like the first Dragon book, which was my favorite, i'm not sure these will work for you.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 12,776
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Yes Ellen, the Mane Squeeze LOL. #4 in the series. I was gonna skip #3 but decided to go ahead and *squeeze* it in. (Its an ebook, which is annoying).

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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There's no denying that parts of the Dragon books ARE cheesy. But somehow it works for me. Plus, I love the actual strategic plotting that goes on. I like all the women, but Dagmar (Book #3) may be my favorite.  She's always planning, always moving the pieces around like it's a giant chessboard. I picture her as being so small and unassuming, yet she's really controlling most of the outcomes.

And the brothers' interactions are hytsterical.  I've never been a big fan of purely physical comedy. Everyone in my house likes the old "Three Stooges" re-runs and they just make me wince.  But these dragons tossing each other around and jumping on each other and bellowing are hysterical.  I don't know why it works, but it comes together for me as a delightful story and hilarious adventure.  Really truly mind candy. No nutrients, no fiber. Just yummy.

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 2,928
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Wait #3 is an eBook? I thought Mane Attraction was #3 and The Beast in Him was #2. I loved, loved, loved The Beast in Him, it's Jessie Ann and Smitty's book. The Mane Squeeze was really good too. It's my new fave series. I read the first Dragon Kin book and the first in her other series, but The Pride is by far my fave.

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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Most of her books came out as eBooks first.

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
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Its available in print, Heather, my copy is an ebook though.

I love the pride books too, those men are just great!!!



Last Edited on: 12/31/09 7:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/31/2009 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
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I love both series.  With all the serious types of books, I need the slapstick of Laurenston/Aiken's writing.   I even joined Laurenston's yahoo group a couple years ago so I could get in on contests (pick a number between 1-100, win a book). 

Most of these were release waaay back with a publisher Trieskelon (ebooks/paperbacks-like Ellora's Cave) that went belly up.  One of the dragon books was originally named The Distressing Damsel and Magnus Pack had two stories in it, Go Fetch and Pack Challenge, which were later released separately w/ a new publisher. 

Really love these characters and am eagerly awaiting the new ones:)

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 528
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I love the Magnus Pack series it is a favorite of mine.  I love anything she writes under any name.  She is one of very few authors who make me laugh out loud.  I don't know of anyone who I recommended these books to who didn't love them.

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2010
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They are by far my favorite dragon books of any that I have read!  The first book was a little cheesy but I love that all of the characters developed a greater depth as the stories progressed instead of have the the supporting characters stay stagnent as she developed that main characters for each book.  Too often the original characters are forgotten as a series progresses.  I have two brothers, their behavior is so similar to the brothers in the story that I get flashbacks to the stupid pranks we all use to play on each other - definantly laugh out loud.  Does anyone know if she is working on a fourth book for this series?

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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There is a release date for the fourth book.   Sept 2010.

Last Dragon Standing

ETA The only mention on her website is the title and the general date.  No details.



Last Edited on: 1/15/10 9:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/15/2010 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2009
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Thanks Emily, I'm really looking forward to the new book (I'm thinking it will probably be Eibhears story?)

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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hi she has mention in her newsletter that this will be the story about the other daughter...you know the ....one thats free with her favors lol....dont want to say anything and reveal spoilers....

Date Posted: 1/21/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 87
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Yes, yes!! I love Shelley!  I've read all her books but didn't know abouty that release date so thank you Emily!  I find Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole similiar to Shelley Laurenston and I just adore them, too.  I've read everything they've written. :)

Date Posted: 1/21/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
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I love G A Aiken's Dragon Kin stories!    I reread them, when I need a laugh.   I especially loved Dagmar, because she's not the classic beauty, or Xena type.   She battles with her brain.   These books are keepers for me.  Love 'em. 

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