Saturday, June 1, 2024

Annette Blair - Naked Dragon

The Works like Magick Employment Agency has a reputation for perfectly matching clients with magical temps. So when McKenna Greylock requests a handyman, the gorgeous Bastian Dragonelli arrives to repair her B&B- and fire up her bedroom.

Comment: Another book which has been in the shelf for years.... as part of my personal goal to read books which have been languishing the longest, yet one more off that list!

In this paranormal romance/comedy, we meet hero Bastian Dragonelli, as he is placed with a work agency while waiting for his fellow friends and family dragon shifters can be brought to our reality. Magic makes the most unlikely of possibilities come to life but Bastian truly needs to adapt to this new world especially since he doesn't understand the language nuances. 
McKenna is trying to fulfill her mother and grandmother's dream of a B&B but the bills need to be paid and she still needs work to be done so the permits can be authorized. She asks her cousin Vivica, whom everyone knows has special abilities to match people, to find her a handyman, even more so after her former one had an accident. She wasn't counting on Bastian and on how much she likes him...and that is mutual, but can she believe his intentions towards her are genuine?

This isn't the first time I try a book by this author, I had read two other books by her before, both historicals but different themes. I liked one better than the other, but this paranormal attempt cemented my opinion that this author's style is simply not to my preference. I find her style to be a bit too superficial and in all stories I wasn't truly entertained by what I was reading.

In this novel the paranormal elements were vague enough to allow readers to have their own interpretation of some things, but this was clearly meant to be fun and amusing... this is relative, for I didn't find things to be that cute in general. In fact, some supposedly fun scenes just felt a little thin and contrived. In this world there is magic and different types of people and beings, but the start about the dragons stuck on some weird dimension and than a goddess or some force helping them come to live or helping them becoming free wasn't easy to follow, as if there was information I should know, and this was now dumped.

I think that everything was a little confusing, especially since I failed to understand why things were this way. Then we jump into a contemporary setting, but people know about magic and now we have McKenna needing help to fix her B&B business. I thought, why not using magic, but it seems the main idea was to put McKenna and Bastian close so that they could realize they were a perfect life match. I don't dislike the fated mates trope per se, but more than the setting up by Vivica and destiny, the way these two are meant to love each other feels faked. I would have preferred their paths to have crossed differently or for the writing style to be different...

Well, my issues summarized right there, I wish the idea of this book could have had a different execution. Therefore, we have the fixing up of the business and the financial problems plot, the romance plot, the battling Bastian's enemy from the old times plot, the secondary characters in need of help plot... it was quite a lot and to be fair I didn't feel invested enough in these characters to want to know what would happen to them. The overall feel of the story was one of silly shenanigans and I could not see the appeal in this case.

All things considered, I think perhaps this is my final goodbye to the author. Unless something by her comes to my hands without me having a good excuse to refuse, I think I've tried enough to have an idea of her style and the truth is that I have not really enjoyed what I've read so far. Again, as often happens, I might have enjoyed this book when I was living the PNR hype, but now... meh.
Grade: 4/10


  1. oh damn.

    It sounded like such a great setup!

    Like you, I struggle to enjoy stories where everything is oh so funny and superficial; the humor in the writing voice really has to mesh with the reader's own, doesn't it? Add in "fated mates" with no chemistry or believable attraction to each other, and that's a pass.

    1. Hi!
      yes, I feel safe to say you probably won't miss much by skipping this story...