Briec the Mighty is an arrogant dragon who hasn't much use for humans. He's never really understood his brothers' fondness for them, but when he meets a witch named Talaith, he starts to understand. She immediately intrigues him, but she repels his advances, something Briec isn't used to. But when he returns to her village the next day, he discovers the residents, including her own husband, in the process of hanging her. Briec saves Talaith, and by dragon law, she now belongs to him. He carries her off to his den, thinking she'll be so grateful, she'll willingly do anything he asks, but she turns out to have a sharp tongue and never seems to stop talking. Along the way, bad weather sets in, causing them to make a detour to a different den belonging to one of Briec's brothers. There they start really getting to know one another, but just as Briec thinks he's beginning to win her over, Talaith disappears on him, leaving an unfamiliar hollow feeling in his chest. Many days later, they're reunited at Garbhan Isle, where Briec learns the truth of who Talaith is and what she's been up to, but he's more than willing to forgive her anything to have her back in his life. However, when her daughter is kidnapped and Talaith takes on a dangerous mission to find the girl, he may have to face losing her for good this time.
Talaith is a powerful Nolwenn witch who comes from a kingdom far from Garbhan Isle. Years ago, she displeased her mother by falling in love with a soldier and bearing his child. As punishment, she was banished to another kingdom and her daughter, Izzy, was taken from her. She's been training as an assassin to serve the goddess Arzhela, and in order to get her daughter back, she must complete a mission for the deity in which she's tasked with killing someone who unbeknownst to her is very close to Briec. When Briec saved her, Talaith was initially afraid of him, but the more she gets to know him, the more she grows to care for him. But her daughter is everything to her and when Arzhela calls upon her to complete her mission, Talaith must go. However, she doesn't really want to kill anyone, and when her risky plan to avoid it results in both befriending her mark and getting Izzy back, she couldn't be happier. Things finally seem to be looking up for her, especially after she's reunited with her stubborn dragon prince. But when Izzy is kidnapped, Talaith will move heaven and earth to get her back even if it means sacrificing her life.
About a Dragon is the second full-length novel in G. A. Aiken's Dragon Kin series according to the author's recommended reading order. In this one, we have Fearghus's younger brother, Briec the Mighty, paired with Talaith, a Nolwenn witch. Briec meets Talaith while visiting a human village and knows he wants her, but she repels his advances. Then the next day, he discovers the entire town, including her own husband, trying to hang her for witchcraft. He decides to rescue her, thinking that she'll be grateful enough to want to bed him. He intends to take her to his den, but along the way, some unusually bad weather sets in. Briec makes a detour to his brother's den instead, where they spend several days getting to know one another. But just as Briec thinks he's finally won over the prickly witch, she disappears on him, leaving him with an unfamiliar hollow feeling in his chest. Little does he know that Talaith has been trained as an assassin and serves--albeit unwillingly--the powerful goddess, Arzhela, who she believes is holding her only daughter, Izzy, hostage until Talaith kills someone for her. That person proves to be someone Briec calls family, but she ends up making friends with her mark instead of ending their life. As a result, she and Briec are eventually reunited at Garbhan Isle, a kingdom protected by dragons. The reunion is going well until Hamish, a faithful servant of Arzhela and a mortal enemy of Fearghus's mate, Annwyl, attacks the castle. During the battle Izzy is kidnapped, and faced with losing the daughter she's only just found, Talaith will stop at nothing to get her back, even if it means losing her life and her future with Briec.
Briec is an arrogant dragon who is rather full of himself and doesn't think that any female would ever reject him. Yet that's exactly what Talaith does at their first meeting, which leaves him both perplexed and intrigued. Briec has never really understood what his brothers see in human women, but Talaith leaves him beginning to understand why they like human females so much. Not to be deterred, he returns to the village to continue his pursuit, only to find her in the process of being hanged. He steps in to rescue her and then carries her off to his den. By dragon law, her life now belongs to him, but she doesn't really see it that way. At first, Briec thinks he'll just have his fun with Talaith, and when he tires of her, he'll move on. But the more time he spends with her, the more he thinks he'll be keeping her for quite some time to come, as life with her would certainly never be boring. Then Talaith disappears, leaving him feeling like his chest is caving in, something he's never felt before in his long life. When Briec is reunited with her at Garbhan Isle and discovers the truth of why she left, he's more than happy to forgive her to have her back in his life. But when Arzhela comes to exact her revenge, he may be faced with losing Talaith all over again. Briec is arrogant with a capital "A" and doesn't really know the right things to say or do with a female. Occasionally he figures it out on his own, but more often than not, his brothers are whispering suggestions in his ear. He actually enjoys arguing with Talaith, which just gets them both hot and bothered. He's also a clueless alpha male when it comes to emotions. When he actually starts feeling things for Talaith, he turns a bit whiny, which was rather funny. Overall, he was pretty amusing and he didn't really push any major buttons for me. However, I didn't fall for him in quite the same way as I did for his brother Fearghus.
Talaith is a Nolwenn witch who comes from a desert kingdom far from Garbhan Isle and the surrounding countries. Years ago, she displeased her mother by falling in love with and bearing the child of a young soldier who was later killed in battle. As a result, her child was taken from her and placed with Lord Hamish. Talaith was taken to his kingdom as well and married off to a commoner there. In order to get her daughter back, she was tasked with becoming a deadly assassin and the time has come for her to be called upon to perform the task which Arzhela, the goddess the Nolwenn witches serve, has demanded. Unfortunately her mission has been thrown off track by nearly being hanged and then rescued and carried off by an infuriating dragon. Although very attracted to his human form, Talaith has no intention of making things easy on him. However, after being cooped up in his brother's den for days on end, she can't help succumbing to his charms. A part of her would love to just stay with Briec forever, but when Arzhela finds her and demands payment, threatening Talaith's daughter if she doesn't comply, she has no other choice but to leave him. Talaith decides on a risky course of action that she hopes will protect her daughter while allowing her to not take a life, which earns her the support of Annwyl who takes Talaith and her daughter back to her kingdom where she's reunited with Briec. But Arzhela isn't finished with her, and this time, Talaith may have to give her life in order to save her child. Talaith is a pretty prickly female, which I'm coming to recognize seems to be par for the course in this series. She's obviously a strong woman to be a trained assassin who can take out grown men while barely breaking a sweat, although she's not nearly as bloodthirsty as Annwyl.;-) I suppose Briec needed someone like this to keep his huge ego in check, though, and she does have a softer side that I could relate to.
In About a Dragon, there are also a number of significant supporting characters, some of whom have their own books in the series. We get to see a fair bit of Fearghus and Annwyl (Dragon Actually) and there are some very important developments in their lives. Briec's younger brother, Gwenvael, becomes the hero of the next full-length book, What a Dragon Should Know. The epilogue in which he meets his future mate makes it seem like they'll have an interesting story. Briec's younger sister, Keita, appears a few times, and she'll become the heroine of the fourth book, Last Dragon Standing. Briec's baby brother, Eibhear, features prominently, and right now, he's quite possibly my favorite of the brothers. The author very much teases a pairing between him and Talaith's daughter, Izzy, so I was happy to learn that they do indeed get their own story in the sixth book, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy. Then last, but certainly not least, Briec's older sister, Morfyd, continues to be Annwyl's battle mage, and I was thrilled to see that her relationship with Annwyl's second-in-command, Brastias, continues to take steps forward in this book. At this point, I'm guessing that their story is going to be told as a secondary romance throughout the series rather than them getting a book of their own.
Overall, I enjoyed About a Dragon. This entire series has a more lighthearted feel to it for paranormal romance with lots of humor sprinkled throughout. I waffled on how to rate it, though. I almost gave it 4.5 stars because I did like it quite a bit, but when I started comparing the story and the characters to the previous stories I'd read in the series, I felt like it was ever-so-slightly less good. Me not falling quite as hard for Briec as I did for Fearghus and their father, Bercelak, in their stories played a part in my decision, too. I also felt like the moment when Talaith defeats her enemy was a little too quick and anticlimactic when I was expecting a little harder battle. One other issue I had is that I was slightly off-put by Briec claiming Talaith without her full consent, although I acknowledge that he didn't entirely have control of himself at the time given that the gods were messing with them. Then much like with the first two stories of the series, there were a number of editing issues such as incorrect words, incorrect verb conjugations, etc., as well as a serious overabundance of eye rolling. Otherwise, though, I found About a Dragon to be a fun, entertaining story, and that epilogue with Gwenvael has left me looking forward to continuing with the series soon.
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