Desert Isle Keeper
Narrated by Sophie Eastlake
To be honest, when I started Dragon Bound, I was a bit worried. As the first in the Elder Races series, there’d been such buzz about it for months – would it live up to expectations? I’m pleased to say it did, in spades! Ms. Harrison introduces a new world in the Elder Races but there’s no info dump bogging it down. Dragos Cuelebre (pronounced “Wella-bray”) is a dragon shapeshifter who is effectively the king of the Wyr and a member of the Elder Races. Pia Giovanni is a halfling who’s been blackmailed by a sad excuse of an ex-boyfriend to steal something from the dragon’s hoard. Uh-oh.
The story, while new and different, has a touch of the Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter and Dragos has a touch of Curran (Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series) so fans of either will find their happy place in Dragon Bound. Come to think of it, Pia has a touch of Kate Daniels as well. I mean all that as a compliment by the way.
Pia is a loner for the most part, raised by her mother to always be careful and prepared to protect her secret heritage. Not surprisingly, she longs for a home and a sense of belonging but she doesn’t expect to find it with Dragos Cuelebre.
Sophie Eastlake is a new-to-me narrator but I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of her in the future, as she does a great job here. She totally nails Dragos’ regal arrogance. He’s the boss (he’s been the boss like forever) and he’s always obeyed. Enter Pia. Cue fireworks. They have an instant chemistry and it’s easy to hear as their interactions progress.
For Pia, Dragos learns new things. One particular scene involving Dragos’ request for a zip-loc bag was funny, and no doubt improved, by the voice and tone Ms. Eastlake gave him.
In the past, we’ve discussed here at Speaking of Audiobooks Angela Dawe’s limited male characterizations for the Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. The same is true of Ms. Eastlake – she probably has only one or two “hero” voices. You may not want to listen to the entire series back to back but that’s really my only complaint about Dragon Bound. The story kept me engaged, made me laugh, and I can certainly see myself re-listening in the future.
Ms. Eastlake satisfactorily conveyed the sizzle between Pia and Dragos and the change in Dragos as he learns to cope with Pia and what she comes to mean to him. And, while Dragos does change in the course of the book, he is, nevertheless, always a regal dragon – he’s just learned to say “please.” Sometimes.
Fortunately for us, Dragos has a number of Gryphon Sentinels who will make excellent heroes for future books. I see that Tiago is featured in the second and Rune in the third. I’m definitely looking forward to Graydon’s book too! The Sentinels are part of my favorite non-romance scene as they sit around and watch soap operas with Pia – so much fun!
Dragon Bound (and the world of the Elder Races) is a wonderful addition to the paranormal genre and excellent in audio as well. Highly recommended.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration A and Book Content A