Title: Danny’s Dragon
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 207 Pages
At a Glance: Danny’s Dragon had some very fine moments, but came off as a weak novel due to a jarring beginning that had little or no basis in reality.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: A rugged, muscular cop.
A sexy computer genius.
Brought together by a crime committed on a cold dark night.
From the moment they meet, their lives can never be the same again…
Wild and rugged Dave Pearce is haunted by the demons of his past. He’s done his best to make a life for himself after the devastation of his lover’s suicide years earlier, but the trauma has left its mark on his soul.
Danny Wong is what Dave considers a “nerdy Bruce Lee.” Handsome, refined, out of his league.
But that doesn’t matter.
Dave believes himself to be dangerous for any man who would love him. So he stays back in the shadows, letting the desire he harbors for the hot grad student remain unrequited.
Danny has demons of his own. Duty-bound to his family’s goals for him, he remains shy and closeted, contenting himself with his secret fantasies about the sexy Irish cop who patrols the campus building where Danny does his graduate work.
Until one freezing winter night…
Leaving the building, fate steps in and their paths cross in a new…deeper way. Neither man can turn back. Danny and Dave must face the demons rearing their heads with full force, or lose their chance at an epic love…
Review: Danny has seen the campus cop pass by his office almost every night. In fact, he has stayed late deliberately to get a glance at his fantasy man. However, Danny is very shy, and closeted to boot, so the very thought of approaching Dave, the night cop, is definitely out of the question–until a near violent mugging throws both men together and sparks ignite! Now, seemingly in a heartbeat, Danny is dating Dave and falling head over heels in love. There’s only one problem. Danny is Asian and his family not only expects him to marry within their race but to marry a girl as well. While Dave is so very understanding about having a difficult family–himself the son of a violent alcoholic father–he is also carrying a deeper burden. He has lost his former lover to an overdose, and carries the guilt of feeling he could have done more to save him. This shame and grief may be the wedge that will drive Danny and Dave apart, unless Danny can convince Dave that he is a good man who deserves to be happy and loved.
Sedonia Guillone is a new author for me, and I was excited to read and review Danny’s Drago. While I can say that there were some definite moments in this novel that filled me with more questions than answers, I can also state that this author has real potential as a storyteller and has more than a fair share of skill at crafting a good story. Unfortunately, this story is most assuredly based on a rather tired insta-love trope, and has in it at least one stereotypical character who is a go-to definition of a gay Asian geek. From his slender form and golden skin to his subservient manner around his parents, Danny seems to have little backbone unless it comes to being in the bedroom with Dave, and this is where the first flag in this story was raised.
You see, prior to actually having sex with Dave, all of Danny’s fantasies were of him being the submissive—to the point where Dave would use handcuffs as a preamble to sex. With this being the opening scene of the story, I was set to see a much more submissive Danny in the bedroom, but that was not to be the case, and I am not sure why this role reversal was never really explained. Consequently, I was a bit confused when Danny soon took the more aggressive role sexually—after Dave’s initial hand job, which, by the way, also occurred right after Danny was mugged. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right–while driving Danny to the campus police office, Dave gave Danny some front seat delight after a mugging where Danny was nearly knifed. And then Danny thanked him for relieving the…tension. Okay, I was willing to move on beyond this, and I was even okay with accepting the insta-love angle when Danny was sure he was in love with Dave after their second date, but I really had to balk at Danny offering keys to his apartment to Dave after only knowing him two days. Essentially, the first half of this novel was way too much sex mixed in with several rapid-fire, life-altering decisions on Danny’s part and not much else.
Then, suddenly, the author began to weave a story—and it was a good one. Finally I saw some semblance of a plot, and it quickly began to expand beyond hot sex in the bedroom. I learned more about Dave, his deceased lover, his past and what drove him to think he could never be worthy of someone like Danny. While Danny remained one dimensional, unfortunately, Dave really began to grow as a character, and it was this that saved the novel in the end. I found myself really liking Dave–feeling compassion for him and wanting him to find some sort of happiness after what was a truly awful life thus far. Even Danny started to make some progress by standing up to his mother and trying his best to fight for the relationship, such as it was, with Dave when he pulled up roots and ran. I really found myself wishing this had been the first half of the novel; then the insta-love would have been so much more palatable. Unfortunately, however, this was not the case.
Danny’s Dragon had some very fine moments, but came off as a weak novel due to a jarring beginning that had little or no basis in reality. With one character being so very stereotypical and shallow, the other main character could not offer enough balance to make the story plausible. However, I do feel that this author has the ability to write a good story and hope to read more of her work in the future.
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