Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages
At a Glance: Stealing Dragon’s Heart was a slow building romance surrounded by a fierce, fast moving plotline that occasionally suffered at the hands of overly descriptive passages.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Notorious master thief Finn Grayson is hired to break into a high-class skyscraper in New Shanghai and steal a priceless artifact known as the Shard. But someone’s gotten to the Shard first—and the penthouse suite turns out to be a dragon’s lair.
Cameron Feilong, Guardian of the Earth Shard, is ancient enough to realize that he and his unbidden guest are being used like puppets on a string. Forming a shaky alliance is the only way for them to survive and to stop their ruthless foes.
Unfortunately, Finn and Cam seem to be forever one step behind. To learn more about their clandestine enemy, they travel together from walled Asian cities, barren tundras, and underwater temples to secret paranormal clubs and legendary elvish cities rising high in the trees or buried deep under glaciers. Finn and Cam must learn to trust each other before it’s too late, for bringing together the five Elemental Shards will spell the end of the world.
Review: Finn is a world-class thief and, if he is to be believed, the best at what he does. When offered big money to steal a relic from a very wealthy dignitary, he hesitates for only a second, then plows ahead, sure he will be able to snatch the prize and get out without any difficulties. What he does not count on is that the well-placed and wealthy owner of the relic is hiding something more than just artifacts. Cameron Feilong is, in fact, a rare breed of dragon—half elf, half dragon—a fairy dragon, and he does not like it when anyone disturbs his lair. Unfortunately while Cameron is giving Finn his comeuppance, more evil forces are at work, and the item Finn was after is stolen—and it is more than just a relic. It is one of five shards that, if given into the wrong hands, could mean the destruction of the earth–in particular, the human race. Now the unlikely duo are in a race against a deadly foe, but will they stop her before time runs out?
There were some genuinely marvelous moments in Susan Laine’s novel Stealing Dragon’s Heart, the sixth installment in her Lifting the Veil series. The slow building heat between Finn and Cameron was done so well. The idea that an ancient fairy dragon would find a mere human thief—albeit the world’s greatest—much more than a dalliance was well played. The sheer heat of the lovemaking scenes between these two was so beautifully done—really amazing. Also, the race to get to the shards before they fell to the shadow walker’s hands kept me on the edge of my seat, particularly when Finn had to fight her and, ultimately, lose. I loved Finn’s grit and determination—his uneasiness with these otherworldly creatures he kept meeting, and his own distaste for the fact that the veil between the mystical world and the human world had been lifted. You got the feeling that Finn was not against the lifting, but neither was he comfortable with all the creatures that were unleashed.
The plot was riveting and moved rapidly—the action was so well choreographed, particularly with each new paranormal introduced. I wished we had gotten a deeper glance into Cameron’s thoughts and motivations at times, particularly when it came to his sense of duty versus falling in love. However, Finn was pure magic and entertaining—both funny and frustrating but always well drawn and interesting. For me, however, all these wonderful elements were often slowed down to nearly a grinding halt when each new world or shard keeper was introduced. The wealth of Chinese lore, the back story of each race and yes, all that poetry at the end of the novel often had my head spinning and left me gnashing my teeth in frustration. I wanted the story to continue—to move forward and yet every time it seemed to get back in its groove, the author chose to race build and sometimes world build to the point where I lost my train of thought and the intimacy that was building between Finn and Cameron slowed down interminably.
There was so much to this novel—so many new races of creatures, so many different home fronts and too many new paranormal abilities to keep track of in the end. It was a glut of information that needed to be pared down considerably in order for the main story of Cam and Finn’s race to save the world to succeed. Please don’t get me wrong—this was still an excellent story, it was simply too much to keep track of at times and that, unfortunately, tempted me to want to skip over passages that did not further develop the plot. I persevered, however, and even though the ending was far too drawn out, I still sighed with joy at the conclusion of the story.
Stealing Dragon’s Heart was a slow building romance surrounded by a fierce, fast moving plotline that occasionally suffered at the hands of overly descriptive passages. At the end, however, I still think that fans of Susan Laine’s Lifting the Veil series will enjoy this latest installment.
You can buy Stealing Dragon’s Heart here: