Annette Blair
Naked Dragon
Works Like Magick, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

The dragons were all taken from the Earth and banished to the Island of the stars by an evil sorceress, Killian.  The Goddess of Hope, Andra, is trying to turn the dragons back to human form one by one and send them back to Earth; each with their own mission.

The first to be turned is the Alpha Dragon, Bastian, and his mission is to find his heart mate.  If he fails his brother dragons will not be able to come back to Earth and Andra will lose some of her magick as well.  Bastian is quickly found by Vivica who runs an employment agency for magical beings.

Meanwhile, Mckenna Greylock is in a terrible bind.  She has inherited her family’s land from her mother who recently passed away and with that land she also inherited a ton of debt.  Her family’s dream has always been to turn the property into a bed and breakfast.  She hired a contractor who fell off of a roof shortly after drawing up her permit and is now confined to a wheelchair.  Greedy developer, Elliot Huntley, can’t wait for her to default on the property so he can snap it up at a severely cheap price.  Mckenna decides to go to Vivica to find a worker that her contractor can direct so they can get the B&B open in time and be able to save herself from losing the property.

Vivica sends Bastian to help McKenna out, but he doesn’t know his own strength and at first does more harm than good.  But he eventually gets himself under control and teaches himself every night by reading books so he can fix the property up and so he can understand the things McKenna says.  He feels that she is in fact his heart mate.  McKenna is attracted to him, but tries to deny her feelings for him to herself.  But they eventually give in to their feelings and discover the other loves all of them even their faults.

Bastian ends up getting the Bed and Breakfast fixed up in time, even giving her a theme based on the enchanting murals of his fellow dragons he painted in the bedrooms.  McKenna has her first guests booked and it looks like everything will work out when she wakes up to Huntley showing up with bulldozers ready to destroy all of their hard work.  Bastian runs out to stop him in a confrontation that leads both Bastian and McKenna thinking that the other is dead.

When I read the blurb on this book, I really didn’t WANT to read it.  I felt like this was going to just be a smutty romance novel.  Don’t get me wrong I’m fine with a little smut, but I tend to avoid the more obvious sources of it.  It wasn’t nearly as smutty as I expected, but I’m sad to say that this book still wasn’t any good in my opinion and felt like a juvenile attempt overall.

I found the majority of the novel excruciatingly painful to read.  From the very beginning Bastian was worried about his deformed “man lance” and it seemed like it became its own character, the main character of the story even and that Bastian and McKenna were just supporting cast.

Also, I thought the characters were very weak and hard to read about.  I found McKenna to be immature and flaky.  She would have an opinion and change it on the spot with no warning.  For example, when Bastian painted the first bedroom she hated it, but was quickly persuaded to turn it into her theme for the B&B.  Why would you make it your theme if you hated it?  It makes no sense to me.  Also, for someone who seemed so dead-set on being single she let herself have a helluva lot of sexual thoughts about Bastian.  I found Bastian obnoxious as well with him not understanding things people were saying and being too literal and of course his obsession with his man lance that I mentioned above.

The storyline itself was as weak as the characters themselves and didn’t even get tolerable until the very end.  There were many times in reading this book that I just wanted to put it down and never pick it up again.  I would not recommend this book to anybody…in fact I found the whole story to be an insult to my intelligence and I’m amazed that some people did actually enjoyed it.