Being sent back in time to the Middle Ages wouldn’t be so bad if the knight in shining armor who comes to your rescue didn’t swoop down in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. Unfortunately for Jill Donahue, that’s just the way things have been going in her life lately.A MaidenWrenched back in time through the magical power of an old dragon tapestry found in a vintage clothing store, Jill Donahue lands in an ancient medieval town where the villagers decide to sacrifice her to the local dragon. As if the threat of being eaten alive by a giant flying lizard isn’t bad enough, she learns there’s a curse surrounding the tapestry and she has to break it in order to get back to her time. But she isn’t the only one whose fate is tied to the ancient weaving…A DragonBaelin of Gosforth is a valiant knight who has been cursed by a vindictive witch to live as a dragon for eleven months out of each year. Now he has thirty days to break the curse or he turns back into a fire-breathing beast and, as much as he hates to admit it, he needs Jill’s help to do it.
And A Curse
Forced to face many challenges along the way—from the harsh world they travel through to the fiery passion they both try to deny—each is determined to break the curse so the other can get their happily-ever-after. And it just might work, if Jill can manage to overlook the fire-breathing, bat-winged remnants of Baelin’s dragon half long enough to see the man beneath the beast and get the job done.
I liked the idea of this story. It was a fun read and there was always something happening to keep the readers interest. Baelin was captured by a dark witch and when he refused to serve her, she turned him into the one thing he despised and hunted, a dragon. In order to break the curse, a woman from his village is required to break the curse. He has no idea what’s required of the maiden other than it involves the knightly virtues honor, courage and bravery. He has spent 216 years trying to break the curse and had had no luck getting anywhere close. Normally the maidens cower in fear of him the entire month that he has as a man to break the curse, thus leaving him to become a dragon once more.
At first Jill is terrified of the dragon… I mean, who wouldn’t be? But the dragon never once attacks her and even seems to be looking out for her. For instance it warms up the cold pool of water in it’s cave when she’s shivering and wet. Regardless of how calm the dragon is acting, she still doesn’t allow it to come too close to her and makes sure that the thing knows she will defend herself if need be. So imagine her surprise when the dragon turns into a man with wings. Once Baelin explains his predicament, she agrees to help him but she still doesn’t trust him and has no intention of letting her guard down around him.
I thought the two characters were interesting. I really like Baelin’s character though. He has been through so much and every year he’s hopeful that he will finally break the curse. Jill is like no one he’s ever met. Not only is her speech odd but the way she carries herself is more dominant than the other maidens. He’s convinced that she has to be the one to break the curse.
I did have one problem with Jill though. Even after she realizes that she’s time traveled to the past, she still talks about 21st century things, like planes, cars and television shows, knowing that Baelin has no idea what she’s talking about. I found that a little annoying. It was as if the author was trying to show the readers over and over again time difference between Jill and Baelin’s worlds. I think it bothered me so much because I deal with language barriers a lot at my job. I come across a ton of international visitors where I work and once I realize that the visitor speaks little English, I try to use basic words instead of the every day slang we use. So for Jill to continually talk about technology and things of that sort and then go “Oh yeah. I forgot” got a bit tiresome after a while.
Regardless of the whole Jill thing, I still really enjoyed the story. I liked that the two of them were on a mission throughout the entire book trying to break the curse. Meanwhile coming across other dragons, dragon hunters and the dark witches goons. It was a fun time travel/paranormal romance and I cannot wait until the next story comes out in the Bestiary series.