by Sean Michael
Series: Dragon Soul #4
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Meet the Beteferoce brothers: five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…
He said he was flying on a silver dragon. He called me “Markus-meine.” Who would know all that? Who? And how?
SWAT cop and dragon shifter Mark Beteferoce had—and lost—a soul mate. He’s finally at the point where he can get through the days without thinking about what used to be…until he tastes Quincy O’Brien’s doughnuts and takes him home to play.
Quincy O’Brien is a gifted baker, but at night he dreams of soaring through the sky on dragonback and being topped by the perfect Dom. Mark satisfies the kinky urges Quincy has only explored in his subconscious, pushing his limits and caring for him afterward.
From the start, their connection was more than sexual. It’s known; it’s familiar somehow. And it’s slowly driving Mark insane. What shouldn’t be possible most certainly is, and the bond between himself and Quincy runs deeper than either of them could ever have realized.
A m/m romance where the heroes are a baker and a cop-slash-dragon? A reincarnated mate? While I’m hit or miss with the whole fated mates trope, this sounded too good to pass up. So while this is the fourth in the series, it’s the first I’ve read, and I think it worked fine as a standalone.
“He’d never met a man in a doughnut shop before. But doughnuts and cops went together, so he was taking it as a good omen.”
Quincy and his sister run a family bakery. Quincy’s going through a bit of a dry spell when a new police officer comes in, one who seems to have his eyes on Quincy as well as his famous raisin donuts. After a bit of flirting, they decide to to act on the attraction. The sex is, apparently, fantastic, but Mark flips out when Quincy starts muttering weird things in his sleep – things only Mark’s dead mate could know. Could Quincy be Mark’s mate reincarnated, and if so, can they make their relationship work?
“I love that you know what you want and aren’t afraid to demand it. It’s so hot.”
“I need it. You. You’ll stop me if you didn’t want me.”
“Didn’t want you what?”
“To be…me. To ask. To push.”
“Oh, baby, that’s how I love you.”
If that sounds like not much plot, that’s because it is. Unfortunately, not much else actually happens. Quincy and Mark meet, they have a one-night-stand where Mark freaks out afterwards, they’re apart for a month, then they get back together and have lots of sex. I cannot believe I’m complaining about this, but there is just so much sex. Lots and lots of pretty heavy BDSM sex – Quincy’s into pain and Mark’s into giving it. Though I had to pause and go google things at times, I liked that both men came into this experienced and willing to ask for what they want, without any shame or hesitancy. The only weird thing sex-wise for me was that Mark calls Quincy his “baby boy.” So, once the whole mate thing is settled, what else happens? Not much. The only sort of conflict is over Quincy’s sister and her extremely justifiable worry about him, since once Quincy starts hanging out with Mark he pretty much disappears from her life. There is, eventually, a resolution to the sister issue, as well, but I found it a complete cop-out.
“So you don’t want to see me again.” Mark’s voice was neutral.
“You lost your shit, screamed at me, followed me, and accused me of…something I don’t even pretend to understand, all because I had a dream, man.”
There was a weird bit of consent – not for the sex – but apparently, once Mark and Quincy, uh, do the deed bareback, it starts some sort of transformation, binding the two of them together as mates. Though Mark gets Quincy’s consent before going condomless, and attempts to explain the whole “this will have life changing effects,” it’s literally in the middle of sex, which I think most people would agree is the wrong time to make life-altering decisions. He then waits a couple more days before actually explaining the whole dragon thing. I get it that it’s fated mates and insta-love and all that, but it rubbed me the wrong way that the importance of the decision wasn’t really emphasized to Quincy. Also, after they first have sex, Quincy calls Mark something his dead mate used to call him. Mark, understandably, flips out, thinking that someone’s playing a mean practical joke on him. He goes full-on crazy stalker on Quincy until he figures out that, yes, he could only be his reincarnated mate. Quincy initially pushes back when Mark comes back into his life, but caves pretty easily.
Overall, while the sex scenes are great, but there’s not much else here. This is more like a 2.5 star read for me, but I’ll round up to 3 stars.