Pia Saves the Day by Thea Harrison

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Grade: A
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Shifter, Dragon
Series: Elder Races #6.6
Published 6/23/14
Reviewed by Anne
86 pages

Pia and her husband/mate, Dragos are both shifters.  Dragos is very powerful dragon and leader in the shifter world.  A freak accident leaves him with amnesia and no memory.  He has no idea who he is, only that he was just attacked and injured.  This is a tricky personal and political situation, and Pia needs to step in and save the day.

OK, a long time ago (2011, I believe) I read the first book in this series, Dragon Bound and I LOVED it!  I loved it in that obsessive way where you try to convince all your friends to read it because it’s so awesome and not quite like any book you’ve read before and it just makes you feel gooey inside.  And then along came book 2, Storm’s Heart.  For whatever reason, I decided to listen to it instead of reading.  And I really didn’t like it.  I quickly grew frustrated with it and didn’t even finish it.  I moved on with my life and was a little sad that such an incredible first book had such a sophomore slump to follow it, but there were plenty of other books to be read.  Over the years I was aware that other books came out in the series, but I didn’t pay much attention.  I thought now and then that maybe I should give it another try, but I never acted on that until I saw this novella about PIa and Dragos!  Hooray!  I’m in!

I was a bit surprised when I checked in on Goodreads and saw I’d missed another Pia and Dragos book and a novella right before this one.  Sheesh.  I wondered if I’d even be able to keep up.  But I really had no problem jumping right back into things.  I think this book would stand alone, even without reading Dragon Bound.  My memories were hazy, but it still worked for me.  

Dragos is powerful, and with only fundamental memories he’s very vulnerable and dangerous.  Pia is determined to help him, even if he can’t remember her.  It’s a great story.  It’s even sweeter when Dragos falls in love with Pia again and finds himself jealous of the original Dragos!  It’s a quick, sweet, hot read I highly recommend – and now I want to go back and read the whole series again!

Have you read this Elder Races series?  Are you a dragon shifter fan?  If so, any books to recommend?

Static by L.A. Witt

Static
Grade: A-
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Sci-Fi, Gender Bending
Published: 1/20/14 (first pubbed 6/17/11)
Reviewed by Anne
208 pages

Imagine a world where some people can shift into the opposite gender. And just like the werewolf shifter romances I’ve read, these shifters consider each of their forms/genders a part of them. It’s a setup I couldn’t refuse! Then you add in a society only starting to accept shifters, and you’ve really got an interesting world.

Damon has been dating his girlfriend Alex for two years. Her relationship with her parents is very strained. When he doesn’t hear from her after a visit home, he goes looking for her and discovers that she’s a shifter, and due to some surgery her parents forced on her, she’s now stuck in her male form.

I didn’t want to put this book down! It made me think about gender and sexuality and it was a sweet romance to boot! The world building was easy to understand, and the shifting was no harder to accept than any kind of animal shifter. The re-developing romance was realistic and easy to read. The process by which Damon fell in love with Alex again was slow, not immediate, and that read very true to me. It also involved Alex accepting that someone could love him in whichever form he was in. That made for a slow paced romance, but it was realistic. There were times they were on the verge of having a conversation that got put off. When they finally got around to it I could see that it was a good thing they had waited – they’d each grown over the course of the story to the point that they could discuss it without hurting each other as much. That’s some good writing!

I highly recommend this book – it’s going on my best of the year list and it was one of my most interesting reads as well! In the past year I’ve really enjoyed some other reads that have made me think about gender and what it means. I recommend Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight and Wallflower by Heidi Belleau. I also found the blog Raising My Rainbow, http://raisingmyrainbow.com/ about a family raising their gender non-conformist son. The blog and books have all made me think, and I hope they’ve made me a more accepting person. How about you? Any stories about gender bending sexuality and stereotypes you would recommend?