ORDER A COPY:Eternity’s Mark
Publisher: Brava Paranormal Romance
Publishing Date: February 28, 2012
Paperback: 281 pages
Rating: 2 stars
Sacred blood flows in Hannah MacPherson’s veins; she’s just too hardheaded to realize it. After losing a husband to the Iraq war, she’s squirreled herself away in a tiny town where she snarls at any man who gives her a second glance. But Taggart de Gaelson knows more about Hannah than she could ever fathom. As her assigned protector, Taggart’s grown tired of Hannah ignoring his messages from Scotland—and now he’s come to retrieve her.
The balance of the Continuum depends on a race of sacred creatures who maintain the strength of the portals. Only Hannah’s touch can release the hatchlings from their eggs. Sworn to protect Hannah from others who lust for control of the beasts, Taggart must win her trust. But as he battles at her side, can he protect his heart?
What Hannah MacPherson doesn’t know yet is that she is the last living Guardian of the Draecna. The only one who has the magic to hatch the magic dragons who guard the portals between worlds. When Taggart de Gaeson arrives in her small town to bring her to Scotland, she tries to explain she is not interested in leaving her home or the grave of her beloved husband, and she no interest in some castle she’s inherited in Scotland.
When Taggart finally convinces Hannah that she needs to accompany him to at least see Taroc Na Mor, he figures once she arrives she will fall in love with the lands and then he can explain to Hannah what fate awaits her and her duties as the Guardian of the Draecna.
As guardian to Hannah, Taggart is supposed to keep his hands to himself, but as they travel toward Hannah’s destiny, it is getting harder and harder to resist her.
This story started off well and I had high hopes for it, but the more I read, the more I felt like this whole story was being shoved down my throat. This review will contains some spoilers which I try not to do so you might want to stop now.
BE WARNED SPOILERS BELOW!!
When we meet Hannah, she is still in mourning for the last four years for her husband who was her childhood friend and love. Locals were trying to set her up and she was angrily declaring she wasn’t interested in moving on EVER!! Then after Taggart shows up, her friend finally slaps her with the reality of Hannah’s beloved Jake never really loved Hannah as much as she deserved and he was more concerned with himself, and Hannah finally goes “hmm, maybe you are right.” Then Taggart uses magic and allows her to have a final conversation with the spirit of her dead husband who pretty much says he’s heard her yelling at him every day for going off and dying on her for the last four years now and that it’s time for her to just move on already. And like a flip of a switch, she’s over her dead husband and ready to move on.
Most stories don’t give you all the good secrets from page one, but you would think that since Taggart is bringing Hannah to the castle to be the Guardian of the Draecna, he might have started telling her something before she just came face to face with a dragon, and then once she swallowed the dragon thing, he might have started open up with some details about dragons or her responsibilities or any dangers, but he never gives her any information until its always too late.
And let’s not mistake lust with romance! Taggart’s obsession with Hannah’s body parts and his constant arousal which makes him keep jumping into cold pools of water, was a big part of that shoving it down my throat part of the story. I didn’t feel any growing connection between these two and since there was no “fated mate” part to this story, it just felt so forced. And the “forbidden” part for Taggart to be with Hannah who he was supposed to be guarding, turned out to be more of “officially, it’s not a good idea.” One point is his favor, Taggart does tell Hannah he a hybrid before he sleeps with her. Hybrid meaning his dad his human and his mother is a dragon…you figure out the logistics of that…I’m not even going there!! And ohhh, did I mention..he was hatched from an EGG!!!
There is also some magic to three days in this story. Everything was happening for three days. The spell lasted for three days…She didn’t speak to him for three days…She was kept locked away for three days… She couldn’t hatch the egg for three days. So the story jumped around a lot in three day periods. There was also a great war, but we saw nothing of battles or fights, just jumping around three days later.
And don’t even get me started on the ending…ugh!!!
Received ARC courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you.
The refreshing breeze kissed at her cheeks and Hannah relaxed with a sigh. This was so much better. Her body cooled down and she stripped off her clothes, piling them beside the bag.
“Yeeeoowww!” Hannah screeched as she slipped her foot into the icy water. She had forgotten how cold spring water could be.
A resounding roar shuddered across the hillside. The ground trembled beneath her feet and the surface of the pool rippled into a thousand rings. Hannah ducked her head and sidled against the wall of the cliff. Earthquake?
She dug her toes into the slippery ooze coating the base of the pool. Lurching along the slime-coated limestone, her heart sank as she realized she’d never manage to make it across the trembling foundation to her clothes.
A great scaly head appeared over the rim of the ledge. Huge iridescent eyes glowed in the half-light of the shadows; heavy lids narrowed, the golden orbs swept from side to side with a watchful gaze across the quaking pool. The beast had twisted horns at both the top of its head and where its great jaws hinged at its mouth. Its scales shone in the light shimmered every color of the spectrum. A long flowing beard trailed down from its lower jaw, snaking down the front of its tiled chest. The creature kept its great muzzle shut; two enormous fangs protruding from under its smooth green lips and curled down from its upper jaw. She remained motionless, clutching a jutting-out bit of rock. My God, I wonder how many more teeth are in that mouth.
Hannah eased in a quiet deep breath. Breathe, Hannah. She had to stay calm. Surely this creature obeyed the basic laws of any large animal. As long as she didn’t make any sudden moves, maybe it wouldn’t eat her. Hannah slid her hand along the frigid slab of stone around the edge of the pool. Maybe she could reason with this thing. Get into its mind and let it know that if it ate her, she’d just give it a bad case of heartburn.
She focused on a particularly greenish scale right between the beast’s golden eyes. Nothing. Velvety darkness filled her mind. Gritting her teeth, Hannah strained and concentrated harder. Still nothing. Dammit! Why couldn’t she get inside that scaly head?
Holding her breath, Hannah inched her way deeper into the shadows. She squeezed her eyes shut and projected her thoughts with a decidedly mental scream. If ever she needed Taggart to be able to read her mind, that time was now. “Taggart! Get your ass down here! You’re not going to believe what just slithered up the side of this mountain! It’s a …It’s a…damn if it isn’t a freakin’ dragon!
“Gearlach!” Taggart roared, pounding down the trail and rounding the corner of the cliff.
“She screamed,” Gearlach explained with a defensive flip of one curled claw in Hannah’s direction. “I was merely responding to the distressed call of our beloved Lady Guardian.” Gearlach cocked his horned head and gave Hannah a slow wink of a glowing eye. “And by the way, dragons are mythical creatures made up by drunken humans who couldn’t explain their sightings of Draecna.” Gearlach pounded his scaly chest. “I’m real. I am a sacred Draecna.”