by H. L. Burke
Book 1: Dragon’s Curse
On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous.
Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family?
“A really enjoyable read about castles and knights, magic and curses. And to top it off you have a heroine that falls in love with a cursed dragon!”
“The story moves quickly with plenty of witty dialogue, interesting characters, an intriguing plot and more! You never quite know who the bad guys are.”
“This isn’t your typical ‘go kill the dragon and win the girl’s heart’ kind of book. This dragon is not your ordinary dragon. In fact, Shannon and the dragon quickly become friends. And why not? A dragon must get lonely in a land where there are so few left alive.”
Book 2: Dragon’s Debt
Drawn to Ewan’s brother’s aid, Ewan and Shannon find themselves hunting an elusive monster: a winged beast kidnapping young women and stealing their memories. Its latest victim is the Princess Brighid of Westshire, the very girl Edmond has recently fallen for, to the disapproval of her temperamental father, King Riley, and stoic brother, Prince Ryan.
“I picked this up after reading the first one because I just had to know more about the characters! I’m so glad I did, because there was so much more to learn, and a few new faces as well! I loved the different points of view.”
“This book just truly builds on everything I LOVED from the first.”
“H.L. Burke wastes no time, throwing her characters (and readers) into another fun tale about a human-turned dragon and his friends.”
Book 3: Dragon’s Rival
Ewan returns to his homeland to attend his brother’s wedding and discover the source of a bounty on his head. Once there the dragon prince finds that Ryan of Westshire has been using his absence to court the Lady Shannon.
Torn between his love for Shannon and the desire to see her happy, Ewan must choose once and for all. Is he a dragon or a man?
“H.L. Burke invites her reader to climb on the dragon’s back and ride with her, swooping over rich characters and plot details seamlessly.”
“The Dragon’s Rival is another win for this author!”
“Amazing, loved every page-turning moment of it.”
Book 4: Dragon’s Bride
Dragon Prince Ewan has promised his beloved, Shannon, that he will become a man again or die in the attempt. Now he will do anything to make good on that promise.
“There’s time travel, Fey, other dragons, kidnappers, and evil kings. This story also had an unexpected twist at the end but such a lovely twist (& appropriate) ending!”
“Beautifully told fairy tale by a skilled author.”
“This was the best book yet. Very satisfying ending to the series.”
CIR: What inspired this dragon love story?
BURKE: I love dragons and fairy tales, and though I didn’t actually write the first book in this series until NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) of 2012, I’ve had the concept in my head since high school, the idea of a princess who is captured by a dragon and when a knight comes to rescue her she says, “No thanks, I like this dragon” and defends the dragon from the knight. It went through various conceptual drafts in my head before I locked onto it as my NaNoWriMo project and finally forced myself to work out the details.
CIR: What would you compare this book to?
BURKE: The Princess Bride is a big inspiration, but mostly this book was inspired by fairy tales, mainly Beauty and the Beast. There’s a Chesterton quote ‘There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.’ That is the basic message behind Dragon’s Curse. When everyone else wants to have the dragon’s head on a pike, Shannon, my heroine, sees this creature as a being with value, leading to a deep friendship and many, many adventures.
CIR: That’s a great message. Are there others?
BURKE: It’s also about the nature of true love, about fidelity, sacrifice, and loyalty.
CIR: What is the main character like, besides partial to dragons??
BURKE: Shannon was an awkward, bookish child who as an adult is determined to break out of her shell and try something new with her life. She ends up well over her head, of course, but she’s open-eyed and open-hearted, a little self-absorbed at times, yet not very self-aware, the way people who live in their heads tend to be.
CIR: Is there any content that some readers might find questionable despite the overall “clean” feel of the book?
BURKE: The multi-book love story does end with characters married and some mentions of off-screen lovemaking and some flirting dialog. Definitely a lot of kissing in later books. There is also a sub-plot involving a king’s illegitimate son, which implies adultery, and a few scattered uses of the d-word. Because of this, I personally consider the books PG-13.
Learn more about H. L. Burke at www.HLBurkeAuthor.com