How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Mystic Bayou #1
Published by Audible
Published on: January 23, 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 6 Hours & 33 Minutes
Amazon | GoodReads
Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.
Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.
Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be....
Molly Harper is a treasure for all who adore books that are fun, romantic, and easily read. Not to mention flat out good and laugh out loud inducing. Her Jane Jameson books about a young woman learning how to navigate being turned into a vampire were a hoot. And topping it all off, after spending most of my life in Kentucky, it’s nice to read a Kentucky author for a change. Or in this case, listen to one. Now that I think about it, I’ve listened to all of the ones I’ve read so far an there’s a good reason for that. More on that later.
Jillian Ramsey is a anthropologist researcher for the League for Interspecies Cooperation. She is sent to the town of Mystic Bayou in Lousiana to find out why the town is able to live harmoniously with both the supernatural and humans, side by side. This is a world where few know of the existance of the supernatural, but will need to know probably someday soon. It’s getting harder and harder for the league to keep a lid on things of the paranormal sort. It’s her first assignment so it’s a learning situation for both her and a town that suspects anyone not from Mystic Bayou. So she sets out trying to interview the supes and humans alike and becomes immersed in the small town bayou culture and in the supernatural customs. Helping her is the somewhat grouchy police chief and dragon shifter, Bael Boone, and his best friend and mayor of the town, Zed Barron, a bear shifter. And no, there is not a love triangle. To keep things even more interesting, a mutilated body is found not long after Jillian comes to town.
As usual, Harper’s characters are the best part of the book. Jillian is smart as a whip, has her doctorate, and just wants to do the best job she can. She’s tenacious, but not stupid when it comes to getting her interviews. I enjoyed that when someone tells her not to do anything stupid, she actually doesn’t. It was refreshing for a change. Bael is tough on the outside, but has a bit of a marshmallow center. Always fun in a dragon! And Zed is levity personified. He is Bael’s best friend and loves to stir up things for Bael-especially when it comes to Bael’s love life. Also featured are members of Bael’s family, including his weirdo cousin-one that becomes the bane of Jillian’s life at times. All sorts of fun supernaturals round out the characters.
Narration? This is why I listen to all of Molly Harper’s books. Narrator Amanda Ronconi is perfect for all things Molly Harper. She easily became one of my favorite narrators as soon as I started listening to the Jane Jameson books. And that hasn’t changed a bit with this book. What did change this time is the inclusion of a male narrator, Jonathan Davis. He was good, but I admit I would have found it just as good had Ronconi narrated the whole thing. Not disparaging Davis at all though, as I do enjoy having both male and female narrators as a rule, and as I said, he was good. So narration was 4.5 stars for me-rounded up on my Audible rating.
So, good story line and characters, plus dragon lore and romance, made for a fun, enjoyable listen for me. The murder mystery aspect was just the icing on the cake or maybe alligator in the bayou in this case. Harper’s trademark snark is always a welcome addition to her stories and was represented as well. Highly recommended to adult readers of fun paranormal romance. I can’t wait for the next one!