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Heart of the Dragon

(Atlantis #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  14,460 ratings  ·  645 reviews
Grace Carlyle's world was about to change . . .

Deep in the jungle on the trail of her missing brother, Grace never expected to find a secret world populated by mythological monsters -- nor guarded by a sword-wielding being whose beauty put mortal men to shame.

Darius en Kragin belongs to a race of shape-shifting warriors sworn to guard Atlantis and kill all travelers who st
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Hqn (first published August 30th 2005)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,460 ratings  ·  645 reviews

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Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)
Meh. An unconvincing romance in the middle of an unoriginal story. I just didn't see any reason for Grace and Darius to end up together. I never bought the love at all. I've just seen this done better.


I read a review of a different book by KimKirt today that mentioned how there's something that rubs you the wrong way about a book that just bugs you and keeps you from fully enjoying the book. Unfortunately there were several with this. But one that I feel I should mention concerns a cou
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars.
It is OK.

In my opinion, Heart of Dragon is not a very good book, it's weak. One of the problems here is that it is unavoidable comparing it to other works of this author, and as such, I have to say this book is below par.

Darius is not very attractive, and the love story doesn't really click.

The plot has too much battle and unnecessary information.

In addition to the main romance, there is secondary love story. I usually enjoy these extras, however, in this case the roman
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 STARS !!

I just LOVED this book. It was so good, just the best thing I have read in such a long time, marvelous , PERFECT!

If I had had a clue this series was this good I have read it much sooner. As the AVG rating of this book was 3.88 I just thought I would not like it at all. I just started with it because I was missing paranormal romance terribly! I was pretty sure I had read all the ones worth reading so you can all imagine this was a huge surprise for me! I wasn't aware of how much I was
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance fans - non-human hero
Darius en Kragin is a weredragon who lives in Atlantis. Atlantis is populated with mythical beings, apparently. Weredragons, vampires, nymphs, and Formorians. Darius is assigned to guard "the mist" (a portal between the mortal realm and the realm to Atlantis). It's his job to mercilessly kill any man, woman or child who comes through the portal.

Although Darius vomits after killing his first human being, he spends three centuries doing this job, brutally murdering anyone who comes through the po
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ugh, that was horrible. Let's tick off all the formulaic things, shall we?

1) She's a redhead. Now, I have a real soft spot for redheads, being one myself, but at one point she actually says she had never met anyone who went for the red hair and freckles thing. Girl, you have obviously never been outside.
2) She's a virgin, although HE has bedded lots of ladies. None of them ever meant anything, of course.
3) They "bond" through some spell so that it's like they're married before they actually do t
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Summary: Red-headed virgin is bedded by a supernatural sex god. Oh, and some other stuff to do with Atlantis happens in the rest of the story.

This is the kind of book you leave at home so that no-one knows what you're reading. It was pure romantic trash.

Have no desire to pick up the next book in the series.

Pam Nelson
First books in series don’t usually suck me in unless the dialog is more talking less scenery. This book isn’t too bad with that, it was world building but not to the point you’re wishing for the next chapter.
Grace just wants to find her brother but encounters something a lot more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

I loved how headstrong she was and how she dealt with so much.
I giggled when Darius meets Grace he kind of doesn’t know what to do with her. ;) their back and forth is wha
This book was a pure whine-fest. The plot was horrendously predictable, and the heroine is a major whiner, and a B with an ITCH. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with her? She's like those anorexic, cheerleader whiner-babies that is totally unsatisfied with her life. And don't get me started on the male protagonist. He was an emotional wreck when he saw her, all "i should kill you but i cant cause i get all tingly with this insta-love shit that i still dont want to acknowledge is love thing". D ...more
Heart of the Dragon is one of Gena's first book I believe and while it wasn't bad at all, you can definitely tell it's someone's first. I actually really enjoyed myself for the most part, the universe she created is very mesmerizing and my curiosity was piqued. But the last 20% or so were botched, rushed and I was a little disappointed because of that. The book went in the right direction but at the last minute changed course and it went from a solid 4 stars to a simple 3 for me.

I liked Darius a
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

When Grace Carlyle sets out to find her brother in the middle of the jungle, what she doesn't expect to find is the mythical land of Atlantis and its gorgeous guardian Darius en Kragin. Darius is charged with guarding one of the portals to Atlantis and killing any who enter, be they man, woman or child. But he can't seem to destroy Grace when she stumbles through to Atlantis; her fiery red hair the first colour has has seen in centuries and her bravery touches his long neglected heart. Howev
Here are some of my thoughts:
• I am looking forward to getting into a new series with Showalter. I love the mythology stuff from her other series, and I hope this one has as immersive of a plot. Judging from what I see from this book, I am intrigued but I can’t wait to see a better idea of the world as the series progresses.
• Grace is alright. She pissed me off at the end though. Despite that it might have worked out for the best, I was just like, seriously????
• It would have been interesting to
Felicity Heaton
I went into this book not expecting much which is perhaps why I got so much out of it. Just like how I really enjoy a movie when I go into the cinema with zero expectations about the film. We enter the book in the past, with Darius as a child taking on the role of a guardian responsible for killing anyone who enters through the portal in his palace. Understandably he’s a little reluctant to kill, but he’s driven by a need to protect his dragon people and Atlantis from the kind of brutality that ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pnr-uf
I love the idea of taking the premise that Atlantis is real and still here though hidden so I was very eager to read this series. This first book also hit one of my other favorites- dragons!!!

Darius is a stone cold dragon warrior king and guardian of the portal to the human world. He is sworn to kill any who stray through the mist into Atlantis. After three hundred years, a lone woman becomes the exception when he is attracted to her and cannot find it in himself to kill her right away. He must
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aly is so frigging bored
Buddy read with Maru.

January 2013 read:
Favorite quote:
“You saw the violence of my past,” he said, mistaking her silence. “You know the things I’ve done and can guess the things I will do. I’m asking you to accept me regardless. If you can do this, I will give you my life, my riches and my vow to always protect you.” The last words left his lips with all the desperation inside him. With all the longing. With all the need.
Her expression softened; her lashes dipped to half-mast. “I don’t need your
Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim)
Meh. An unconvincing romance in the middle of an unoriginal story. I just didn't see any reason for Grace and Darius to end up together. I never bought the love at all. I've just seen this done better.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
★Moonrise Books
May 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Before Gena Showalter’s hit series, Lords of the Underworld, there was Atlantis: a series about an undersea world inhabited by immortal, mythological creatures, including dragons, nymphs, shape shifters, and more! The first installment, Heart of the Dragon, introduces us to the shape-shifting guardian of the gates of Atlantis, Darius en Kragin. Vowed for centuries to protect his dragon kin and Atlantis itself Darius has seen his fair share of wayward humans, lost in the jungle’s mist, slip throu ...more
Apr 29, 2010 rated it liked it
I am a huge fan of Gena Showalter, I love her Lords of the Underworld series, her Alien-Huntress series, and even a couple of her stand alone books. So while I think that Heart of the Dragon was good, in comparison to her other work this book was booooring. What I admire about GS is that she makes you fall in love with her characters and with the world she creates. There is always someone or something to connect to in her stories and she usually has a fast pace that makes the book flow. All of t ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Not enough of
• action,
• world-building,
• information about the supernatural beings of Atlantis,
• twists and turns,
• delineation of emotions.

Too much of
• slushy sentimentality,
• half-hearted erotica,
• superficiality,
• hasty events.

But no need to worry, I still love Lords of the Underworld! :)
Aug 31, 2012 marked it as tbr-later  ·  review of another edition
29 February 2020: $1.99 on Kindle
8 January 2016: $2.99 on Kindle
Varied Books
May 12, 2017 marked it as undecided-maybe-read
5/12/17 sale .99.
JESSICA ~Snuggly Bear Paws~
Not one of my favs. Kinda glad I read LOTU first. Might not of read them at all if I hadn't. This fell short of my expectations of her writing. Srry Ms. Showalter.
Heart of the Dragon

Find this review and more at kimberlyfaye reads.

I need to preface my review of Heart of the Dragon by saying I really wasn't into the idea of this book or the whole "fated mates" thing going in. (No offense to anyone who reads PNR. I just didn't think it was my jam.) If you've followed me for any length of time on any bookish or social platform, you know I'm a contemporary romance reader. In fact, before this year I'd never read any PNR. (Well, outside of YA books and I don't think those
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
The only reason I read this book was because of the word "Atlantis". I've always liked the Atlantis myth and I found the concept for this book quite intriguing. Unfortunately it wasn't all that great.

Basically there's this woman who is lost in the jungle and accidentally finds her way to Atlantis. And then there's the dark and brooding man that has never felt love, guarding the entrance. It doesn't take a genius to know where this is going.

I liked the concept about Atlanis being a place for al
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hot-hot-hot
Cool concept, memorable characters, lovely romance.
If you are a fan of Showalter, you will enjoy this one too.
I felt the LOU similarities more than once, but not quite as strong.

Darius is a dragon shape-shifter, King of his race. He is guardian of the mist, the entrance to Atlantis. Cool concept, aye?

Grace is an adventure junkie, danger-seeking chick searching for her missing brother in the Amazon. She is stubborn, brave and tender at the same time. She accidently stumbles into Darius's world a
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it
3 Stars...It was ok

So I have tons of Showalter books that were given to me by a friend who's obviously a big fan...but I just don't understand why. I don't think I've ever rated one of her books above a 3 Star so maybe I'm just not "getting it". Creativity is there, but there just seems to be something missing in every book I pick up. I will say though that HOTD was one of the better one's I've read by her so I'll for sure give the second in the series a shot.

Christy Stewart
"I've got a cracker jack idea for the cover, boss."
"What's that, Smitty?"
"The back of some broad with a tramp stamp."
"Perfect! You sure do know how to market to the ladies, pal."
Chippy Marco
Damn hot! Jumping onto the next Gena Showalter book like an old man on Viagra!
bells ♡
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
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Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over seventy books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series, the Gods of War series, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Forest of Good and Evil series. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family an ...more

Other books in the series

Atlantis (4 books)
  • Jewel of Atlantis (Atlantis, #2)
  • The Nymph King (Atlantis, #3)
  • The Vampire's Bride (Atlantis, #4)

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