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Heart of the Dragon

(Atlantis #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  13,900 ratings  ·  612 reviews
Searching for her missing brother, Grace Carlyle never dreamed she would discover a secret world populated by mythological monsters--or find herself facing a sword-wielding being whose looks put mortal men to shame.

But there he was, Darius en Kragin, one of a race of shape-shifting warriors bound to guard the gates of Atlantis, and kill all travelers who straye
Mass Market Paperback, 367 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by HQN Books (first published August 30th 2005)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,900 ratings  ·  612 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 shoul
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars.
It is OK.

In my opinion, Heart of Dragon is not a very good book, it's weak. The problem here is that it is unavoidable comparing it to other works of this author and 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 cas
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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 b
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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 b
◊♦ Naomi
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 lot
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. However
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 aw
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
★Moonrise Books
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
8 January 2016: $2.99 on Kindle
Varied Books
May 12, 2017 marked it as undecided-maybe-read  ·  review of another edition
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 really co
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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.

Chippy Marco
Damn hot! Jumping onto the next Gena Showalter book like an old man on Viagra!
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."
bells ♡
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Evelyn Young
I found this book a really enjoyable read, with just the right sort of paranormal, unbelievable romance that I love! I was a bit torn between a 4/5 and a 3/5, but ultimately, even though I would recommend this if you're looking for some paranormal with a lot of romance, I wouldn't say I loved it. Just thoroughly enjoyed! I adored the world of Atlantis and was so excited for further world building and plot development, however, I felt this was a bit lacking (BUT its a paranormal romance, soooo... ...more
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Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have

Other books in the series

Atlantis (4 books)
  • Jewel of Atlantis (Atlantis, #2)
  • The Nymph King (Atlantis, #3)
  • The Vampire's Bride (Atlantis, #4)
“Not fat, just not anorexic. She's soft in all the right places.” 102 likes
“To you I belong.My heart beats only for you.No other will tempt me,from this day and beyond.To you I belong.” 29 likes
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