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Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Accidental Dragon (Accidentally Paranormal Novel) by Dakota Cassidy

Get The Accidental Dragon (Accidentally Paranormal Novel) by Dakota Cassidy here.

Tessa Preston and McAllister Malone have pushed each other's hot buttons since they were little kids. Each hides their attraction for the other behind temper-sparking spats. Lately it's been getting hotter and hotter, until Mick actually sets Tessa's antique shop on fire. With his breath. Must have been that headache powder he took...

Suddenly embroiled in a mystery to determine the source of Mick's new fire-breathing abilities, the two find themselves surrounded by some sooty, (and scary!) but experienced guides to the paranormal. As the weirdness ratchets up, Tessa needs Mick more than ever. But Mick's loyalty to his dearly departed best friend, Tessa's brother, could endanger any future they have.

His eyes searched each woman’s. “Are you going to tell me that if I look in a mirror, I’ll see wings on my back? Wings?”
“Yeah. Just like the kind on those feminine protection commercials, only not,” Nina said on a cackle.
Before he had the chance to respond to this next batch of weirdness, Wanda began hopping around from one foot to the other, holding up her iPhone. “I know what you are!” she sang. “You, Mick Malone, are a dragon!”

In true Accidental Series form, The Accidental Dragon jumps right in, feet first. The reader, in tandem with the main characters, learns the situation is...GASP!... paranormal... with well-crafted, and humorous observations. Piecing together the "How?" part of the mystery, soon leads to the question of "Who?", and from there, the stakes and the drama build exponentially with a smooth arc. Information is carried in on the back draft of the peripheral characters - some new, some old favorites, and some that are mysteries until the very end.

Tessa and Mick are so stubborn that if it weren't for the sudden fantastic situation they were in they'd never have gotten anywhere. They're the kind of people that will think themselves out of a feeling or situation. Mick lashes out to cover his feelings for Tessa, constantly getting her goat. His over-protective smothering would be enough to make any independent woman lose her temper. Tessa fights just as hard as he does. But, in her most vulnerable moments with Mick, it's clear Tessa's feelings for Mick have helped her get through some of the darkest moments of her life. Their relationship isn't at all sibling rivalry, it feels more like a desperate lose/lose battle that will just tear them to shreds if nothing ever changes. Enter the O.O.P.S. team.

Cassidy's got a great ability of using her peripheral characters to advantage. Even ones that have died. The struggle with the memory of Tessa's brother doesn't seem any less important than the fear of the big bad paranormal meanie that seems to have it out for Tessa and Mick. All the O.O.P.S. favorites are here. They seem to be a bit more present than in a few of the other books. It didn't seem as though Tessa and Mick got a lot of time alone.

The book is liberally coated in laugh out loud humor. You'll never hear certain music the same way again. Ever. I promise. Nina's smart-mouth is on fire, as usual, and Mick's mental musings are quite funny. All of this, and yet two little words..."Where's Carl?" had me laughing the hardest. With her signature style, Cassidy pulls together humor, danger, heart-tugging moments, and a twisty, full-circle everything-explained plot line with her usual flair and panache.

After reading the entire series, The Accidental Dragon felt like coming home. There was enough familiarity to feel comforted, and so much original fun that I now have some new favorite characters to hopefully see in future works.

I highly recommend this book.