The Dragon Tamer by Jane Bonander
Once in awhile, a woman must fight… Widowed at age twenty-one, when her husband was killed while captaining a whaler, Eleanor Rayburn is left homeless and penniless. She is dismayed to learn that before his death her husband had sold his shares in the ship. In her search for the company that now controls the whaler, she encounters the handsome and arrogant owner, a man with a flagrant dragon tattooed on his torso, who greets her with cold disdain.
And a man must win… Dante Templeton, a marine naturalist, charms women easily but cares for none. He and his older brother were abandoned as infants and raised in an orphanage before they joined Captain Rayburn's crew. Onboard the St. Louis, Dante suffered regular whippings and his brother was lost at sea—an accident for which Dante blamed the ship's cruel captain. Now, twenty years later, when his enemy's widow comes looking for the return of her husband's ship, he impedes her at every turn, determined that her ship will never hunt whales again.
But circumstances throw Eleanor and Dante together. The handsome, tattooed naturalist and the seemingly plain, intelligent widow cannot deny their fiery attraction. Although Dante knows a secret about Eleanor's late husband that would certainly hurt her, he now realized that to destroy this vibrant, passionate woman would mean destroying himself.
He was a carnal man. Sleek. Polished. Every movement, every word, every look was drenched with an animal heat that made a woman weak. The way he looked at her, his eyelids heavy and sensual as he slowly moved his gaze over her, resting at places no decent man would. The way he walked toward her, all loose limbed and dangerous. Then he stood before her, the unasked question in the lift of one raven-wing eyebrow. His voice was the final seduction, for when he was in the mood, the words oozed out like warm honey, making a woman’s blood thicken and her skin come alive. He was both wild and tame, and no woman on earth could refuse him.
He was a magician of sorts. He could walk into a ballroom and turn the head of every woman there, any age, any social standing. And when the last song had played, every lady went home to dream of him.
It was his indifference that drew both men and women to him, for each wanted to believe they would be the first to charm him. Coax him to put money into a failing business. Lure him into an affair. Few realized that Dante could not be bought—or enticed. Fewer yet knew that he had little respect for most men, finding them braggarts and bores. And to him, women were a nuisance. A hazard to be avoided. A complete and total waste of time, for anything other than his animal needs.
The woman, his current mistress, studied him as he read the newspaper, his rich black hair falling forward to cover part of his face. His arms were thick, the muscles sculpted beneath his bronzed skin, the veins standing out like rivers of granite. He had beautiful hands, large with square palms. His fingers were long and strong, yet the power in his touch could be gentle and seductive when he wanted it to be.
She looked at the strange tattoos that covered his body. Only those who knew him as intimately as she did would ever know they were there.
She had hated them at first—the coiled snake, the soaring hawk, the masterful ship with the skull and crossbones banner on the mast.
The largest one was a green and yellow dragon with nostrils that licked flames up Dante’s neck. It covered his chest and stomach. Once she had seen that enormous, fierce looking dragon, the other tattoos were nothing. Beneath it was a mass of whip-like scars that looked like part of the dragon’s corded skin. She had traced those scars many times with her fingers and her tongue. When she had asked how he had gotten them, she had been met with a taciturn, icy stare. She had never asked again.
He was still reading, ignoring her. She wondered if he remembered she was in his bed.
Her gaze wandered to the far wall, which displayed one of his many collections of erotic art. Every woman she knew and most men as well would blush at what Dante considered art. He had a fine, rosewood corner cupboard with glass doors that held Greek and Roman objects d’art, all of which were, as far as she was concerned, lewd and immoral. But that was exactly what excited her.
Dante Templeton is a handsome rake with a notorious reputation. His life has been a struggle but he’s made himself into a success and now he is an activist. Dante is thoroughly against whaling or the killing of any marine animal for profit. However that isn’t the reason he doesn’t want to give Eleanor her stocks. No, Dante has a personal grudge against the woman who was married to the man he has despised since his youth. Not only that but independent woman are nothing but a turn off to Dante or at least they used to be.
As Eleanor and Dante’s paths seem to continually cross each are forced to reevaluate their initial thoughts regarding the other person. I love the attraction between these characters whether they are engaging in a heated argument or kissing you can feel the intense desire and longing. There are explosive sparks immediately between these two. I couldn’t wait for their scenes. Eleanor and Dante make magic together in The Dragon Tamer! Prepare to be emotionally involved in this story. I found myself deeply invested in the lives of these characters and aching for a happy ending. Eleanor and Dante are two wounded people in need of a little healing and if they can get past initial hurts they may just discover what love is.
There are so many things that I like about The Dragon Tamer that it is hard to get it all on paper without spoiling some of the surprises. So what I’m going to say is if you love historical romances that have superior plot and inspiring romance then The Dragon Tamer is for you. Jane Bonander’s The Dragon Tamer is an epic romance that takes the reader on a wondrous and unforgettable journey!
Jane: John Sanford, probably because he's local, and I love Lucas Davenport.
Ali: If you could co-write with another author who would it be and why?
Jane: Any New York Times best selling author will do! I'm flexible; I can adapt to any genre.
Ali: The world is under attack and you are forced to run for your life. You only have room for one book in your survival kit, what book do you take?
Jane: Well, that's unfair. I'm usually not very sensible; my right brain dominates, but I'd have to say, if there is one, Survival for Dummies.
Ali: Who are your favorite literary characters? (Yours or someone else's)
Jane: Jane Austen's
Ali: If your friends were asked to describe you in one word what would it be?
Jane: Brilliant. Oh, wait. That's my description of me...
Ali: Where do you do your best work?
Jane: At my computer, in my office.
Ali: Do you find it harder to write a full-length novel or novellas?
Jane: Neither - novels and novellas just have a different focus.
Ali: When did you fall in love...with writing?
Jane: I started writing poetry in junior high.
Ali: Are you a plotter or fly by the seat of your pants writer?
Jane: I am definitely a plotter. I need to know where I'm going, and am much more comfortable if I know my story. However, I often take a detour, which usually results in something interesting.
Ali: What was your inspiration for Dragon Tamer?
Jane: My inspiration for Dragon Tamer? I had visited the whaling museum in Bedford, Mass and discovered that entire families of sea captains would go whaling, being on board a ship for months, even years at a time.
Ali: Whaling is a subject not often talked about what drew you to it?
Jane: I was drawn to the whaling setting because of the amount of information that was available to me on the subject, which included diaries from wives who had sailed with their husbands. And, I wanted a hero who was definitely an anti-whaling advocate: Voila! Conflict.
Ali: What is your favorite thing to do outside of writing?
Jane: Boring as it sounds, my favorite thing to do outside of writing is reading and discovering new authors and genres. My latest interest is the influx of Scandinavian mystery writiers who have flowered here in the US since Stieg Larsson's Mellennium trilogy.
Favorite food: I can eat Mexican or Tex Mex three times a day, if offered.
Boots or heels: Neither - clogs or sandals.
eReader or Print: So far, print. I'm from the old school.
Social Media: Love it or Hate? It's a delicious, sinful pleasure.
Beer, Liquor or Wine: Like Chelsea Handler, make mine vodka.
Favorite place to get it on besides the bedroom: Now, that would be telling, and then everyone would want to do it there...
Favorite TV Show: Anything with Julia Louie-Dreyfus.
Favorite Book series (besides your own): It's not very literary, but the Prey books by John Sanford
Pj’s or Lingerie: Neither.
Vampires vs. Shifters: I'm not acquainted with either one - as far as I know.
Favorite Genre: Right now? Mysteries/police procedurals.
JANE BONANDER has always had a flare for the dramatic. Just ask her mother. When she was five, she ran home from kindergarten and scrambled under her parents' bed, hiding there until her mother came looking for her which was longer than Jane had anticipated, for she fell asleep. When her mother woke her, she told her that a big, hairy monster had chased her home. Since over an hour had passed, the drama of the moment was gone.
She sold her first novel, SECRETS OF A MIDNIGHT MOON, to St. Martin's Press in 1990. Since then she has published twelve more novels and novellas. She currently makes her home in St. Paul, Minnesota and in the fall of 1998, remarried after the death of her first husband, Alan. The new man in her life, Richard Noer, is an avid skiier and for the past twenty six years has been on the ski patrol at a local ski area. Although Jane doesn't ski and refuses to start now, she does "chalet" and enjoys people watching as she does so!
Jane's oldest son, Jason and his wife Laura are living in Atlanta, GA. Jason works for the CDC while Laura is a lawyer and they have a five-year-old son. Ross, Jane's younger son, is a freelance writer. He and his wife Amber live in Austin, TX.
Want to learn more about Jane? Here are some links... Website / Facebook / Melange Books
Thank you Ali for once again allowing me to take over your blog :) I thoroughly enjoyed The Dragon Tamer and I'm so happy to get to share it with everyone!