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Publisher's Summary

The first book in Molly Harper's uproariously funny, sinfully sexy new Mystic Bayou series!

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....

©2017 Molly White (P)2017 Audible Originals, LLC.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    311
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    53
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    13

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As someone from Louisiana...

As someone from Louisiana, let me say that I always panic when I pick up an audible set in the bayou. There's too much that can go wrong for me. If the writer doesn't understand the culture or the narrator doesn't understand the accent, I just get annoyed. However, Molly Harper as well as Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis do a nice job here.

Molly Harper has spun a well developed tale with conflict, mystery, interesting characters and an interesting community. I was impressed by the story and would definitely pick up something else from her. I fell like she's probably not from Louisiana, maybe watched a lot of True Blood, but she didn't try to overdo it and shove in a lot of incorrect, Hollywood-ized cultural references. The only thing I can say with certainty is that you don't have crawfish boils on New Years (it's not the season) and you don't boil shrimp with your crawfish because their seasons don't run together. If that's the worst trespass she has, she's in good shape.

Speaking of True Blood, Jonathan Davis' Cajun accent is straight out of Bon Temps. As a matter of fact, he sounds just like Rene from season 1. It's not exactly accurate but it's not a complete disaster either. I appreciate the attempt and the effort to keep it natural and not overdone. Kudos to the narrators for a great job.

72 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Reasonably Good

In general, I am really a fan of Molly Harper, but a few of her books (like the Bluegrass series), have been only marginally better than mediocre; this is one of those. The characters are likable enough, and the story is entertaining enough. But, the characters aren't outstanding, and the story isn't riveting. Perhaps I would have liked it better if I had never read the Half-Moon Hollow series, and so I wouldn't be subconsciously weighing this book against those books, but I have, and so I did.

These characters felt a little flat, like they had a lot of potential, but they just weren't developed quite enough to be all that they could be, and the plot kind of seemed bare-minimum; it was very uncomplicated. Sure, simple plots can become phenomenal stories, with clever and sophisticated crafting; I don't believe this particular simple plot quite achieved brilliance.

Nevertheless, it was still quite readable, and not regrettable.

A note about the dual narration: I have always appreciated Amanda Ronconi's contribution to Molly Harper's novels, and she was no less adept here. Jonathan Davis did a good job. My problem is that their narrations--that is, their respective interpretations--did not go well together, so much so that the shift from one to the other was jarring. Davis isn't (like many male narrators), particularly skilled at female voices, and this was further underscored by the dual narration, because, if he were the sole narrator, it's possible the listener could become accustomed to his female characterizations. Unfortunately for him, he shares narration with Ronconi, who is more skilled at voicing characters of the opposite sex (at least to my ear, anyway). I think the dual narration could have worked if the two narrators had read simultaneously, dialogue-style, but that seems to be done very rarely. Also, these chapters were actually written from alternating perspectives. Anyway, the narration wasn't ideal.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but (UPDATE)

UPDATE : The audio issues below have been fixed! i love Jonathan's reading. His voice as Bael will melt your heart!

This story is spot on Molly Harper. The characters are great and the angst is not over done. Amanda Ronconi did a wonderful job. The main turnoff was Jonathan Davis's editing. I really enjoyed his reading! He did a wonderful job bringing Bael to life. there were times his re-dos sounded like they were recorded over the phone and other times the quality made it sound like someone else was reading. Did anyone listen to this production before it was published? I'm a huge fan of two readers, they really bring a story to life, but the constant fluctuation of Jonathan's sections was distracting. As a side note, I would love to hear more from Jonathan in the future, I hope more books in this series hosts him as a narrator.

90 of 97 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

No to 2 narrators

I liked the story although it seemed more simplistic than her other books. Having two narrators made it very disjointed and hard to maintain the continuity of the characters. Nothing against the male voice but totally unnecessary. Female performance was much more effective.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great start to a new series!

I loved it! It had a serious side and a lot of interesting supporting characters, but the main focus was on Jillian and Bael. Jillian's a strong woman, but Bael still gets to come to her rescue. The dragon gets to be the good guy (knight in shining armor) in this story.

I'm so glad I got the audio version. I have to admit, I've bought some books mainly because Amanda Ronconi was narrating. I love listening to her. I enjoyed Jonathan Davis's chapters, too. I didn't really notice some of the issues that others mentioned with quality; maybe a hiccup or two with the editing, but not enough to take away from the story.

Well worth the credit and another go-to book for me. Yay! Molly, please keep them coming!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dual Narrators Are Self Destructive

I understand that alternating chapters with alternating character points of view can indicate there should be dual narrators. Except that obviously the person narrating each chapter has a voice for both characters. So every other chapter the listener hears a different voice for each character. I apologize for not explaining this well, but Amanda Ronconi does a great job narrating the female and the male characters in the first chapter. Jonathan Davis does a good job too narrating the same male and female character. But it takes a bit of work on the listener's part not to be jerked out of the story by the change in the voice of these characters every other chapter.

Molly Harper writes good stories and this one survived the voice of each character changing constantly. This sort of thing works wonderfully if the book is read as a play with the same voice actor consistently reading the same part. But done like this it is distracting. Since most of Molly Harper's books are narrated by Amanda Ronconi and her male voices are consistently good it seems a shame fix something that is not broken.

77 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

fun new series

Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.50

Audio Rating: 4.50 (not part of the overall rating)

Quick Story/Character thoughts: This is a fun new series that brings everything I love about Molly Harper's quirky sense of humor into her characters. I love Mystic Bayou and how she has set the ground work for a fantastic series. Much like I claimed Dick in Jane's series, I am claiming Zed in this one :) However, you are really gonna love Jillian and Bael *snort* Bill! They are fun, hot, snarky, and perfectly imperfect which makes them fun. Also hot bedroom just saying :)

Audio Thoughts: Amanda Ronconi is perfect for Molly's humor and she does a fantastic job. Jonathon brings the perfect level of growly male to really hook you. They both did a fantastic job and it was a fun listen!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I Excited for What is to Come

I have always like Molly Harper's writing style and love Amanda Ronconi as the narrator of the books. I was excited for 2 reasons when I saw this title available for pre-order. First I get another town and area similar to Half-moon Hollow and all of the residents within. Second the addition of a male narrator. I have always loved Amanda Ronconi as the narrator for these books because of her ability to give each character their own voice. Johnathan Davis was good addition to the book but I could tell when they had him redo certain parts of the story and I even think I could tell when Amanda Ronconi redid some parts. It was not seamless as it should have been. That is the only issue I had to the performance. I have listened to many books with a male and female narrator and I am used to the fact that they both do female and male parts so it did not bother me too much.

Now on to the story, I loved the story line and the setup to what I hope will be another excellent series!!! I wish it was longer but I can forgive Molly Harper for that part. I love the tension and the buildup between Jillian and Bael throughout the story. I also love that we get to watch Jillian learn about the people of the town and even herself as she spends time in Mystic Bayou.

I cannot wait to see what will happen in Mystic Bayou!!!

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Needs more Dragon Sex

Would you try another book from Molly Harper and/or Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis ?

Narrators did great but, Jonathan Davis had weird audio intermittently.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting- dragon sex on the mountain of gold. Least interesting- the amount of time it took for the main character to realize the sheriff is a dragon.

What about Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis ’s performance did you like?

Amanda doesn't have vocal fry which is greatly appreciated and she is a wonderful actress. Jon has nice depth in his voice.

Could you see How to Date Your Dragon being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Bael- Michael Fassbender. Jilian- Sofia Boutella. Zed- Dave Bautista. Balfor- Gavin Rossdale.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nani G
  • Rutherford, NJ, United States
  • 01-26-18

Really good start

I love this story but I wish they had used just one narrator. Switching back and forth got very confusing and the characters had different personalities depending on the narrator.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • jules
  • 01-31-18

New series has potential, but annoying audio

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, if audio is improved (see below). I love Molly Harper & Amanda Ronconi, and have all their supernatural-themed audible books. I’m not that keen on chapters with alternating POV however, and think the story would read better from one perspective. I like the set-up for this new series, however. Mystic Bayou and its inhabitants are a lot of fun, and there is a huge range of characters and mythologies to explore alongside the how-to-protect-the-town storyline. Main character Gillian is clever, caring, funny, interesting: multi-dimensional and likeable. And realistic! You root for her and feel you could know her, which is exactly what I hope for in a book like this. Her love interest isn’t such a well-developed character, but is likeable.
I will keep an eye out for the next book, with fingers crossed that it’s a bit better (with the quality audio it deserves).

How could the performance have been better?

Switching between male & female performers was distracting. It’s not a play, so having F read some chapters and a M read others meant that you were hearing each character’s voice read by 2 people. No consistency. Also, unnecessary. A Ronconi is excellent at distinguishing a range of characters/voices.

Also, and this was a major issue for me, it sounded as if some passages had been re-recorded and edited on; every so often the tone would change for a few sentences as if the actor had been in a different place, nearer to the microphone etc - then it switched back to the main recording. This was really jarring.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-30-18

Great fun

my only complaint is that I wanted to listen on for hours & hours more!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-28-18

Didn't expect it at all but absolutely LOVED this.

So well written, such a natural, charming style. an adult fairy tale that I just wanted to continue forever.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs V
  • 06-25-18

Brilliantly bonkers

This is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and definitely not my usual genre (though I’m not quite sure it fits neatly into any genre). I’m not going to talk about the plot because you just need to give this a go and stick with it. It’s quirky and funny, the narration is excellent. Honestly, if you fancy something different, try this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. N. Craig
  • 07-22-18

Loved it!

Molly Harper does it again! This is the first book in her series and it does not disappoint. Made me laugh in places. Who knew dragons could be lovable and sexy?! Cant wait for the rest of the series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • I OFarrell
  • 03-05-18

Fire in the Bayou

When Jillian’s career takes her to Mystic Bayou, Louisiana, she thinks it’s a simple case of documenting the facts and learning about the shifter species. When one of her interviewees turns up dead her warm reception turns a little frosty but a dash romance can heat things back up. She quickly realises that Mystic Bayou has a little more magic than the average town.

This is a great introduction to a promising new series. I’m already a big fan of Harper’s work, particularly when it’s on audiobook, and it looks like she has plenty more to give. Jillian is her typical flawed but sweet character and the mixture of humour and romance is just right. I’m hoping book two finds a date for the mayor.

10 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Earth Girl
  • 09-18-18

Cheesy, Fun, Shapeshifter Romance

This was a really fun book to listen to. The characters were likeable and the plot easy to follow. I would like to read more books set in this world.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy mg
  • 09-15-18

Funny

Loved this, light hearted funny book about humans and mystical creatures. Narrators both very good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Me
  • 08-22-18

Wi-Fi meets romance

Mix between s cute teen magical type book and syfi .
Of course there is romance and a little bit of sexual tention,
Good well read easy listening

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • EC W
  • 07-26-18

Great Location but MH's best book

Mystic Bayou is a great premise for a new series from Molly Harper. A town that has all kinds of species of magical creatures & people living with humans (it makes me want to find out why all the Vampires ended up in Half Moon Hollow - Molly please write that book!!). Lots of great ideas & places to explore out from.

Other than that, this wasn't a keeper for me. I spotted who done the murder pretty much straight away and, seriously, every single one of Molly Harper's males (of what ever species) seem to be supernaturally endowed, grumpy & suspicious to start with a slightly possessive attitude. But it was a fun, easy, if predictable listen. Actually I think I would've enjoyed it more if the whole thing had been done from one perspective. Here you have some chapters from the heroine, some from the hero, with a slightly inconsistent cross over perspective in the first couple of paragraphs (i.e. male voice reading from female perspective, then male perspective for the next 10 mins). Should've been two different books I think.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicki
  • 02-03-18

great story - nice to have a new idea from Molly.

What didn’t you like about Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis ’s performance?

Amanda was great, as always but there were inconsistencies in Jonathans' performance and issues with his production / editing. I would've preferred just Amanda.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • clayton
  • 04-04-18

Dave and Debbie

Best story I've listened to for some time. Full of good moments and exciting plots.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea Foster
  • 03-30-18

Love this book , Can't wait for the next one.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to all of my friends . It is very typically Molly Harper. Fun and lively with characters that are easy to love.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Date Your Dragon?

There are to many memorable moments to have just one favourite , but Julliene"s reaction to Balfores aggression towards her in the grocery store is fun.

Have you listened to any of Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have listened to a few Amanda Ronconi's performances and this is very typical of her. She can make a character seem very real.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a lot through this book.