#BookReview: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human by Kimberly Lemming

#BookReview: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human by Kimberly LemmingThat Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human (Mead Mishaps, 3) by Kimberly Lemming
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genres: cozy fantasy, fantasy, fantasy romance, romantasy
Series: Mead Mishaps #3
Pages: 353
Published by Orbit on March 5, 2024
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBookshop.orgBetter World Books

When I was a little girl, my Ma used to read me stories every night. Some were epic adventures with high stakes and exciting twists while others were of princesses trapped in towers guarded by fierce dragons. The pitiful princess would be stuck inside all day pining for her prince charming to come and rescue her. I always hated those stories. I couldn't imagine why the lazy thing didn't just get up and leave. Ironic since I was now stuck in that same situation. Turns out, when a dragon holds you hostage, he doesn't just let you get up and leave.Who knew?
When I thought I saw hope on the horizon, that hope was smashed to bits by - you guessed it - another damn dragon.

My Review:

Technically, this final entry in the Mead Mishaps trilogy is not, strictly speaking, a mishap involving any mead. Also, Dante wasn’t drunk. High as a kite and sick as a dog, but not drunk. Not that he didn’t drink something he shouldn’t have – but only because the human he was trying to save drugged him.

In other words, the eventual romance between Dante the Storm Dragon and the human Cherry does not exactly get off to a promising start.

Which is the story of Cherry’s current life when the story begins. Because yes, that’s Cherry Hotpepper, the missing and presumed dead sister of the heroine of the place where this whole thing started in That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon.

In an absolutely delicious and utterly heartbreaking bit of the irony behind ALL the entries in this series, at the point where Cinnamon Hotpepper saved that demon – and ultimately ALL the demons – she was doing her damndest to avoid having adventures because Cherry loved adventures SO MUCH and Cherry was gone.

So Cinnamon had the adventure that Cherry would have loved, pretty much in spite of herself. When we first meet Cherry, she’s imprisoned in a dragon’s keep with the dragon literally curled about the base of the keep keeping her prisoner – and has been for five long, annoying, boring years with nothing to do but plot an escape that the dragon thwarts over and over and over again.

But he doesn’t harm her. He doesn’t touch her, not even in his human form. More frustrating still, he doesn’t even TALK to her. Cherry is bored, bored, bored. Cinnamon would have loved being locked in a literal ivory tower – particularly as good food and interesting libations are on tap courtesy of the dragon’s little frog-servants – while Cherry is ready to claw her way out by her fingernails.

Which is when Dante flies to her rescue. Or that’s his intent, at least. But Cherry has had it up to the top of her head with all her curls piled on top of it with dragons. She doesn’t trust Dante – at all.

Dante, however, is certain that Cherry is his true, fated mate. He’s stoned, she’s sorry not sorry, and he’s watching his arms crawl away and talking to bananas. Which is the point where explanations and consent go out the window and he bites her – giving her some of his magic and triggering the mating bond.

It may have been the right thing to do – and he certainly wasn’t responsible for his actions – but now that it’s done there’s no takesy-backsies. Not that even wary, suspicious Cherry wants to go quite that far.

But a little romance first would have been a much better way of wooing the woman that Dante has already made his wife. It’s too late for that to be first, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll have a chance if he can figure out how to do it second.

He’ll need just a little bit of help from his friends back in Boohail – and get more than a little bit of hindrance from his dragon sister, an enchanted, talking sword, and a cat who is all demon.

Escape Rating B: In the end, I enjoyed this nearly as much as I did the previous books in the series, That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon and That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf.

But I’ll admit that the early stages gave me more than a few qualms that the other books didn’t. Because this book has a serious problem with consent that the previous books carefully and artfully handled – particularly that second book about the love potion and the werewolf.

Fated mate stories can easily turn just a bit squicky, as the fated mates themselves generally have no choice in the matter – but it’s mutual. In this particular fantasy world, the demons and other non or not-quite humans have fated mates – but humans don’t work that way. Making a huge portion of each of these stories about the demon partner getting their fated partner onside, because they are already all in and the human can still walk away even if the demon can’t.

That’s out the window in this book. Dante has no choice, Cherry is it for him. But he takes away her ability to make a choice for herself while he’s admittedly under the influence of the drug she gave him. So she inflicted him with a temporary condition that he’ll get over in a few hours while he inflicted her with a permanent one that will alter her entire life.

It may turn out for the better – but she doesn’t know that in the beginning. All of his attempts to persuade or seduce her consequently didn’t feel either right or romantic because she has been compromised. In the end he’s going to ‘win’ unless she kills him first – which might kill her into the bargain.

So I wasn’t feeling the romance nearly as much as I did in the other two books because it always felt predetermined. Not that Dante is exactly at fault for what happened thanks to the drugs, but it still took the romance out of things for this reader.

Howsomever, what did work for me, very much, was the weepy, teary, heartstopping reunion between Cherry, her sister Cinnamon, and their sister-of-the-heart Brie, the heroines of those first two books. Cherry’s absence – and presumed death! – casts just a bit of a pall over the whole series because Cin and Brie have Cherry-shaped holes in their hearts and their lives.

Seeing those holes filled, and finally, finally learning about the emptiness that led that original dragon to keep Cherry prisoner for so long, brought the book AND the series to a VERY satisfying conclusion!

4 thoughts on “#BookReview: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human by Kimberly Lemming

    1. It IS a lot of fun. Absolutely laugh out loud fun, along with a whole lot of giggling and the occasional very red face because there are just oodles of sexytimes. What makes the titles even funnier is that they are all more or less TRUE. This series is a great read if you’re looking for something light and fun and funny.
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