The Blue Dragon


Lt. Samantha Collins devoted fifteen years to the Canadian Forces Health Services. A mortar attack during her last mission in Afghanistan left her with serious, long-term injuries. She returns to Ontario and discovers she’s been named sole heir to an estate by an unknown great-aunt, Ester Cohen. She is excited to be given this opportunity, but shocked to find Esther was a classic hoarder. Years of military life gave Sam a tidy, organized mentality, and Esther’s endless rooms of clutter is nerve-wracking. Phil Austin returns to town, and initially, he is thrilled at the possibility of buying Ester Cohen’s property. Then he learns the heir is his former girlfriend. Fifteen years ago, he let her go to play football, and he’s regretted it ever since. In a desperate effort to keep from losing Sam again, he offers her a bold business proposal that will also appease his family.

Readers will quickly be drawn into the treasure hunt as Sam and Phil search through the mess for Ester’s Blue Dragon, the last gift from a long-lost lover. Sam and Phil’s long-simmering romance slowly blossoms over the pages, and the story scores high with creativity and memorable characterization. It stalls with a distinct lack of conflict, especially for Sam. Homophone errors pepper the latter half, and the ending rushes somewhat. Sam and Phil finding the elusive blue dragon seems anti-climactic given the long build-up leading to it. Beyond these things, readers who love second chance love stories and treasure hunts through huge houses with a touch of historical romance will be drawn into Ms. Matthews’ imaginative tale.

Emerson Matthews