Really I shouldn't post a discussion question when I'm ferociously busy (like the last post, languishing for attention), but yhlee's post from partway into Throne of Jade prompted this thought (which is spoilery for the end of Throne) and it'll be stuck in my head all day if I don't post it:
The relationship betwen Laurence and Temeraire has been noted by many reviewers; it's primarily been the romance reviewers, that I've seen, who've pointed out that it functions the way a romance would in a romance novel. (I hasten to note, for those unfamiliar with the books, that the relationship is strictly platonic. In case people were getting their much-talked-about (for various reasons) books-with-dragons mixed up. Ahem.)
I'd noticed this too, but I didn't do a spoiler post for Throne of Jade, so I don't think I've pointed out yet: they get married at the end of the book. Culturally-customary and -signifying pre-ceremony present from Temeraire and all.
(Edit to clarify: I mean the companion ceremony functions within the plot just as a marriage does within a romance novel, not that Laurence and Temeraire see it as a marriage. The remark was meant to reinforce the structural parallel, and should have had a "I mean, heck!" somewhere in there.)
So, discuss: ways in which the first two Temeraire books play out typical romance situations through human-dragon partnerships (not limited to Laurence and Temeraire). Are these transferred situations thereby commented on or transformed in any way? Laurence's experiences in the first book (particularly) have an effect on his own perceptions about gender; are there any less obvious ways the dragon-human relationships are commenting on gender? (Or are people worn out on Tiptree-ish discussions?)
There will, of course, be spoilers for both books in comments as well as above.