Captured by B.J. McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (68 Pages)
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove
The tyrant Targus has a new pet dragon.
Captured and tossed in an aviary, Zira discovers she is Targus’s new pet. The key to her escape lies with her keeper, a hunky human with a gentle touch who has no idea she can shift.
To please his master, Dragon Keeper Laros must make the new dragon fly. Zira shifts to her human form to seduce her keeper, convincing Laros his midnight visitor is his reward.
When the nights are Dragonfire hot, keeper and dragon may bond in a way neither of them expects.
B.J. McCall has a marvelous way with shifter stories, and this one is an excellent addition to her repertoire.
Following the tinkle of golden bells, Zira flies over the forest between the Fire Mountains and the city state of Brixa, ever watchful for a sight of the elusive bells. When she is ambushed and captured, she is made the newest pet of Targus, the tyrant who has been cruelly enslaving the people he has conquered. What Targus doesn’t know is that many of the dragons, including Zira, are shape shifters, and Zira plans to use this secret to aid in her escape.
When Targus assigns one of the thralls, or slaves, to care for Zira, she decides to use him to aid in her escape, and possibly even help when she brings the dragons back to exact retribution. It doesn’t hurt that her keeper, Laros is attractive, and Zira shifts at night to pretend she is his reward for making the dragon fly. Can Zira the woman convince Laros to sneak her out of the electronic cage before she reveals her secret? Can these two get away and get back to the Fire Mountains and safety? Can Laros give Zira the one thing she has never had before: can he bring her Dragonfire?
I like the world Ms. McCall has created, with the blend archaic and modern overlapping. The characters are well crafted, and most are very likable. This is listed as book one, so I am looking forward to more in this unique and different world of dragons and the people surrounding them.
Zira is a dragon of the Aurumon clan, gifted with the ability to sense gold, and it is this ability that leads to her capture. She is also smart, and able to come up with a plan to save herself, and free the people of Brixa who have been enslaved by the tyrant for his own greedy desires. I like Zira, with her determination and courage, and her desire to keep Laros once she frees them both.
Laros is a thrall, someone who has spent his whole life under the yoke of servitude to Targus. He is brave, and smart, and surprised when the dragon he is charged with caring for speaks to him. But he keeps this knowledge to himself, hoping that it will keep him from being punished by the tyrant. He is ready to be free and when Zira, in her human guise as Jaida, offers a chance at another life, he is ready to do whatever it takes to achieve that freedom.
This is one very hot and enchanting story, with danger and action, and the slow seduction of the senses that Ms. McCall does so very well. This kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how these two would manage to escape to the mountains, and what would happen once they did. There were very few secondary characters, other than Targus and a few passing folks who were minor in this story. The focus here was strictly on Zira and Laros and their building relationship.
I recommend this story for those who still believe in fantasy, and in happy ever after in spite of the odds.