by: Zenobia Renquist
Ellora's Cave Publishing
Released: April 2012
Starling wakes up naked in a cell. As if that wasn't bad enough, she realizes she's been kidnapped by poachers who intend to sell her as a pet. Turns out humans are considered little better than pets, and aren't recognized as intelligent beings.
Sold to a mysterious cloaked woman, she's unsure what to expect next. When a large man takes her, she learns he's actually king of the planet she's on, and he's just saved her from a fate worse than death. While he treats her right, she fights against her imprisonment at first, until she realizes she can never go home again. Tempers flare between her and Bekion while they try to come to an understanding. And as the months go by, Starling becomes more and more attracted to the king who shows her such kindness.
Bekion never wanted a pet, but when he learns his mother illegally purchased a human to give to his depraved brother, Bekion knows if he doesn't claim the girl for himself she won't survive the week. Used to the inbred humans others keep as pets, he's a little unsettled by Starling's beauty and fiesty intelligence. Over time, he grows attracted to her. But it's against the law to sleep with your pet, and doing so would cost him his crown. But the way his body burns for hers, he begins to think it might almost be worth it...
This story was awesome. There wasn't a lot of action and fighting, it was more a look of two beings forced together into roles they never expected to take on, trying to make the best of the situation and learning to live together. The story flowed beautifully, and I had a hard time putting it down. That being said, I was a bit hesitant over Starling's calm acceptance of her fate. Kidnapped by aliens and sold as a pet, I can't imagine anyone being so calm about it. I was also disappointed in the ending. The story was going along great, then bam, the end. For me, the ending seemed forced, and it ruined the story. For this, I had to rate this lower than I wanted to.
Carla gives this book a