Rating: 5 stars out of 5
In the nineteenth century, the dragon Dìzhèn put the small coastal town of Everlasting under her protection. Her family was supposed to carry on the tradition, but all of Dìzhèn the Great’s heirs eventually left rather than live in the shadow of such a powerful dragon.
Only the youngest dragon of the current generation remains: Zarrin, the softhearted disgrace of his family. He might be weak, small, and afraid, but he is determined to show the humans they have not been forgotten… one human in particular. The problem is, Zarrin can barely get that human to talk to him.
It should be a dream come true to have a dragon trying to get his attention. But Joe refuses to bow to Zarrin like everyone else. Yes, Zarrin is sexy, oddly gentle for a dragon, and stares at Joe with a gaze so hot it makes him shiver. But hurt, mistrustful Joe can’t believe Zarrin’s promises that he’s here to stay. Joe doesn’t realize he is the treasure Zarrin has been looking for his whole life, a treasure he once let slip through his fingers out of fear. Now, to win Joe’s trust, Zarrin has to be brave and become as strong as Dìzhèn herself.
Treasure for Treasure (Beings in Love #7) by R. Cooper is another wonder of the slow build in story writing. I’m a long time fan of both R. Cooper’s, this series, and this style of narrative. R. Cooper has never rushed into anything when coming to a character build or story thread. Its always a long and winding path this author takes us on. We get a feel for the location, the geography, the village, the local townsfolk, and the main characters in a leisurely yet sure manner. Much like a expect dry stacking those field walls of stone, Cooper leaves little space between the layers as quietly and slowly each character fleshes out and becomes deep and believable.
Joe we meet in all his past and then current pain and conflicted feelings about the town and the dragons who own it. His sense of being an outcast, his sexuality as part of the cause is contrasted with that of the statue of the dragon in the square. Powerless versus the power implied. Its a wonderful starting point, especially where the author takes the story and Joe next.
Joe is such a special character, a believable human, pained, flawed, artistic, and angry. Then comes Zarrin, And in this character, Cooper really rises because you always believe that Zarrin is truly a dragon who can take the shape of a human. Not a human masquerading as a dragon. His thoughts are that of a dragon who doesn’t quite understand the humans he’s supposed to be protecting. His emotions? Also not that of a human as well. Its as though the author has authentic knowledge of what a dragon must actually be like should be exist. Or at least one like Zarrin, beautiful golden Zarrin who wants to claim his Treasure but has no idea how to do it.
He does get some help from the most unlikely places. There’s a marvelous secondary cast of characters. And the townspeople are as varied as one might expect to find in a real town, from the phobic to the hunters to those accepting and warmhearted.
And there’s Joe and Zarrin’s slow build to understanding and a relationship. Just waiting for that first kiss is something else. But the reward is just as great. I was never frustrated as one might expect because I was so fascinated by the process and trying to see when and how Zarrin and Joe were going to figure it all out. I was so engaged in their own misunderstandings that the places where I might have been frustrated passed right by.
This is just such a marvelous tale. Of love and romance, of dragons and treasures found. Of two beings so right for each other that nothing could stand in their way. Not misunderstandings, not a town, nothing. I loved this novel. Its one I highly recommend, especially if you’re a fan of the slow build.
Cover art by Paul Richmond. For some reason, this cover just seems off, the proportions or something, which is unusual in a Paul Richmond cover. Just not a fan of this one.
ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: December 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477888X (ISBN13: 9781634778886)
SeriesBeings in Love #7