A Being(s) in Love Story
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.
I have enjoyed R. Cooper from time to time. Sometimes, their stories haven’t worked for me because I had difficulty to get into characters. Treasure for Treasure was exactly the opposite. I got into the story too much and for the first 20 percent I was gnashing my teeth during Joe’s POV. He had this chip on his shoulder just because he had one failed relationship. It was hard for me to sympathize with him when he read Zarrin’s reactions, the hurt and anxiety that were quickly covered by haughtiness, only to dismiss them. His thoughts were callous and sometimes mean. At times, I caught signs of low self-esteem that Joe hid with his anger but was still hard pressed to like him.
On the flip side, Zarrin was a character that I would love to bring home and protect like a momma bear. He tried so hard but everyone was concentrating too hard not to piss themselves than to be kind to him. About the time Marie was introduced, I began to enjoy the story. More of the backstory for both Zarrin and Joe had been revealed, allowing me to better understand Zarrin’s predicament and Joe’s stubborn reticence.
The character growth for both Joe and Zarrin was good, although at the beginning there was too much repetition of Joe’s thoughts and feelings, but that evened out as Joe grew to trust Zarrin. The townspeople plays a big role to the story. Joe’s coworkers, especially Martin, added some much needed humor that alleviated the drama and angst that Joe brought to the story. By the halfway point, I was rooting for Joe and Zarrin, forgetting somewhat my ire with Joe. Some of this was helped along by seeing Joe through Zarrin’s eyes, helping to understand and then eventually sympathize with Joe. I adored seeing Zarrin come into his own. I completely loved how the author conveyed Zarrin’s dragon nature, especially when Joe was drawing him.
Overall, this was a great story of second chances, wounded hearts, and how both Zarrin and Joe learned how to grasp then hold their treasures. Recommended.