Leon lives in a post-apocalyptic Earth centuries after the evolution of shifters of all types. His father, whose disappointment in Leon is only eclipsed by his ruthlessness, is a famous shifter hunter/killer. Their band of hunters takes refuge with another militant group in the remains of a ruined skyscraper. Leon hears the wails of a captured young dragon shifter being used as bait to draw adult dragons near for the kill. Leon’s so sickened by the depravity, he rushes the rooftop to save the creature, and gets caught in the crossfire. His father disowns him as a traitor, and the young he rescues won’t leave the scene without Leon.
King Rashik isn’t best pleased about having a Hunter human in his keep—but he needed to save Liv, the tiny mutilated young his tribe had thought lost. Now, to assuage the ire of his fellow dragons he makes a bargain: Leon must aid Liv to return to her human state in the next two weeks, or they will both be banished. Not only that, Liv will be feral if she remains in her dragon form longer, and Leon will forfeit his eyesight if they are banished—to protect the location of the dragon lair.
So, it’s pretty tense, and only gets more so when Rashik recognizes that he’s drawn to Leon as a fated mate. But, it’s not going to be easy; few of the dragons want a human in their midst, and some are aggressive and intent about disposing of Leon and probably-feral Liv without delay.
This is an interesting shifter story, especially the enemies-to-lovers aspect. I’ve read some dragon shifter stories, but the post-apocalypse setting made this one unique, to me. I really felt for Leon; he’s suffered his dad’s cruelty and won’t allow Liv to be thrown away like he was. I loved how Leon stood up for Liv, even against Rashik. The romance between Rashik and Leon is a little fast—with such a compressed time frame we really only get lust and hints of esteem. That’s not out of the ordinary for fated-mates romance, but I wished we’d had a little more time for a relationship bond to build. This is a novella, and it did a good job of relating a dark and dangerous world with moments of love, family and heroism.