Beloved Captor by Jez Morrow was much like the little engine that could. A slow start to a potentially confusing novella that established new worlds and new creatures blossomed into an amazingly witty and lush love story along the way. And, to be frank, by its end, I wanted more and more of this witty, snarky, and erotically charged couple.
Fighter pilots are like gods to both worlds currently at war. So it is most refreshing to find that a rather large pocket of humility still nests within Raudan soldier, Jess Laren, unlike the man who would become his captor. Desdaine is the chief intelligence officer of Raudan’s sworn enemy, the Ilzec Empire. Meeting Jess on neutral territory where such things as homosexual acts are allowed despite them being a criminal offense on Ilzec, Desdaine propositions Jess. Jess, not ever having acted on his feelings for men before, is completely clueless to Desdaine’s veiled come on.
The two seemed destined to never meet again, until Jess’s plane is brought down on suspicion of spying and he is sentenced to death by the Ilzec government. Who will be carrying out his execution? Desdaine, of course. However, the powers that be have decided to play a nasty trick on both Desdaine and Jess and rather than meeting his death, Jess becomes the captive love slave of the seemingly cold and aloof Desdaine. But their two nations are at war, and the tide can turn at any time potentially leaving a growing tenderness to be jettisoned at any moment.
What a funny and sweet little tale Beloved Captor turned out to be by story’s end. The witty exchanges between Jess and Desdaine that were coupled with breathtaking moments of sweet eroticism made it an enjoyable and quick read. I wanted so much more of these two men. This was a clear case of two characters that were larger than life and deserved more page time. The undercurrent of political intrigue that followed Desdaine was merely hinted at and I would have loved to see him in more scenes with other politicos. In so many ways, Desdaine was a mystery—from his Savar genetics to his fear about giving himself completely to Jess when he knew full well it would never end well.
Author Jez Morrow continues to give us sweet romances with incredibly likeable characters. Beloved Captor is a lovely story that made me laugh and tugged at my heart.