The Savage King (Lords of the Var Book 1) by Michelle M. Pillow

I was not digging the beginning of this book, but it did get better. The story takes place on a planet of panther shifters and dragons. Ulyssa is kidnapped and held captive in as a potential concubine for a barbaric King. Fortunately the kind is killed due to political conflict between the var and the dragons, and his son, Kirill, who is a bit nicer, takes over.

The part I thought was ridiculous was that Ulyssa tries to escape after drinking an elixir that puts her into a cat-like heat. I’m not irritated that she drank it; she didn’t know what it was. Or that she tried escape; I would try to escape to if I got the chance. What irritated me was the trite storyline. She drinks the elixir and then the first person she sees is the king, who she subsequently throws herself at. It was just a little ridiculous and I don’t enjoy when woman are turned into sexoholics by some drug for the purpose of plot progression. Call me old fashioned.

Once we got past that, the story got better. In a second escape attempt while not under the influence, Ulyssa declares herself the king’s mate in order to get past some guards. When she’s caught and brought to the Kirill, he must accept her claim or have her killed for the traitorous lie.

He takes her as a half mate, because, of course, he and all his prince brothers have a terrible problem with commitment—due to their raunchy fathers influence—which is the reoccurring them in the entire series, and, to be honest, most other romance novels.

Ultimately, I liked this book and it caused met to want to continue the series, unlike Pillow’s Dragon Lords series.

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