"Hot romance, unique characters, and great story-telling!"
Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted June 11, 2014
REBEL is Book ten in the always excellent Cat Star
Chronicles by Cheryl Brooks. I usually describe this
series to other readers unfamiliar with it as a mix of
romance, sci-fi, fantasy, humor, and erotica. There is
something for just about everybody in this series. You
never feel as though you got cheated out of a story after
reading a Cat Star Chronicles book, and REBEL is no
Each book in this series focuses on one couple
and their journey, with recurring characters from past
books sometimes making an appearance. It's not necessary to
have read all of the previous books in this series to enjoy
REBEL, but reading at least a few gives you a better
understanding of this unique world Cheryl Brooks has
created. You have to understand that this is a world in
which there are a myriad of species and they travel to many
different planets. I am always in awe of the amount of
places and creatures Cheryl Brooks can create and with such
At first glance, Onca is not really anybody's idea of a
hero or leader. He is recently retired from a successful
career working in, and being part owner of, a fancy
brothel. However, he comes to the rescue of Kimcasha "Kim"
Shrovenach when it looks like she's being bothered by a
giant ape man. Kim is at first a little annoyed by Onca's
intervention because she was hoping to get information out
of the Herpatronian. It's this search for Kim's missing
friends and their plight that tie Onca and Kim together
long enough to foster an attraction between them.
I liked that the attraction builds slowly. Kim isn't that
interested in sex and relationships, and Onca thinks that
Kim is a little too young for him. Onca is a complex hero.
Although he comes from a planet known for the sexual
prowess of their men, and successfully maintained a career
as a much sought after prostitute, he is extremely insecure
and fears rejection. This hidden vulnerability gives him
depth and makes his story that much more interesting
without him sounding morose or whiny.
Kim is an
interesting blend of strength and naiveté. Once they make
the plunge and become intimate, the sizzle is off the
charts. The obstacles to their happiness stem from Onca's
old feelings of inadequacy and a protective streak when it
comes to Kim. It would seem ironic that a man who made his
living in the sex industry would end up fighting against
those making a profit from sexual slavery. However, Onca
and the author make a clear distinction between what he did
and what the nefarious bad guys in this story do by forcing
people in prostitution.
Enough cannot be said about the diverse and cool collection
of characters in REBEL. I was extremely happy to see
recurring characters like the witch Tisana as well as the
always fabulous Captain Jack and her sons Larry, Moe, and
Curly. I also loved the new characters like the male
prostitute/brothel owner Rashe, Darconians Shemlak and
Draddut, the winged clone Val, and Kim's friends. The
characters in Cheryl Brooks' stories are always
entertaining and take on a life of their own.
REBEL is an enticing mix of red hot romance, fascinating
characters, and good old-fashioned story-telling. I love
these books! I anxiously await the next book in this highly
imaginative and unique series.
Learn more about Rebel
He helped to find her kidnapped friends. Will he let her
steal his heart?
Kimcasha has lived by her wits since she lost her family
when she was eight years old. So when three of her friends
vanish, she has no fear about using herself as kidnapper's
bait, until a stranger foils her plot...
After ten years of selling his services in a brothel, Onca
has decided to retire. A refugee of planet Zetith, he has no
family, no surname, and no woman-until he rescues a young
homeless girl from a kidnapper. Onca helps Kim find her
friends, but as their intense attraction deepens, he begins
feeling too jaded for someone so innocent. It's up to Kim to
convince him otherwise...
Other women paid for him,
Only she gets to keep him.
The city of Damenk never slept, but parts of it did get a little
drowsy now and then. Onca strolled down a dimly lit street in just
such a neighborhood, enjoying the peaceful stillness. Talwat was a
residential district. No pheromones or subliminal advertising fogged
the atmosphere here, and it was quiet after dark, especially in the
hours just before dawn.
Although he’d taken this same route hundreds of times, this day was
unique. His most recent client had seemed honored that she was his
last before taking a much-needed rest. She had smiled, tucked a lock
of her hair behind her ear, and told him to call on her if he ever
needed help. Allowing her to feel special had cost him nothing, but
really, it didn’t mean a damn thing—even her name escaped him now.
That session simply marked the end of a long stretch before the time
when there were no appointments, no ladies waiting for the use of
his body, and certainly no need to sleep at the Palace. He was going
There were plenty of men who would have loved his job and would
never have considered taking a vacation. Onca didn’t see it that
way. No matter how pleasurable or lucrative it might be, it was
still a job. He recalled hearing someone say that any occupation, no
matter how much fun it was as a hobby, took on all the trappings and
burdens of a job the moment money became involved.
That someone was right. Since his partners Jerden and Tarq had left
the business, Onca had been trying to keep up with the demand, but
he was finally forced to admit that even he couldn’t maintain the
pace forever. He had fucked six—no, eight—women that day. Although
none had complained that he’d rushed them, he knew he had. Still, he
doubted they would have blamed him for hurrying had they understood
the circumstances. Onca’s days began at ten and went until four the
following morning, and he’d gone from doing one client every three
hours to one every two—an hour with the lady followed by an hour to
relax, plus an hour each for lunch and dinner.
It’s a wonder my dick still works.
He didn’t even have that excuse. One whiff of an aroused woman’s
scent, and he was ready to go again—all set to dive cock-first into
a hot, wet pussy. He could think about it now, but without the
scent, his cock remained flaccid. He’d even gotten to where he could
stifle an erection if he smelled feminine desire in public, which
was a useful skill for a Zetithian man to possess. Particularly one
who worked in an area where the street pheromones had every passing
woman panting with need.
He planned to put that skill to good use over the next few weeks.
From now on, he was simply another inhabitant of a large city—
anonymous and invisible. He had even donned clothing prior to
leaving the Palace, something he’d rarely bothered to do before. For
that matter, he didn’t always go home. Roncas had long since given
up trying to wake him after the last appointment, merely allowing
him to sleep right where his client had left him. She would wake him
in plenty of time to have breakfast and a shower before his first
session of the day.
Poor Roncas. The tiny Zuteran woman would be left to deal with the
calls from new customers, even though Onca had told her to stop
making appointments two years ago, following his return from
Jerden’s wedding on Terra Minor. Instead of posting an announcement,
she had opted to stay on for a week or two before taking her own
sabbatical—no doubt deriving some sort of fiendish delight in
telling desperate women that the resident Zetithian stud had taken
an indefinite leave of absence.
She certainly didn’t need the extra pay. Onca knew precisely how
many credits she had stashed away, and her hefty parting bonus would
allow her to live in style for the rest of her days. He could have
lived like a prince himself, had he chosen to do so. However, he
preferred a simpler lifestyle. Granted, he owned a house on Rhylos,
which was pricey enough, but it was a modest dwelling in a
neighborhood noted more for its peace and quiet than its
ostentatious display of wealth.
Until the next moment, when the blessed silence was broken by
running footsteps. The smack of two bodies colliding followed,
accompanied by a masculine grunt and a decidedly feminine gasp.
“Let go of me, you creep!”
The man’s chuckle raised the hair at Onca’s nape. “Not likely,
girly. You’re mine now.”
Onca sighed. A knight errant, he was not, although he was carrying a
pulse pistol—something Jack had insisted upon if he persisted in
pursuing what she considered to be a dangerous occupation for one of
the galaxy’s few remaining Zetithians.
“You’ll end up dead,” Jack had warned. “Rutger Grekkor isn’t the
only jealous man in the universe. You just watch yourself, bucko—
especially when you’re out on the street. And in restaurants, make
damned sure you’re sitting in the gunfighter’s seat.”
She’d had to explain what she meant by that, of course. Jack had
made a study of old Earth’s culture, with the result that her
conversation was peppered with figures of speech that no one else
understood, and she took smug satisfaction in insulting miscreants
with thousand-year-old expletives.
Unlike the words now issuing from the captive lady’s mouth. They
were all explicit, succinct, contemporary terms—some of them having
their origins on worlds far removed from Rhylos.
A highly diverse vocabulary for a lady.
Rounding the corner, he spotted the couple. A hulking Herpatronian
with enough leather strapped to his simian body to satisfy the most
perverse fetish held a struggling woman against the wall of a nearby
At least, Onca assumed she was a woman. At the moment, all he could
see of her was a mass of dark brown curls peeking out from beneath
her captor’s arm. Then it struck him that if her size was any
indication, this was a young girl rather than an adult. Suddenly,
the fact that he was armed was immaterial. A child must be defended,
if only with bare hands and fangs.
However, since he was armed, he drew his pistol, set it for a light
stun, and fired a shot, pinging the man in the ass. With a howl, the
beast abandoned his victim and took off running.
If Onca had expected the girl to fall at his feet in gratitude, he
would have been sorely disappointed by her reaction, which was more
akin to the ire of a hissing, spitting cat.
“You idiot!” she screeched. “What the hell did you do that for?”
Onca stared at her, not quite believing his pointed ears. “Let me
get this straight. You wanted that big ape to rape you?”
Her scowl was enough to scare off more than a Herpatronian;
therefore, he concluded that she must not have been trying to
escape. A quick once-over revealed a small, thin girl clad in skimpy
strips of ragged green satin—attire that might have been alluring on
a more voluptuous form, yet only made her look like an underage
streetwalker fallen on desperate times.
“No, I did not want that big ape to rape me,” she mocked. “I’m
trying to find my friends.”
“Peculiar method,” he commented. “Unless, of course, he knows
something you don’t.”
Her face seemed to crumble slightly. “I don’t know whether he does
or not. I’m trying to find out what happened to them. Three of them
“Why didn’t you go to the police? I’m sure their methods would be
more effective—and less dangerous.”
Bowing her head, she muttered something he couldn’t catch.
“What was that?”
Her head snapped up, and she glared at him. “I said they’d probably
lock me up if I said anything.”
“You mean the police are in on this?”
“No, I mean…” With a wince, she sniffed in a breath, crossing her
arms over her nonexistent bosom. “I’m the sort of person they don’t
like running around loose.”
“Ah, I see.” A homeless waif—and probably an orphan—which was one of
the few things Rhylos prided itself on not having in abundance. “I
agree. You shouldn’t be running around loose. It’s much too
dangerous, as you can see. There are schools and orphanages for kids
“I’m not a kid.” She practically spat the words at him. “I’m twenty-
two years old and I’ve been on my own since I was ten. I can take
care of myself, thank you very much.”
At least she had said thank you. Sort of. “Did you ever consider
that the authorities might have picked up your friends? If they were
living on the street and someone reported them…”
She shook her head. “I don’t think so. I’ve seen that happen before.
It’s very official and well publicized. The cops like to advertise
when they do something good—at least, something they think is good.
This was different.” Her arms were still crossed over her chest, and
she hugged herself, shuddering. “All three of them disappeared
during the night without a trace.” She nodded in the direction her
assailant had taken. “He was the first lead I had.”
Onca refused to apologize. “Don’t worry. I can report this little
skirmish to the police myself. After all, I was a witness.”
Squaring her shoulders, she glared up at him, sweeping her curls
behind her ears in an angry, infuriated gesture as she stomped her
foot. “You will not.”
Onca’s jaw dropped. “Mother of the gods,” he whispered. “You’re
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