"Part sci-fi epic adventure and part classic love story!"
Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted January 17, 2021
Romance Erotica Sensual | Romance Science Fiction
CAPTIVE by Cheryl Brooks picks up where the second book in her “Cat Star Legacy” series left off. This story works as a standalone novel. There is plenty of hot and heavy love scenes in CAPTIVE, but it’s balanced with a lot of fascinating characters and a gripping action-packed story. At the opening of CAPTIVE, Moe Tshevnoe is irritable over his brother getting his childhood friend and “one who got away”. He’s killing time on the hot and “wild west” vibe planet of Haedus Nine when an impromptu bar brawl lands him in the clutches of Klara Tavock. Moe and Klara’s introduction to each other makes for a very unlikely romance, but it develops into an entertaining story.
Of all the planets in the galaxy, fate brings these two half Zetithians together. Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different. Moe’s Zetithian father met his human mother while he was a slave and being auctioned off. Being a woman of adventure, Captain Jack took a chance on Cat and rescued him. Moe grew up traveling different worlds surrounded by his family, crew, and friends. Klara wasn’t so fortunate. Her Zetithian father and Davordian mother had a one night stand that resulted in her birth, unbeknownst to her father. Klara’s life was one of tragedy and struggles. I was happy that Klara and Moe got on friendly terms quickly after some discussion. Growing up with such a strong and straight-talking mother might have contributed to Moe appreciating similar qualities in Klara. Although Moe tries to help Klara, her beloved gang, and the people of Haedus Nine, he never tries to mansplain to her or put the spotlight on himself. If anything, Moe tries to promote Klara as the heroine Haedus Nine wants and needs. Like any good hero or heroine, Klara has a good backstory involving the villain of CAPTIVE. Branethan Pelarus is a narcissistic dictator who is hot for Klara. His treatment of just about everyone makes it easy for Klara and Moe to plot his destruction and get others to help.
CAPTIVE is part sci-fi epic adventure and part classic love story. Although reading the previous books in this series is not necessary to enjoying CAPTIVE, I recommend reading SLAVE first for some context. SLAVE is the first book in the preceding series and details how Moe’s parents met and explains his perspective on strong women, oppressed people, and Nedwuts. The book detailing Klara’s father’s story is HERO. I look forward to reading Cheryl Brooks’ next book. I always say this, but I would love to see these books translated to film.
Learn more about Captive
She stole his freedom… He captured her heart
Moriconthan “Moe” Tshevnoe finds an outlet for his anger when a brawl breaks out in a dusty barroom on Haedus Nine. He joins in the melee with enthusiasm, until he is taken prisoner by a beautiful Zetithian woman with electric blue eyes.
Forced into hiding by the cruel tyrant who covets her, Klara Tavock must do whatever she can to survive. Impressed by Moe’s pugilistic talent, she captures him, intending to sell him as a gladiator slave. But there’s something about this sexy Zetithian she simply can’t resist.
The attraction between them is powerful and undeniable, but when Moe and Klara join forces with the local rebels, they trigger a revolution that could destroy them all…
Or set them free.
Moriconthan “Moe” Tshevnoe sat alone at a table in a dusty bar on Haedus Nine choking down beer that smelled more like vrelnot piss than lager. He truly hated Haedus Nine. The climate was hot, dry, and oppressive, and its natives were ugly, devious, and inherently dishonest, which made it as good a place as any to pick a fight.
He’d been spoiling for a fight for months, an irritation of mood he couldn’t explain. But whatever it was, it made him want to beat the shit out of some deserving lowlife scumbag—or at least bite something. Hard. He was not a fighter by nature; nonetheless, his jaws clenched in anger for no other reason than the disgusting smell emanating from the occupants of the nearest table.
This much anger wasn’t normal for him. He’d always been considered the most sensible of his littermates, the lone voice of reason on many of his brothers’ escapades. He was cautious and methodical—traits that made him an excellent navigator—but his gut instincts were usually spot-on. Not that anyone ever actually listened to him. Over the years, he’d become quite adept at choking back the words I told you so to anyone foolish enough not to follow his suggestions.
Perhaps that was his problem. He’d just come from a run to Alpha Marcos where his current pilot, a Vessonian named Nevid Kairn, had ignored Moe’s reminder that the ship had a rather large communications dish on its forward hull. Having been scraped off by a low hangar bay door, that dish was now a crumpled mass of steel, useful only as scrap metal rather than a salvageable component.
Moe could easily fly the ship himself—having grown up on a starship, he’d been capable of manning every duty station by the age of seven—but being alone in space was, well, lonely. Unfortunately, Nevid wasn’t terribly good company. Maybe he was to blame for Moe’s current mood.
No. I felt like this even before he signed on.
The conversation at the next table had reached the ear-splitting level. A fistfight was imminent. Perhaps he could find an excuse to get into the fight. That’s what he needed. A good old-fashioned barroom brawl. It wouldn’t take much. One more tiny little annoyance and his anger would explode.
The lone Herpatronian in a group that boasted no less than three Haedusians, two Kitnocks, and a Vetla took a swing at one of the Haedusians and missed, inertia causing his ape-like body to spin out of his chair, the fist on the end of his long, simian arm connecting with Moe’s shoulder.
Thank the gods.
Moe pushed back his chair and tore into the Herp like a fiend: fangs bared and hands balled into fists. Rather than join in the fray, the Haedusians actually started cheering. As Moe pummeled the momentarily astonished Herp, his companions tossed handfuls of credits on the table and began taking bets.
He couldn’t blame the others for leaving the Herp to face him alone. With tall, cylindrical heads and limbs like toothpicks, Kitnocks tended to avoid altercations with species more sturdily built than they were. Vetlas were humpbacked with short arms that gave them virtually no reach whatsoever. The Haedusians themselves reminded him of birds, even to the extent that the males’ clothing—if such tattered rags could be called that—was more colorful than the robes worn by the females. Overall, they were quite scrawny with long, spidery fingers, huge hooked noses, and beady little eyes. They seldom engaged in fisticuffs, evidently preferring to profit from the outcome rather than participate.
Moe didn’t give a damn. After a brief protest that he had no bone to pick with Moe—a highly unusual statement for a Herp—the creature was finally fighting back. Moe took a punch to the jaw that should’ve at least broken a fang. He tasted blood and renewed his attack. He knew if he didn’t knock him out soon, the Herp would eventually overpower him. Getting in close was the best way to deal with a Herp, canceling their longer reach, but putting Moe’s sensitive Zetithian nose much too close to his opponent’s stinking brown pelt.
Pouring months of pent-up rage into his fists, Moe didn’t bother pulling a knife or a pulse pistol. The Herp wasn’t unarmed, but that didn’t matter. Yet.
“Take it out in the street!” the bartender roared as the Herp snatched a bottle from a nearby table and attempted to smash it over Moe’s head. With his catlike reflexes, Moe easily dodged the bottle, which went smashing into a row of bottles above the bar. Booze mixed with blue Morwellian cream oozed down the wall as two hulking Terrans shouldered through the gathering crowd.
“He said, take it outside,” snarled a heavily muscled bald man whose body was covered with more leather and tattoos than actual fabric. That was another thing Moe didn’t like about Haedus: the excessive heat tended to reduce the amount of clothing worn by offworlders, some of which should never have been seen in such a disgusting state of undress. Herps were the worst. The long cloths they wore wrapped around their pelvic areas looked more like diapers than anything and didn’t cover nearly enough of them.
One of the Terrans grabbed the Herp from behind just as his diaper came undone, leaving an already hideous creature completely naked.
“What has been seen cannot be unseen,” Moe muttered as a push from behind sent him sprawling, but only for a moment. With a quick roll, he jumped to his feet.
As the bouncer wrestled the Herp toward the door, Moe ran after them, yelling, “I’m not done with him yet!”
“Oh, yes, you are,” said a feminine voice from behind him.
Spinning around, Moe came face-to-face with a tall woman in a black hooded robe. At least, he assumed it was a woman. A pair of electric-blue eyes stared at him from inside the hood. However, unlike the usual Davordian, which was what he took her to be, her pupils were glowing vertical slits like those of his own feline eyes.
“Who the devil are you?” he snapped.
“Why, the devil, of course.” The woman let out a hiss as the nozzle of a pulse pistol emerged from her robes. “Nighty-night.”
Without another word, she fired.
The last thing Moe saw was her fangs as she smiled.
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