Dear Ms Cach,
George is a pro wrestler whose new age sister somehow transports him back in time while she’s trying to hypnotize him. He winds up in a small English village that has been paying a yearly virgin tribute to a dragon for 30 years. Only one of the virgins, Alizon, fought back 12 years ago and has been saving each year’s new offering, keeping them safe and hidden on the island where the dragon lives. They may be safe but they’re also trapped as the superstitious villagers would stone them if they tried to return. Alizon’s old friend has called on magic for a hero to slay the dragon in order to protect her own daughter and George is who she got.
George is great. I love this man. He has a great sense of humor and a tender heart underneath all that shiny, silver stretch Lycra. He’s intelligent, kind, cleans up after himself and can cook. Plus he’s gorgeous. His belief that he’s in some kind of hypnotic trance and is exploring his inner thoughts, fears and fantasies leads to some great internal musing.
Alizon is more prickly but after a lifetime of her being rejected, I could under that. She’s finally found a home and people who need her and has some real struggles about whether or not she’s willing to risk her bruised heart for a life with George or stay in a safe, but lonely, secure place. I liked the role reversal that George was the one who had to chase after her and try to get her to open up. He jokes that if most men are like this, he can see why it drives women crazy.
It got hard at times to keep the other 11 virgins straight but they did provide some comic relief. I didn’t have the problem that some did with Belch being killed. I never really saw him as a pet and could see why he had to be eliminated. The epilogue was pure schmaltz and could have been toned down but overall this was a fun, very enjoyable read. A-