What probably is the most original element of this novella is that Torrance, the duke that was handforced by his king to participate in a contest to be the future consort of the Dragon kin king Naron, even if he is not actually glad of having this chance, and probably since he is still mourning the loss of his lover, is nevertheless able to see things in perspective, and considering that he could do way worst than the handsome King Naron. BTW Torrance is also quite self-confident, and even if there are other 4 contendants, I had the feeling that Torrance was quite sure he would be the winner.
On the other side Naron recognizes in Torrance is fated mate, but he enjoys the contest has a way to courtship/barter with Torrance. This is another trademark of Amber Kell, her romances are quite light and comedy-like, there is no much angst, if not at all, and reading one of her novella you can be sure to be in for a pleasant break.
By the way, even if light in tone, and only a novella, Mate Test had a “deeper” feeling: there was a lot happening in the background, and the characters, in particular Torrance, had a past that was good share of the story: Torrance has a former lover and is still in pain due to his loss, Torrance has three children from a surrogate mother, Torrance was dragon struck when he was only 5 years old and now he is bonded (but not in a sexual way) with a space dragon talking in his mind.
Amazon Kindle: Mate Test (Dragon Men)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (July 20, 2011)
Series: Dragon Men
1) Mate Hunt: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/594172.html
2) Mate Test
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott