Review: Return to Dark Earth

cover-return to dark earthTitle: Return to Dark Earth
Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Phoenix Adventures #7
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Romance
Length: Novel
Available: Now


His career plan never included becoming one of the galaxy’s most infamous treasure hunters. And it certainly never included his one weakness: Nera Darc.

Astro-archeologist Niklas Phoenix loved his job studying and safeguarding artifacts at the Institute of Historical Preservation…until he learned that it was all a lie. Forced out of the Institute, he joins his treasure hunter brothers, but now the Institute is trying to lure him back for the ultimate treasure hunt–a return to the planet that seeded life throughout the galaxy. But only one thing convinces him to go–his deadly, seductive rival has joined the expedition.

Dangerous and enigmatic, Nera Darc has made a life for herself where she calls the shots and bows to no one. Niklas Phoenix has become her dark obsession and on the lethal mission to Earth, they are compelled to join forces to survive. But Niklas threatens to tear down Nera’s internal walls and melt the ice around her heart…but she knows caring for someone is just a weakness others can exploit.

As Nik and Nera strip away each other’s secrets, a brilliant passion is unleashed, but the dangers of Earth strike from every side, and a darker enemy is closing in.

Source: ARC from the author

Phoenix Adventure fans, your reward is nigh. Bow down and hail, because Queen Nera has arrived!

Honestly, I cannot tell you how much I love Nera Darc and have done from her first appearance in this series. She’s the baddest of all badasses, can take down grown men without breaking a sweat, has armour that makes her practically invisible, has a habit of stealing precious things from right under the phenomenal Phoenixes’ noses, and is basically awesome. I feel like I’ve been waiting for her book forever (well, a year) and wow, was it worth it.

Oh, and Niklas is okay too.

Kidding. The last of my favourite treasure hunters is every bit as brilliant as his brothers, even if he is the brainier, more academic one of the trio. I loved him for his intelligence and his love of history, but especially for the way he treats Nera – with respect and care. He’s man enough not to be bothered when she takes control in the bedroom, and smart enough not to try to hold her back when she tries to protect him.

Which brings things back to Nera again. Not surprising really, because for me this book is all about her. She’s strong and smart, the ultimate survivor, and also has a heart beneath all her confusion. She might be deadly and scares the life out of pretty much everyone she meets, but the way she treats Nik is wonderful. She might not know what love is, but her brand of it is pretty special.

To be honest I think Nera alone would have been enough to make me love this book, but other stuff does actually happen. I know, shocking. However, I forgive this other stuff because it’s fascinating and exciting and involves going back to a futuristic Earth that has long been destroyed by a nuclear war. Or rather, not destroyed, but certainly much, much changed. There’s nothing friendly in these dark jungles, so hold onto your Indy hats and keep your bull whips at the ready (if only for the fun nods at the very beginning to snakes and hidden traps) because some of the bumps on this ride are pretty hairy. I also loved the various artifacts that get uncovered (though I was sad not to see the Lord of Sipan’s spider necklace), from cars to erotic pottery with plenty of other fabulous things in between.

If you’re already a fan of this series, then I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this. If you’re new, I’m tempted to say go back to the beginning because then you’ll appreciate Nera all the better. Either way, if you love a smart, intellectual hero who can also hold his own in a fight and isn’t afraid to pair up with an even stronger heroine who has a solid core of honour and is purely awesome, then you should try this. Add in exciting archeology adventures, a bit of space travel and… other great stuff that I can’t tell you about for spoiler reasons, and this all adds up to my favourite Phoenix Adventure yet. Thank you Anna Hackett for giving Nera Darc the story she fully deserves.

Return to Dark Earth is Out Now!
Visit Anna Hackett for more details.
(And free books – including two from this series – so go, go!)


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