Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Galactic Gladiators
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Length: Short novel
Fighting for love, honor, and freedom on the galaxy’s lawless outer rim…
Raised from birth to be a soldier, Kace Tameron is a disciplined, military-trained gladiator. He is on contract to the Kor Magna Arena to hone his fighting skills on the blood-soaked arena sand and then return to the military. He lives for one thing: to protect his planet, and on his world, love is forbidden. But then he collides with a feisty redhead from Earth who threatens to shatter his legendary control.
One moment, Rory Fraser was an engineer on a space station circling Jupiter and the next, she is abducted by evil alien slavers. After suffering at the hands of the Thraxians, she is rescued by her friends—with the help of the tough gladiators of the House of Galen. Rory finds herself outrageously attracted to straight-laced Kace. He is a skilled fighter, ultra-disciplined, and a hero at heart—but she knows passion beats within him, if only he’ll let it loose.
Rory is obsessed with finding another fellow abducted female from Earth, but as she asks questions, she finds herself ducking bullets and explosions. Someone wants Rory dead. Kace steps in as her protector, and together, they embark on a dangerous mission that will take them deep into the bowels of the arena, and deep into a scorching desire…both of which could lead them to lose not only their guarded hearts, but their lives as well.
Source: ARC from the author
Ah, this is better. After not really enjoying the last book in this series, I was a little worried about reading this one. I shouldn’t have been, because the latest Galactic Gladiators tale is much more of a classic Hackett book with a strongly determined heroine who is a perfect match for the honourable, brave, emotionally remote hero.
I do wish, however, that everything didn’t start right where the last book left off. All the human characters in this series may have started in the same place, but they have different stories for how they reached their current place and I would have liked to have seen a little more of that. Even a little recap of Rory being rescued in the last book might have been nice, because if you’re new to this series, this book doesn’t do anything to help you settle in.
Still, that aside, I liked Rory. She’s a feisty redhead with a constant need to fix things, and though she is small she’s also plenty capable of taking care of herself. Her pursuit of Kace bordered on pushy at times, but when she fully understands him she does back off. I might have liked a little more depth to her – especially her fix-it and fighting skills – but on the whole I liked her.
I liked Kace too, the strong, silent warrior. Again, it might have been nice to have known a little bit more about his life before he joined the House of Galen – and how that came about – beyond vague impressions of being turned into an honourable but emotionless warrior. He’s a good guy who struggles manfully to resist, but of course his ultimate surrender is everything you could hope for.
The overall plot continues to advance, though with every passing book I begin to wonder at the fact the Galen gladiators are never even close to beaten. I also question why the Thraxians haven’t been utterly destroyed yet, since nobody likes them. Regardless, a little more of the world is revealed and new leads are discovered that show this series is far from over yet.
Overall this was a quick, enjoyable read with plenty of heat and action. Kace is definitely my favourite hero so far, I just wish both he and Rory had been given a little more background and depth. The dog is pretty cute, though. If you’re looking for an easy, sexy sci-fi read, you can’t go far wrong with an Anna Hackett book.
Hero is Out Now.
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