Formats available: ebook
Genres: science fiction romance
Series: Galactic Gladiators #2
Published by Anna Hackett on November 6th 2016
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Amazon
Fighting for love, honor, and freedom on the galaxy’s lawless outer rim…
It was supposed to be an exciting job on a space station, but instead, scientist Dr. Regan Forrest finds herself fighting for her life when she’s kidnapped by alien slavers. Far from Earth and forced into a violent gladiatorial arena on the outer rim, she finds herself swept into the brawny arms of a big, wild alien gladiator.
Weapon, brute, gladiator, warrior… Sirrush warrior Thorin has been called many things. As a warrior of his people, he was a dark, dangerous weapon until even his own family were too afraid of him. Sold into slavery in the Kor Magna Arena, he has long ago earned his freedom. Now he enjoys the violent but rewarding life he’s carved out for himself. Until he rescues one small, smart, and perplexing female from alien slavers.
Regan is determined to make a place for herself in her new home. She may not have the skills to fight in the arena, but she’s smart and knows she can help...even as she fights her attraction to the big, bold, and fascinating Thorin. She knows he’ll never be interested in her. But when Regan catches a glimpse of her cousin across a crowded market, she needs help to mount a rescue, and it comes in the form of the gladiator she desperately wants. A gladiator hiding a dark, uncontrollable secret with the power to destroy them both.
This was the perfect book to read last night after I gave up on watching the election news. It was ALL bad, so I decided to go to bed and live in delusional hope for one more night.
I got swept away by Warrior, and I’m oh so grateful that I did. For a brief hour or two, I was as far away from Earth as I could get, cheering on the fighters in a gladiatorial arena on the far side of the galaxy.
The first book of Hackett’s Galactic Gladiators series is Gladiator, and it sets up the worldbuilding and the overarching story for the series, as well as featuring its very own Happy For Now. It doesn’t feel like an HEA, not because there are any doubts about or between the romantic leads, but because they are living in a dangerous situation. They are both arena gladiators, and while the combat isn’t supposed to be deadly, accidents certainly do happen. And sometimes they’re not accidents.
And this particular group of gladiators spends some of its nights hiding in the shadows, rescuing captives who have been purchased by other, less honorable gladiatorial houses,
Gladiator ends with one such rescue. The Thraxians kidnapped at least three women from a Terran space station orbiting Jupiter. Harper, the heroine of Gladiator, has become one herself. At the end of Gladiator Harper, along with the other fighters from the House of Galen, rescue the second, Regan.
(In case you’re wondering, yes, at the end of Warrior they rescue the third. Her story will be told in Hero, and I can’t wait!)
But Warrior is Regan’s story. She’s not the warrior of the title, though. That would be Thorin. He is one, big, tough warrior, but he’s also a man who has been wounded and betrayed too many times to believe that he is worthy of being anything more than a fighter and a killer. He believes that the monster who lives inside him makes him less than man.
Regan thinks he’s more man than she ever expected might be interested in her shy and bookish self. Of course they’re both wrong. The romance (and the danger) are in the ways that they finally figure things out.
But only while dodging a kidnapping attempt and using Regan as a very vulnerable Trojan Horse in order to rescue her friend.
The action and the hot romance never stop in Warrior. Prepare to be swept away for a steamy good time.
Escape Rating A-: I liked Warrior even more than I did Gladiator. Some of that is right book, right time, and more of it has to do with the world being just a bit more established. The heavy worldbuilding lifting was done in Gladiator, now the author has the opportunity to flesh out more of the details.
The flesh is definitely worth ogling, too. Your mind will be filled with visions of eye candy during this series.
At the same time, while the romance heats up, we also get to see a bit more of how the arena system, and the House of Galen, operate. This world is like Las Vegas hopped up on steroids and blasted into outer space. It’s a gritty place, where the lights and the glamour hide a whole lot of seedy underbelly. Which makes it darkly fascinating.
If you like your setting a bit desperate, your action nonstop and your romance hotter than a rocket ship, I highly recommend that you let Warrior sweep you off your feet for an evening. And then hold out for Hero, coming in December.