Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote : “Savage,” he boomed, “Stay out of my body.” “If you enter my body, barbarian, rest assured, I will enter yours.”
This book felt good. Epic, intriguing and captivating. I’ve run out of synonyms for just how damn interesting I found this sci-fi romance to be. Right away we meet Kedric (gawd, even his name is sexy). He is a new king, former gladiator who is now the leader of Pele. Kedric is raising an army to defeat the Hyboreans, the despicable alien race who enslave captured humans to fight gladiators- or to breed upon or otherwise abuse and amuse. To build his army, Kedric is forcefully kidnapping low land villagers and as a result is set in the sights of the shaman who wants to stop his raiding. Kedric is a brooding, ALPHA male who is too stubborn to deal with his own emotional scars and mistakes. For him, the end justify the means. He needs an army to defeat the Hyboreans, and he believes the wildling low landers who live in the forest need to be brought into the modern times anyway, so why not kill two birds with one stone. Where he is darkness and revenge, heroine Myia is peace and light. She is a young shaman and though she is quite naive, she falls for Kedric almost at once, and the story of their romance is rewarding.
Fearless is complex and easy to spoil, but you had better block out time to read this because you will be quite unsettled and disturbed if you have to put this book down for more than a moment. It is the second in the series, however, it stands strong as a stand alone, you will have not the slightest difficulty following the arc and story line. The world building is done superbly. I for one detest pages and pages of rehashed world building. I rather it be done succinctly and right, than try to cram an encyclopedia worth of “facts about this world” in between the action. Fawcett builds a dangerous world and her characters have to fight to survive. Though danger is abundant, there is so much character to the….well to these characters that even knowing what troubled times they endured, I often found myself smiling through the pain and fear. Kedric was uber impressive. As a king, and as a fighter. But possibly even more so, simply as a man, thrown off balance by a young woman who confounded him:
“He couldn’t help but laugh. Her honest spunk was like nothing he’d ever before experienced from a woman. Savage Myia would not back down nor be intimidated by the nearly naked Highland warlord. Sure, nudity was commonplace among the peoples of Pele, but usually when he removed his pants in front of a woman, it elicited some sort of reaction. A gasp. A blush. A glance of approval. Something…
Damn. She irritated him.”
The rawness and realism that Fawcett weaves into her story makes it exceptionally credible. In this world, Humans are little more than pets and are treated as cattle. It was telling that Kedric saw Myia as a savage, due to her way of life, when even though his people were more advanced and scientifically inclined, it was this beautiful little savage whose abilities saved him in the end. The idealist in me, believes that her father, who set Myia upon Kedric’s path, knew in spite of all evidence to the contrary that she could use her shaman ability to heal his soul and heart.
Myia is so very well written and though she has her own internal battles and scars she is able to really shine and when she heals, you can feel the warmth from the page! I had to stop and check myself as I suspected the little savage had managed to heal me as well. I can honestly say that this is probably one of the most pure of heart heroines that I have come across in a very long time. You want to console her when she believed she would never heal his soul. You want to protect her and club Kedric over the head when he is mistrustful or wants to turn her out. Luckily he could not banish her if he tried!
The tale is a suspenseful one with multi-layered resolution. There is no telling formula for this book, you are forced to let go and just wing it and see what will become of these characters. I found it refreshing and sensual, there was such beauty in their coming together. I knew I was a goner when I found myself googling Highland temptress and amateur seductress apparel…(Don’t judge. See. There. Hey you. Stop that judging!) heh heh.
As beautiful as the love story turns out to be. It is not without its atrocities, none less so than when we relive the horror of being captured through Kedric’s eyes:
“Imagine you are a gladiator in the survival race. The last thing you remember is a blade across your throat. The next is reawakening on a table with your arms and legs strapped down.”
He gripped her hand, preventing her from backing away farther. His eyes went wild. His breathing labored. This was not the man she knew…some ugly, hidden demon from within had taken over.
“Imagine a Hyborean’s scalpel cuts into your skin just above your wrist restraints. The monster takes hold of your flesh between its leathery fingers…your flesh burns while it’s peeled away from muscle. You scream…as you watch yourself get skinned alive. No Myia, you’ve no idea what it’s like to be scared.”
The passion simmers and then boils over…o-ver…let’s just say big hearted Myia, the tawdry little savage (sarcastic snort) does a little….dance for Kedric that is…uhh….memorable. Ahem.
Make your next read this Romancy, sci-fi, paranormal and a smidge of historical content love affair! The returning couple from Survival Races Book 1, Captive, Addy and Max make an appearance and I have moved their book to the top of my TBR pile!
Eeeeh! I struggle to find a criticism. My chief complaint- that it ended. What I needed more from- nothing! False. I immediately take that back. If this book was just a little heavier on the wild and reckless sexy times (because I mean come on that’s my kink) it would be utter perfection. But as it is, I am more than happy to settle for a hot romance with a fantastic world build and story arc.