/ Arc Review / Heart's Prisoner (Dark World Mates #1) / Olivia Riley / – Beckie Bookworm


Release Date-July 18th 2020
Genre-Post-Sci-Fi Romance
Kindle Edition-244 pages

He’s not like anything Lana has ever encountered.

Asset X: Massive, deadly, a little terrifying to say the least. A devilish warrior. And a killer. Captured on a hellish world after attacking a military campsite and now imprisoned in a state of the art cell inside one of the military’s top bases–Lazris.

And Lana has been assigned to “study” him. To learn his secrets and gain his trust, if he is ever allowed to set foot out of his cell. As a top behaviorist, it is the biggest hurdle of her career.

Asset X–or Xerus as he is called–won’t give up his secrets easily. He is difficult, elusive, and–dare she say–unfathomably alluring…despite his seething demeanor and hard, frightening physique.

Something subconsciously draws her to him. Something wildly irresistible. Even if his wicked smile and needful gaze could just be a ploy to win her trust and escape his cell.

She shouldn’t think of him like that. He is an alien after all. And possibly their enemy.

For Xerus claims he is on a mission. A mission to destroy. And he cannot afford to fail. If he dares let Lana get close, dares open his cold heart to her, she could compromise everything.

Heart’s Prisoner is a complete standalone novel in the Dark World Mates series, a universe teeming with ferocious aliens and brave heroines. This book contains dark tones, heated intimate scenes, and intense moments with possible triggers including violence and is intended for mature readers.

Inspired by the short “Dark Prisoner” by Lora Darc.

Heart’s Prisoner by Olivia Riley
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one a lot I did have some slight nitpicks that I will go over later but overall I was seriously impressed with this. And is this a debut author? because if it is then I’m even more blown away with the quality of this sci-fi alien romance.

This one definitely stands out from the crowd it’s unique and has such a different vibe to what’s currently on offer out there.

So all this takes place on a research planet in a state of the art military science facility. It’s a huge self-contained space built underground over twelve floors. Our girl Lana is a doctor a behaviourist who specialises in the study of alien life forms.

She is assigned to the classified floor 12 where her newest patient or Asset-X as he is referred to resides.

He is one of many specimens housed on this floor but is Lana’s sole patient he is also deemed highly dangerous and hostile, Lana is the latest in a line of behaviourists assigned to him. Asset-X or Xerus as he is known is of Alien origin he’s a 7ft 2 biped reptilian with spikes and horns demonic-looking with some interesting extra abilities like mimicry.

He’s kept securely in a reinforced titanium steel electro-charged enclosure and the whole facility is super secure with armed guards and special clearances.

So this is an alien sci-fi romance and it’s very slow-burn in fact the first two-thirds of this there wasn’t really any romance at all. If I’m describing this accurately I’d say it’s much more sci-fi with romance rather than the romance being central to the story, Its also definitely much more plot led than romance led.

There is romance here and we do get to the sexy times eventually but it’s much later on and isn’t the main focus at all.

And considering this story is confined to the facility itself you’d think it would get monotonous and boring but it didn’t.
Especially when events started to take-off and everything imploded then it really was edge of your seat stuff.

I only have a few points to make on what would have improved this for me and they really are minor things, So Lana herself could be a bit soft and naive. She is easily intimidated and cowed by words and doesn’t really read between the lines. Instead of looking at Xerus’s past actions towards her and judging him by those standards, she takes what is verbally said and just runs with that. I mean even I could see what he was doing here being cruel and scary to protect her but she couldn’t. I suppose that’s why it was so brave and courageous when she did step out of her box her going against her inert nature and fear kind of proved her devotion to him.

I just wished she’d been a bit less girly earlier on and just gone with her gut.

This was also sole POV Lana’s and bar the epilogue we get no input from Xerus. I do think dual POV would have moved this up a level. The slow burn was fine and it did work but some added connections earlier in the story would have again improved this overall.

It did take a while to get to that part of this and I was wondering at one point if there was even going to be any romance thankfully there was and it did work.

Finally the epilogue I would have liked one slightly further along the timeline and on Xerus’s planet rather than the spaceship.
I’m hoping as this series goes forward and I’m definitely on board here that we get a chance to visit his planet and learn more about Xerus culture and people.

I loved Xerus he was fabulous and my favourite part of this, this story is worth reading solely for him alone. I’m most definitely on board for the next book in this series and have no issue recommending this I enjoyed it a lot.

I removed half a star because of my above points but this managed to enthral and capture my attention ever so easily a thumbs up from me.


Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
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