Friday, October 17, 2014

Early Critique: "Heart of a Rocky (Gardinian World #2)" by Kelsey Jordan

I received this ebook for free from Booktrope Publishing, but in no way did it affect my literary taste buds. This critique is my honest opinion.

This review is for the second book in the Gardinian World series, and may have minor spoilers for those who haven't yet read The Lycan Hunter.

The first thing to know about this book is instead of a full-length book or a single novella, this is actually two novellas with two separate storylines and couples. Generally I go for entire books instead of anything brief, but in this case I like that the stories were shorter and there were two of them to keep me entertained.

Although you could technically read this as a standalone before reading The Lycan Hunter, it's better to read them in order. Having read The Lycan Hunter prior to this, I knew all the names of the different types of shifters and was introduced to the characters that see the limelight in these novellas, and while Heart of a Rocky does include a handy glossary, the nuances of the Gardinian World itself aren't fully explained again. And also, these novellas take place after The Lycan Hunter in terms of the timeline.

The Plot (Synopsis as Seen on Goodreads):
'"The Takeover"
'Tor Omar James, King of the North African pride, needs one woman if he has any hope of keeping his sanity – Anise, his Soul’s Mate. There’s only one problem: she’s pregnant by Derrick, Tor of the United States pride. Anise is caught between the love that every Lycan covets and the motherly devotion to the son she would sacrifice so much for. Can Omar survive the takeover of the US pride and convince Anise that he is more man than lion?
'"The Defender"
'Asim Tyson, the Defender of the Hafiz, is fighting off the insanity of his longing after losing his Soul’s Mate in battle. Unfortunately, his self-centered existence results in the gross neglect of his people when they need him the most. When Harmony appears in his life, he is forced to make a choice. Should he resist the lure of Harmony’s caustic melody or embrace his weakness in order to keep her safe?'

"The Takeover" featured a character who intrigued me from The Lycan Hunter- Omar, who saw his Soul's Mate in a woman (Anise) pregnant by the leader (or Tor) of the US pride. Anise had planned on ruling through the heir she would provide for Derrick, despite him being abusive to her and a general asshat. Omar is determined to make her his, but in order to do so he has to conquer Derrick in battle, her fears that all men are like Derrick ,and stubborn assumptions that Omar will want to get rid of her son, the heir to the US pride. Their relationship is a necessity because of the Soul Seeing, but that doesn't mean there aren't many obstacles in their way.

"The Defender" was my favorite of the two, because although Tyson and Harmony hadn't seen each other (as in Soul Seeing/Soul's Mates) it was clear they belonged together because they were both survivors. Tyson had watched his Soul's Mate die in battle, and it left him almost rabid with unfulfilled longing. Harmony escaped captivity, only to cross paths with her Asim, Tyson and a complication happens that forced them to stay with each other. I can't say much more without spoiling the plot, but the ending was a bit of a kicker (as in, I hadn't predicted it).

Heart of a Rocky more than met my expectations of the series and built on the world first laid out by The Lycan Hunter. Although one of the characters was a bit too stubborn for me (Anise was probably more like me than I'd like to say), I can't help but wonder what will happen next in the Gardinian World Novels. I recommend these novellas (and novel) to anyone looking for a mythology-rich paranormal romance series.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for an excellent novella duo!

Content: Ages 18+ for violence, themes of abuse, and sex scenes.

Page Count: 198 pages (estimated by Amazon)

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