Series: The Hunt #1
Published by Indie on April 9, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction
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The Hunter. As the new Game Warden, Xrez Ym’ihla brings patrons from across the galaxy to track prey in a game built to enslave the weak and mate the strong. The business is a long running family legacy and Xrez is determined to succeed as his father had before him. He hadn’t meant to let one human occupy his thoughts, mind, and body.
His lies may come back to haunt him, but if he reveals the truth, he’ll ruin his chance to capture the heart of the one he wants.
The Prey. Esme Valdez had her entire life planned from an early age. As a chemist, her life was average and mundane, just the way she liked it. Until the impossible happened. Never did she imagine being abducted by aliens and forced to participate in a survival of the fittest game called The Hunt. If she survives and makes it to the end, she’ll be freed. If not, she’ll be forced to mate the one who captures her.
Esme is determined to win at all costs, even if it means putting her trust in a sexy alien who taunts her in the most delectable way.
Their love was built on betrayal. Can she trust him with her heart and life?
The Game Warden’s Mate was a new-to-me author that I found from an online book club, POC Paranormal, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors, or well, this site has a Facebook group that is doing book club reading. This is the first book and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. The story starts off a bit slow, as the humans wake up on an alien planet (though they aren’t aware of that fact when they first wake up). Once they figure out what’s going on and The Hunt actually starts, things get really interesting.
Xrez’s father just died and he is left with running The Hunt, an illegal game where aliens from all over the universe are captured and forced to go through tough environments while being hunted. There are different rules for each of the three levels and the stakes get higher on every level. His father’s last game ended up in the hands of Xrex and the “prey” is all human, which make the hunt even more illegal as humans are protected because humans aren’t as sophisticated as the other species.
Esme wakes up on this alien planet with several other humans of varying backgrounds. From a rich man who thinks daddy can buy his way out, to a woman with her dog, a Marine right out of Afghanistan, and even a mother with her two young children.
I quickly like Esme. She’s a smart and independent woman, but quickly decides she needs to help out the mother (Miranda) and children, as does the Marine (Ben). This group of five (when you count the children) work together to make it through the game.
Xrex is very concerned with his father’s idea of a hunt with only humans, so he joins the game to give them a bit of help to ensure that at least some make it through the first level. This is not something the game wardens have ever done, as it might appear as they are throwing the game. It amazes him the resourcefulness of humans.
I had a great time with Esme and Xrex. They make a great couple. I was also a big fan of the secondary characters. Not just Ben and Miranda, but Bradliix, Xrex’s assistant was great too. I’m glad to see that a second just came out. I will also be looking into more stories from this author.
Oh, I should also mention that Xrex is a very hairy guy. His home planet is extremely cold. He kinda has a Bigfoot look to him (not used in the book, but what it sounded like to me and from the cover of the book).
I started listening to audiobooks when a new book in a series was coming out and I wanted to get a refresher, but didn’t have time to read all the books (I think it was Anita Blake). I fell in love. I stayed with strictly re-reading books that I’d already read for a long time. I eventually tried an audiobook for something that I hadn’t read first and was hooked there too. Now, I listen to audio for both re-reads and first time. I have some series that I’ve given up reading and only listen. I try to get any many books/audiobooks from the library to help save on my budget. Books on CD and the newer digital downloads from the library really allow me to listen more. I then purchase my favorites (because who can wait in line for your favorite book??) and less mainstream books from Audible or some other online retailer.
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