Space marine Blaine Strong enjoyed being a composed, controlled member of space station security…until he was abducted by alien slavers. Forced into underground fight rings and pumped full of drugs, he’s now seething with anger and out for revenge.
Rescued by gladiators and fellow humans on the desert world of Carthago, Blaine is fighting to be the man he once was. But when the House of Galen is attacked, he must focus on joining the gladiators to fight back. That means teaming up with a tough, competitive female gladiator who not only challenges him at every turn, awakens a fierce desire he’s never felt before, but a woman who can sense the churning emotions inside him.
Gladiator Saff Essikani is the best net fighter in the Kor Magna Arena. Raised from young to fight, she bows to no man and uses her empathic abilities to win at whatever cost. With her House targeted and people under their care threatened, she’ll stop at nothing to find those responsible. But then she finds herself face to face with a big, tortured man from Earth who affects her like no man before. As Saff and Blaine head into the desert to uncover a conspiracy, their incendiary desire flares hotter than the desert suns. But as Blaine’s angry emotions rage out of control, Saff knows that unless he learns to embrace the man he is now, he has no chance of survival.
This series ticks a lot of boxes for me and I must admit these last two books have been fabulous Sci-Fi romance with just enough action to entertain the most jaded reader. Champion sees us catching up with not just Blaine (Saff’s very own Earth Man!), but also the three women who were rescued at the same time.
The problem is there are quite a few people who are very unhappy with the House of Galen and revenge is clearly something they want. No spoilers but things start to escalate very quickly as those who trade in slaves are desperate for payback and pretty soon it's clear Saff and Blaine have a fight on their hands; one that will take them far from the arena as they face not just danger but the past as well.
Champion had a really interesting plot with vivid descriptions. I genuinely enjoyed the buildup of the romance but with such an ending, it’s pretty clear there's still a lot more in store for those who fight in Kor Magna.