Raised from birth to be a soldier, Kace Tameron is a disciplined, military-trained gladiator. He is on contract to the Kor Magna Arena to hone his fighting skills on the blood-soaked arena sand and then return to the military. He lives for one thing: to protect his planet, and on his world, love is forbidden. But then he collides with a feisty redhead from Earth who threatens to shatter his legendary control.
One moment, Rory Fraser was an engineer on a space station circling Jupiter and the next, she is abducted by evil alien slavers. After suffering at the hands of the Thraxians, she is rescued by her friends—with the help of the tough gladiators of the House of Galen. Rory finds herself outrageously attracted to straight-laced Kace. He is a skilled fighter, ultra-disciplined, and a hero at heart—but she knows passion beats within him, if only he’ll let it loose.
Rory is obsessed with finding another fellow abducted female from Earth, but as she asks questions, she finds herself ducking bullets and explosions. Someone wants Rory dead. Kace steps in as her protector, and together, they embark on a dangerous mission that will take them deep into the bowels of the arena, and deep into a scorching desire…both of which could lead them to lose not only their guarded hearts, but their lives as well.
So here is Rory, abducted from the space station she worked on and now trapped on an alien world. Okay, she is no longer a prisoner and resides in the House of Galen but it turns out she is still far from safe! It's a good thing the taciturn gladiator, Kace, seems determined to protect her but this strong silent, type has an agenda that doesn't include having feelings. Now Rory might not be totally onboard with that, and if it's up to her Kace will give in and indulge, but as a male of principles, Kace must decide for himself just what's really important.
So, I really liked Hero and if honest, thought it ended too soon! What really worked for me was seeing the world expand and new characters are being added. Unfortunately, the sneaky Thraxians are still causing trouble and I'm starting to wonder if there's ever going to be a resolution there. Our leads are interesting with Rory being somewhat hot-headed, so pairing her up with Kace who has been raised without love made for an interesting twist. It's always fun seeing the gladiators interact and I'm impressed by the differences the author imbues her characters with. As for the title, well you just have to trust that Ms Hackett has a trick up her sleeve! A good mixture of suspense, action, and of course romance; so it's another book that happily helped me while away an afternoon.