5 May 2015

Heart of a Rocky by Kelsey Jordan

Hey everyone,

I'm back with a paranormal romance book to review! It'd been a while and when I saw this on TBR pile I knew the time was right so without further ado I present Heart of a Rocky by Kelsey Jordan! The second book in the Gardinian World series was sent to me by the publisher in return for an honest. I have also reviewed book one in the series The Lycan Hunter so feel to check that out as well.

Also contrary to my original belief Heart of a Rocky is actually two romance novella set in the Gardinian Universe world: One called The Takeover and another called The Defender.

The book:

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?

My thoughts:

As Heart of a Rocky is actually two novellas I've decided to review them separately rather than reviewing the book as a whole.  The first story is The Takeover, which reintroduces previous readers to Anise and Omar, two characters we briefly met in The Lycan Hunter.

Omar and Anise are soul mates, and therefore destined to be together, however, Anise is already in a... 'relationship' with Derrick, Tor (King) of the US pride. Yet it soon becomes clear that a) Omar is determined to be with Anise b) Derrick is a grade a douche bag and c) Anise is not with Derrick out of love or lust. In fact she appears to hate the man.

"The task wouldn't have been so bad if he was such a contemptible prick. Derrick made it his life's mission to suck the happy out of happiness".

In typical Kelsey Jordan style we are thrown straight into the story with Omar setting off from Africa to the US to claim Anise and Derrick's pride. Being a Rocky, basically the baddest and toughest fighters in the Lycan world, Omar easily wipes the floor with Derrick. Unfortunately winning Anise's trust is a lot harder. Due to the way women have been treated in the US under Derrick's rule Anise doesn't trust Omar, especially around her son.

"Omar stepped to the bassinet and smiled at the gurgling baby. She tense when he reached inside and scooped her son up".

Although I enjoyed the story I did have a few issues with it. Firstly sometimes I found events happened with little or no explantation. This made it confusing, especially when combined with The Takeover's fast action-heavy pace. I found this was a particular problem when any official ceremonies with the Lycan gods and goddesses happens. In my mind it was hard to picture what exactly was happening in these scenes.

Secondly I thought the thought romance between Omar and Anise relied heavily upon the concept of fated mate. I know some people love this trope but I personally needed to see Anise and Omar fall in love separate to being fated mates.

Now onto The Defender where we return to a character introduced and exiled in The Takeover. If you haven't read The Takeover the following paragraph will contain a few spoilers so feel free to skip this part! Tyson was a Rocky who lost his soul mate moments after meeting her and has basically been in self-destruct ever since.

At the start of The Defender he doesn't care about anyone or anything. He just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately due to his ferocious reputation he was anointed Asim of the Hafiz and during the last eight years of his reign things have gone from bad to worst for the Omega females of his species.

Harmony is one of the females who have suffered under Tyson's rule and when she meets her Asim she's neither impressed nor expectation of change. She just wants to get over her rut and be allowed to flee. Also just in case anyone doesn't know a rut in the Gardinian Universe is a female fertile period and they get super super horny. Similar to what female vampires in the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe experience during their needing period.

"Males. You are the worst possible thing to be forced upon a female, yet we endure you and your simpleton brains because some of us like the feel of a stiff cock. Figure it out yourself. It doesn't matter. I wasn't in the main house when I was able to run".

Harmony and Tyson fight, bicker, kiss, fight, have sex, bicker and repeat. Although they aren't fated to be together both of them feel a strong pull towards the other. Even a god steps in to straighten Tyson out at one point.

In some ways I preferred the story line of The Defender, it was darker, more intense and arguably contained an anti-hero in the form of Tyson. Yet again I had some reservations about the plot. I would love to delved more into what was happening to the Omega females, the mindset of people who kept them captive and just generally everyone's reasons behind their actions.

"She relaxed against the headboard and started to lay plans for her future. A future that included a lot of running and avoiding the male who was perfect for her soul".

Particularly towards the end a couple of event or reveals occurred that weren't really given the time I felt they were due. Instead the surprise occurred and it was dealt physically within a couple of pages. I would have to read more dialogue in these moments explaining the characters actions and perhaps even justifying them. I think if this had happened I would have enjoyed The Defender a lot more than I did. It had the potential to be a fantastic angst ridden novella but it seemed that Kelsey Jordan pulled her punches and stopped this from happening.

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!