Imperator by Anna Hackett
Galactic Gladiators #11
Science Fiction Romance
Galen, the Imperator of House Galen, has spent a long time helping the humans stranded on Carthago and he’s watched his gladiators fall in love knowing it’s a path he’ll never find himself. Now Galen is trapped in the Zaabha arena trying to help Sam Santos escape and destroy the Thraxians once and for all. Sam was forced to fight in the underground arena and the toll of killing other enslaved aliens just to survive has left it’s mark on Sam’s soul. Galen might have brought Sam into his House and offered her safety but after everything she’s been through she’s not sure anything can offer her peace.
Galen’s story has been a long time coming in this series and Anna Hackett did not disappoint with Imperator. We’ve watched the tall, dark, and mysterious Galen as he’s supported his gladiators and made a welcoming home for the captured humans but we’ve also seem him keep himself separate and stoic. Galen has a rough past and he lays a large amount of guilt on his own shoulders over the destruction of his home planet. From a young age Galen was charged with protecting Prince Raiden and when they resettled on Carthago Galen has maintained his orders to keep watch over Raiden. He’s dedicated his life to protecting him and Galen is really like a father figure. There was a beautiful moment toward the end where Galen and Raiden acknowledge how much they’ve meant to each other and it was beautiful.
A natural born protector, Galen has no problem taking care of Sam but he also respects her strength and fighting abilities. He’s seen her in the Zaabha arena and he knows how tough she is to survive captivity by the Thraxians. Galen supports Sam in every way and he never underestimates her skills; he knows how important stopping the Thraxians is to Sam since it’s important to him as well. Galen doesn’t want to give into his feelings but he also truly sees Sam and he wants to do anything he can for her.
“I’ll be your shield, your protector, your champion. Wherever you need me, I’ll stand beside you, behind you, or kneel at your feet. Whatever you need.”
Sam is clearly one badass woman to survive everything she’s been through and now she’s separated from her parents and brothers who she loves deeply. Starting over is hard for Sam but she also sees she has a purposed in House Galen and it’s not just training with the gladiators. Sam sees how much Galen gives of himself for others and how little he expects in return. She knows that Galen needs someone to take care of him, someone that can be his alone, and someone that can provide a welcoming solace.
Sam and Galen are perfect for each other because they each have such inner strength but they need someone to lean on. I couldn’t ask for a better ending for Galen and though we haven’t known about Sam for as long, she quickly became a favorite for me among the humans. This was a very satisfying conclusion to the long battle with the Thraxians and I loved how we got a quick POV moment with each of the previous couples. Though this chapter of the series is over, Anna Hackett leaves the reader with a little surprise at the end of the book and I’ll just say that I can’t wait!
4 stars – it was enjoyable
Heroine was kidnapped and held captive (referenced, on page)
Space station security specialist Sam has done one thing since her abduction by alien slavers…fight to survive. But now one strong alien gladiator stands at her side and Sam knows she is no longer alone.
Thrust into a lawless desert arena, Sam Santos has done terrible things in order to stay alive. As the Champion of Zaabha, she’s been fighting to find a way out. Everything changes when the Imperator of the House of Galen sacrifices his freedom to help her. The hard-bodied, fierce man has vowed to help her escape, but getting out of Zaabha is only the first deadly task they face.
Galen was bred to be a royal bodyguard and protect his prince. With his planet now destroyed, he’s grown powerful and forged his wealthy gladiatorial House on the desert planet of Carthago. All Galen knows is honor, service, and sacrifice. Now his life depends on working with one battle-hardened woman of Earth as they fight together to survive. But Sam Santos is not what he expected. Tough, yes. A brilliant fighter, for sure. But there is a softer side to the woman as well. And Galen finds himself irrevocably drawn to all of Sam’s captivating facets.
Then they uncover a devious plot by the Thraxians that could bring down the foundations of the Kor Magna Arena and all they hold dear. Galen and Sam will stop at nothing to defeat the evil alien slavers, even if it means war. In amongst the fighting, Sam may finally show a man who lives for everyone else, that he deserves more than just honor and freedom, but love as well…if they survive the coming battle.
Published by Anna Hackett on July 8, 2018
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