Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing, Anna Hackett on August 11th 2020
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Abducted from her exploration ship and enslaved on a desert world, mechanic Bellamy Walsh has fought for her survival. She’s had to fight for everything in her life, and she doesn’t ever expect things to be easy. After being rescued by the tough, deadly cyborgs of the House of Rone, she is shocked to find herself drawn to a grumpy beast of a cyborg. A genius weapons master who prefers his solitude. A man with scars of his own. A man whose brawny arms are the only thing that chase away Bellamy’s nightmares.
Maxon Shaye likes to be left alone to work. He doesn’t mind his fellow cyborg brethren, but he finds people annoying and chaotic. He’s disconcerted by his growing need to keep Bellamy Walsh safe, and thinks she’s irritating and brash. The woman keeps invading his workshop, getting in his space, and…the even more infuriating thing is that he’s actually starting to like her there. What he doesn’t like is her burning need to throw herself back into danger.
Bellamy is determined to help bring down her captors—the metal-scavenging Edull and their deadly desert battle arena—and that makes her a target. She knows too much and the Edull will stop at nothing to silence her. Maxon will do anything to keep her safe, even if that means threatening the growing bond between them. But in order to destroy the Edull’s arena once and for, Maxon and Bellamy will put everything on the line—their desire, their love, their lives.
‘Weapons Master’ is quite a ride; think of an amusement park ride hat takes you through a mish-mash of action-adventure classic films and tv series and you’d have Anna Hackett’s Galactic Gladiators in a nutshell.
As someone who’s been held as a slave by some slave-traders, Bellamy’s stubborn, never-say-die, take-the-alien-by-its-horns attitude is enjoyable to read about—paired with the grumpy weapons master Maxon from the Cyborg House of Rone…let’s just say it’s a pairing that Hackett has done pretty well with.
I’m accustomed to Hackett’s style by now and sometimes the pairings do blur into each other given the similarities found in each book. There’s that very familiar tinge of instant love, some campy erotica and well, a huge ton of things going wrong before they miraculously turn right at the end. As a result, I found myself enjoying a little more the expansion of the world-building and the group-dynamic scenes that I’d probably underrated until now (my bad).
Still, Bellamy and Maxon are rather memorable (it’s been a while since I’ve gone back to the Gladiators camp, so maybe it’s the reason why this is also such a breath of fresh air) and in a world that’s struggling to lift itself off its feet, this was a very-much needed chance of escapism.