Hearts of Ishira by Bethany Aan
Arianna awoke to excruciating pain and screams somewhere nearby. When she opened her eyes, she saw a forest unlike any she’d even. Strange insects and flying creatures roamed the land. Then, from the shadows, other living things emerged – animals unlike anything Ri could have dreamed in her wildest fantasy. She had no idea where she was.
She looked around and saw a corpse with a broken neck nearby. The creatures were almost in feeding frenzy over the woman’s dead body. Ri noticed other women scattered around in the foreign landscape. All were naked, as was Ri. Ri was fighting pain; she had a severely broken leg an broken ribs. She sent a mental cry for help and received a mental reply from a life form nearby.
At last, Thorsani warriors arrived to help the band or women. While the men looked humanoid, they were very tall, with markings on the edges of their faces spreading into their hairlines. Ri caught just a glimpse of the bright green eyes of her savior before she passed out at his feet from her injuries. The men busied themselves getting communicators on the women. There had been no females for their group for more than ten years. They examined the injured group of female creatures with interest as medics went to work attempting to heal the broken and injured.
Bethany Aan created aliens that were kind, sexy, and appealing. I was impressed with the level of culture-building she was able to sprinkle into the novel. She introduced the world of Ishira only a small bit at this juncture, but did so beautifully and with great detail and wonderful explanation as to every area explored.
Her interpretation and knitting of the Thorsani culture into the fabric of the world of Ishira was extraordinary. I have never before envied a non-existent culture. The Thorsani had beautiful beliefs and a wondrously structured and respectful treatment of women and children. Aan clearly put a great deal of thought into the creation of this world.
Additionally, the respectful handling of various world marital customs was astounding.
This was a very erotic novel, so for those not interested in reading about m/m/f ménages, this may not be for you. The sex scenes were passionate and exquisite, written with the reader’s pleasure in mind.
I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.
An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review (through LoP on Goodreads). The opinions expressed are solely my own.