Title: The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts, #1)
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Page Count: 97
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
One moment Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger shifter he would rather strangle.
Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world where he belongs. On their journey they might discover why the priestess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.
Riley leaves his work one evening and is attacked by zombie-like demons. His WTF meter is pinging loudly, and he has no idea what is happening, especially when four large tigers show up to save him. He’s convinced he needs to check himself into the nearest mental health facility until he is wisked, instead, to an AU where he learns he is the Soldati Prince, betrothed through Fate to the King of the Soldati, Khalon.
Khalon is disheartened to learn that a mortal human could be his Prince, and he makes no bones about sharing that opinion with everyone, including Riley. It’s their journey to finding each other, even though neither particularly cares for the other (in the beginning) that Cochet unveils through this story.
This one was a riveting and interesting book. I was very impressed with Cochet’s ability to adequately build this world in a novella-length book. That’s not an easy task.
What was a tad lacking, however, was the romance. I know (or think, at least) that this is the first in a new series about the Soldati. And maybe Riley and Khalon’s story will continue, which I hope. But because this was a novella, and Cochet had to fit in SO MUCH world-building, the romance was on the slim side for my personal tastes.
We get a tentative HFN. An “ok, I like you, let’s see where this goes,” if you will. And while I appreciate that their story may continue in a future book, that isn’t enough to satisfy my romantic appetite in the here and now. I need at least declarations.
So I’ll settle on three stars because I love Cochet’s writing, and the story-telling is really amazing. If I could’ve gotten more Riley and Khalon in THIS book, I would be a happy camper.