by Alvania Scarborough
Series: Harker's Hell #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Science Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Harker’s Hell- Early settlers thought they’d found a western re-creationist’s heaven. Instead, the new world is a hellish version of the Old West. Now the seeds of long-ago conflict are stirring to life. Dissonance Walker believed she’d seen the worst life had to offer, only to find she’s dead wrong. Sold to a secret organization by her parents for the price of a new stove, her ability to disobey is ripped away by a brutal experiment. Determined to find the key to restore her freedom, she manages to escape her captors, only to end up in the worst place for a woman that can’t say no—on a saloon stage, ready to be sold to the highest bidder. Bram Spencer is sure the heat has baked his brains. With his friend murdered and his ranch under attack, he needs to attend a little unfinished business. Buying some fool woman because she pokes at scabs he thought long healed, isn’t on the list. It’s bad enough he has to go through the fuss of rescuing her, now he discovers the only way to grant her freedom is to marry her. This is why he never plays the hero—no good deed goes unpunished. Secrets have a long life. Sometimes decades. Now the sins of the past have returned, ready to collect their dues. Only trust can save Dissonance and Bram from a shocking evil… but trust is a hard commodity to come by on the frontier.
Disobedience by Alvania Scarborough is the first novel in the Harker’s Hell series. It is an intriguing blend of science fiction and romantic suspense. I found myself completely caught up in its Old West world and historical romance vibe. A simmering romance, humor and a mystery threaded throughout the tale had me flipping the pages. Fresh, original and genre bending Scarborough gave me one heck of an adventure.
Five reasons to grab a copy of Disobedience
- The story takes place on another planet where human settlers have recreated the Old West complete with bounty hunters, ranchers, saloons and slave traders. I was intrigued from the opening pages as we bear witness to the heroine up for auction.
- Scarborough quickly establishes some of the governing rules of this Old West and boy howdy. Our hero, Bram Spencer, a legendary bounty hunters takes pity on our heroine, Dissonance Walker and despite ever intention not to he buys her. Obviously, our bounty hunter has been too busy hunting criminals because he quickly discovers he cannot just free her as intended. Right away I was hooked by their situation and eager to see what developed.
- Throughout the story, there is this mysterious science fiction thread with experiments, parasites and missing folks. For the most part, we are kept in the dark, but after each chapter, we read from journals that slowly give us the background to this strange world. While I am still not a hundred percent sure what is going on, I will say this I am curious and anxious to learn more. Usually I want my world completely fleshed out but we are learning as they are. They have only begun to scratch the surface and I like that we are learning as they do. This thread also brought suspense as our couple find themselves targeted.
- At the heart of Disobedience there is a romance. I adored both Dissonance and Bram. Their chemistry felt genuine and I went from laughing aloud to swooning. Dis is snarky and to see her threaten Bram and the ranch hands just made me smile. I love feisty characters and she is just a hoot. The author does an excellent job of fleshing them out and allowing the reader to connect. Scarborough brings the heat but keeps things very mainstream. It was a hot combination of heat, humor and steam.
- Secondary characters including an over-sized dog added humor and gave it a small-town feel. From the local sheriff to a feisty old lady with a wooden spoon I felt right at home.
If you are looking for a romantic suspense that will tickle your science fiction side, Harker’s Hell is a series to check out. I thoroughly enjoyed Disobedience and look forward to revisiting this world.
*Disclosure- I am currently working for this author as a VA, but this did not influence my review. If you are interested in reviewing Disobedience please contact me under Bloggers Wanted menu.
Oh my! Old West and science fiction? I have to admit I was confused after seeing the cover and then ‘science fiction’. I thought ‘but it’s a cowboy on the cover!’ I’m very curious and I love the names! 🙂
I love the genre bending is this. It feels like a historical romantic suspense, and it’s set on a colonized planet…so there is this really cool sci-fi element. It reminds me of Jayne Castle’s Harmony series.
Sounds intriguing… oh, I really CAN’T add any more to my TBR, but your comment comparing this to Jayne Castle is making it awfully tempting! I’m glad you had fun with it.
LOL, I almost reached out to you today for her other book Merchant Master since it has a Harmony vibe..but saw you are closed for reviews.
I’ve been reading more science fiction so thank you for putting this under my radar now xD lovely review.
I love how this melded genres together..it hooked me 🙂
Sounds fantastic! The cover is yummy.
It really was a fun read Paij
Brandi Breathes Books
Aw the funny dog sounds like a great addition
He was and combined with Dis..I loved how crazy they made poor Bram
i don’t read westerns but I’ll make an exception for this! Sounds like my kind of fantasy read
Yes…this is right up your alley Braine..
That is one smooth cowboy. Huh – this definitely sounds interesting.
Ha..this is one you might actually like since it weaves in other genres and you would totally love Dis.
I agree Angela, the cover got me. I’m a sucker for a cowboy. Hmmm, western parallel universe. Sounds interesting.
think Jayne Castle Aubrey
I didn’t read one word of this post — I couldn’t tear my eyes away from that book cover (smile!).
Interesting! The mix of genres is definitely intriguing to me. I love the Wild West-like setting. This might be one romantic suspense I should consider reading one day. 🙂
I hope you try it Candace.
Melissa (Books and Things)
Oh sounds great! I wish I could read it. Wait… 😉 I can’t wait to get to it. You should have told me about the dog. Would have totally sold it to me faster. LOL
:snort: I wouldn’t steer ya wrong Melissa..I read them all first before I offer them. Yeah the dog adds humor and Dis is fantastic..enjoy!
Wow, great premise it kind of reminds me of Jayne Castle’s novels only without the wild west settings. I think I might give this one a try
Exactly…I just finished another book by this author..Merchant Master and it clicked..she does the genre bending and twisting brilliantly like Krentz 🙂
Thanks for the review Kimba, but I don’t think this is for me.
Thanks Aurian, I know you like Krentz and this reminds me of her Harmony series.
Well this sounds interesting. I wasn’t expecting a Western on another planet. Now I am curious….
I would love to see you read this Heidi..it is fresh.
You got me interested by this world that seems to be mixing different genres, I’ll be reading it ! One day 😉
I hope you pick it up. It was different and well balanced. I loved the humor and romance as much as the suspense
Ooo you are teasing me with this cowboy read! I think I need to add this to my TBR pile. 😉
I think you would like this Ali.
I’m totally digging the weird and genre-bending novels here lately. Well, I read one. But I want to read more! LOL This one sounds really, really cool!
You read Krentz right? It reminds me of her Arcane and Harmony series.
Ooh, you KNOW this one intrigues! Not really sure why people would want to recreate the Old West but I like the concept and love when there’s a good connection between characters!
Right…but how many books have you read where they bring back some past era. First one I’ve read with a western town though..it was neat
I’ve read a couple other genre blenders that include the Old West and loved them so this has real possibilities for me. I like the sound of the play between characters.
Hmm, you love Krentz right? Have you read her Harmony series or Arcane? If you enjoyed them you will love this
Actually, I haven’t read those. I’ve read Paula Altenburg, Marie Hart, and Allyson Merrit for the Western thing. There are some hot ones by Moira Rogers too.
Well hello there sexy sci fi cowboy! This is such an interesting combination of genres Kim, I don’t think I can pass it up. Plus, feisty heroines just make me happy so I’m looking forward to meeting Dis!
Right..it reminds me of another writer I adore and her Harmony and Arcane series.
Ooh! That’s interesting how this takes place on a different planet and has a wild west setting! And there’s an over sized dog! Haha!
Lovely review, Kim!
The dog added some humor and I loved it
You had me at “STORY TAKES PLACE ON ANOTHER PLANET”. <3
Right..i thought that was wicked
Feisty old lady with a wooden spoon? Lol, this sure sounds exciting! And the concept doesn’t lack in originality either. The cover is gorgeous, the writing seems to work – in a word, I think I need to try this 🙂 Thanks for another utterly surprising review, Kimba.
Oh I adored that old woman. This was wonderful and fresh.
glad to see you enjoyed this book 🙂 lovely review as usuall
I really did Alreem thank you
I was all what? Oh sci.fi too, got it
It was cool kind of like Jayne Anne Krentz..and her Harmony series..but western 🙂
I have a little problem with science fiction mainly when it’s about space so I’m not so sure it’s for me I confess but who knows? Maybe one day. In any case, it sounds like a good one! Great review!
Here is the thing, she keeps that aspect light and in the background..have you ever read Jayne Castle’s Harmony series or Rainbow trilogy? Jayne Anne Krentz’s Arcane Society? It is like that.