• Heart's Prisoner

  • Dark World Mates, Book 1
  • By: Olivia Riley
  • Narrated by: Maxine Mitchell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,042 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He's not like anything Lana has ever encountered.

Asset X: Massive, deadly, and a little terrifying to say the least. A devilish warrior, and a killer. Captured on a hellish world after attacking a military campsite and now imprisoned in a state-of-the-art cell inside one of the military’s top bases, Lazris. Lana has been assigned to "study" him; to learn his secrets and gain his trust, if he is ever allowed to set foot out of his cell. As a top behaviorist, it is the biggest hurdle of her career. 

Asset X - or Xerus as he is called - won't give up his secrets easily. He is difficult, elusive, and dare she say, unfathomably alluring...despite his seething demeanor and hard, frightening physique. Something subconsciously draws her to him. Something wildly irresistible. Even if his wicked smile and needful gaze could just be a ploy to win her trust and escape his cell. She shouldn't think of him like that. He is an alien after all. And possibly their enemy. 

Xerus claims he is on a mission. A mission to destroy. And he cannot afford to fail. If he dares let Lana get close, dares open his cold heart to her, she could compromise everything. 

This book contains heated intimate scenes and some violence. It is intended for mature listeners.

©2021 Olivia Riley (P)2021 Podium Audio

What listeners say about Heart's Prisoner

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

An ACTUAL good adventure alien romance novel

With a PLOT.
Fairly cliched story if even I can figure out the mysterious enemy almost immediately, but a well-written story nonetheless. I thought the pacing was good, people didn't act like complete idiots (mostly) or do 180's on their own personalities, and folks responded appropriately to situations. So it avoided a lot of the pitfalls of the usual cringe-worthy alien romance genre. The level of hostile sexism the mc encounters is over-the-top and unbelievable, though.
World-building was believable and sufficiently thorough.

Don't expect award-winning genre fiction, But it's pretty great within it's assigned lane.

10 people found this helpful

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Nail biting mystery

This is one of the books that I could not put down because I just absolutely had to find out what was going on. Nothing was straightforward and plenty of hints that there was some mystery. There was more focus on the mystery than the romance, but the romance was very important. There were plenty of bad guys that I loved to hate, especially when they belittled and sexually harassed Lana. I love it when a narrator performs the reading in such a way that I forget that he or she is reading a book. Ms. Mitchell’s talent was superb.

9 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Absolutely great story! Especially if you're a fan of a slow burn! The characters were strong and the voice acting was fantastic.

8 people found this helpful

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If you are a teenager you will probably love this.

Unfortunately, this was quite a drudge. Lana Heart is clueless and her assignment seems to change from chapter to chapter just like her area of expertise. She is led around by every man in the book, (I hope feminism makes more progress than this in the future) and this book only passes the Bechdel Test by a hair. There’s one other woman, Nicole, mentioned in the book and she is the resident counselor (it’s very strange that Lana would automatically be assigned a counselor, is every woman in this book a cry baby that needs to be told what to do and someone to listen to her ‘problems’). Nicole is also her friend (as she is the only other woman on the station and apparently men and women can’t be friends, it’s a bit of boy against girls so Nicole and Lana only have each other) and listens to her “revelation” I kid you not, that despite keeping these aliens in cages, calling them ‘assets and having all these safety protocols the military is really only interested in keeping the aliens like animals. I laughed out loud. No kidding? Also, another annoying fact was that Nichole’s uncle runs Lazurus so it’s assumed she got the job only because he is her uncle not because she is qualified.

The rest of the characters were men, including the Alpha alien, telling the lead female character what to do all the time and Lana did what they all said without any agency of her own all the time (and at the same time acting in a very unprofessional and submissive manner). The author was trying to show a strong woman but instead displayed a story of a woman negotiating by compromising herself through an extremely misogynist world and being content with that. Constantly men were telling her what to do and she was doing it (but at the same time making herself out to be the victim). I laughed when she was making the alien dinner (play house much?) I mean there was so much childish behavior between adults in this book. Some of it even gave off puritanical Victorian historical vibes-the MC giving the alien a lock of hair and bracelet, something that would only have significance in Western culture on Earth (an anthropologist, linguist, behaviorist, would know this). Also culture changes, human culture would have also changed with it. Just like we don't give portraits or locks of hair to each other anymore.

The world-building was pretty much a mixture of the Alien movies and Silence of the Lambs and I mean verbatim. There is nothing wrong with stealing but make sure it makes sense for your world (all I can think is that these other reviewers have never seen Alien). Overall, none of it really made sense in the world. Including the point of Lana's job. I am not a dumb person but there was absolutely no point in what she was asked to do or the way in which she conducted her job. Obviously, the author did not know either because the goalposts kept shifting.

The crux of the issue, a real feminist, who values herself, who values her status in society, and who values her career would never fall in love with an alpha male. As an educated woman I had a lot of issues with this book, so much so I could barely listen to it, but I finished it just to see how silly it would become, and trust me, it became very silly. If you’re a teenager and know nothing about the world, occupations, languages, different cultures, etc. you might find this entertaining, (that’s where I think the good reviews are coming from, teenagers). If you’re an educated woman who has ever had a job that required an education, give this one a hard pass.

7 people found this helpful

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great book

this book was fantastic. A slow burn romance. the narrator's voice was amazing! A must read!

5 people found this helpful

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Great Plotline, and good romance

I really liked the story and listened nonstop to finish. There were some thing's that confused me in the story, little plot holes. But I really wanted more of the story, I felt it ended too abruptly

2 people found this helpful

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Great book!!

This is the first book in Dark World Mates series and it is spectacular!! It's like a mix of Resident Evil and Doom all into one nail biting book. There's deceit and suspense as well as some steam. This is also the first book by Olivia Riley that I have listened to and there will definitely be more.

2 people found this helpful

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very different

kind of long...but a descent love story.. some twists. the ending was a shocker but nice

2 people found this helpful

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Wow!

I am a Booktuber and I stumbled on the gem. Great narrative, great story plot and a decent length. The sex scenes are not extensive, but I’m ok with that.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing FIND

the story moved slow at first. ( stay the course) you wont regret it .. strong characters. subplot takes over some time but the world building is important.. LOVED. the story. will enjoy the next and the next hopefully

1 person found this helpful

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  • elisha
  • 11-23-21

Heart-racing suspense!

I’ve read my fair share of sci-fi and alien romance but this one was completely different. Incredible world building, developed characters, and a slow build romance- that alone would make this a five star read. Add in the thrilling suspense and my mind is blown! Best book I’ve listened to in ages.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ingrid
  • 09-26-22

Omg. Just OMG!!

I wish i could give more stars! This is now one of my favorite books of all time. Complex characters who are intelligent and interesting, and the hero is just so god damn alpha- I'm in love!! And the heroine is badass, and so strong! I'm a amazed no one made this into a movie yet! I'm gonna purge all of this writers books!

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  • Elaine
  • 09-10-22

Loved it!!!!

I couldn't stop listening! Great tension and suspense while being a romantic novel. Looking forward to the next instalment!!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S Sillaw
  • 07-30-22

Brilliant, fast paced, engaging, edge-of-seat story perfectly narrated!

Maxine Mitchell brought this engaging story to life in the most amazing ways. Perfectly speaking all of the characters and accents. Never thought I could imagine an inter-species love story, but, now I’m a believer. I fell in love with Xerus, too, and was charmed by his and Lana’s evolving relationship. The steam was awesome! And the story was brilliantly written in its own right and not just a vehicle for the steamy elements. Not that I’m against that, but this story really held its own in the non-romantic parts as well as carrying the romance further throughout. Excellent listen! You’ll be hooked!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-22

Fantastic

it's a must, I loved it the performance and the story so thrilling and exciting had me holding me to my seat and late nights, can't wait to listen to the following books.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BEA
  • 07-18-22

Ok so hear me out

I'm listening to this free in audible which is great I'm on chapter 27 and there's something about this story that's not adding up for me there's a spoiler alert now so if u don't want to know please keep don't read further.... .....


right well in the story Zeres the alien was sent on a mission chasing this parasite called "Spectre" who invaded bodies and destroyed them and moved on to the next. Spectre was on base held prisoner presumably with Zeres. The humans head doctor Cole Kinsley was researching spectre in a hush hush kinda way. The premise for the story revolved somewhere to the right of this. The bit I didn't get was why didn't Spectre who had invaded different doctors and a lab technician out side it's cell just blow up security the lab technician it controlled easy so of it blew up the security and computers the cells would open and bobs you're uncle he and apparently other spectres could roam around infecting every other level got in the ships on cargo bay and flew off into the sunset. The level 12 got blown up anyway by security cause spectre invaded Dctr Kinsley who let the other aliens out. Just seemed like a bit of a loop hole in the story for me. May be I got lost in translation. Anyway Its a got a good start great action middle naff romance and the heroine Lana Luna ? why bother with her character if the hush hush research was all about Spectre and not Zeres why didn't he just tell them about the parasite in the first place and lock the location down. cause presumably while he was busy being captured the parasite was busy invading humans out side it's cell and humans could still come and go levels and the base. what was the point in the non romance? I just didn't get it...

All that being said the story got me thinking and it was pretty good up till chapter 26/27 the "Luna Lana non love scene with Zeres" talk about boring. another thing I didn't like was why kill the sign language chimpanzees what did that have to add to the story why didn't they shove Lana in there instead and saved the chimp poor thing. I know it wasn't real but still. An why kill Nicole off I liked her character couldn't she have ran off with the wolf alien or been part of a love triangle with Zeres lol.

I loved the narrator amazing voice actor just kind of ehh book that strangely draws you in anyway.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-29-22

Great read

I loved the story line, the lesson that all races should not be so arrogant about there places in the universe. Investigate with cautious interest and acceptance, treat others with respect. I loved the main characters budding relationship. Would love to read more in this series, written well and kept my interest. Hope to read more from this author.

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  • MW
  • 06-20-22

One of the best alien romances I've read

This was gripping, exciting and romantic. A cut above the usual alien romances. Loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss N.
  • 06-01-22

Brilliant

So much more than the usual alien human romance. A really good story line. Well worth listening.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 05-23-22

An unexpected can’t put down listen

I really enjoyed this book so much so it took me less than two days to listen to the whole book. I have already downloaded the next book in the series.

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  • karen grave
  • 09-03-22

well what an amazing story

first time listen to Olivia Riley, and I have to say...shut the front door!!!! I couldn't believe how different and suspenseful this sci fi was. Ms Riley has done an amazing job writing this story.
the angst in the plotline was so surprising i couldn't stop listening. it was a unique story and i havent listened to anything like this before in this genre. the character of the heroine was brave, smart and totally likeable and the Hero...( for want of a better word) ... well he was different. most Aliens in romance type sci fi books are depicted as attractive in some way but this fella.. noope! what this creative piece of writing does is build an integrity and a type of chivalry. As the suspense grew with each chapter, instead of a lusty attractiveness between H and H it relied more on the mental,
and character side of a connection.
the steamy scene was unlike the norm ...for a sci fi anyway.
reviews say that book 2 isn't as good, but I'll take a listen
maxine mitchell is the bomb! her voices are incredible and brings this unique novel to life.

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  • amp
  • 08-25-22

Unexpected

I didn't expect to love this but I did. I couldn't stop listening and finished it too quickly.

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  • Merry
  • 08-16-22

a heading is required (optional...?)

There was more to this than I expected and I'm so glad I gave it a go, as sci-fi isn't always something that interests me.

Lana was a great character, so intelligent and fierce and clever. And I loved how the relationship developed with Xeris and the romance that followed. I thought the supporting characters were also well-developed. The story as a whole was really compelling and I blitzed through it, which I kind of regret, but I guess I'll just have to look at what else Riley has written.

The narration was great. The voices for different characters were distinct and well-performed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacinta
  • 07-28-22

loved it!

I loved it! full of suspense and not your typical alien mate love story. Thank Olivia Riley for writing this awesome book!

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  • Tess
  • 07-20-22

Hit the spot

I have never read/listened to this type of book before, but I was not disappointed. It was not without it's occasional cheesiness and the narrators voice did take a little time getting used to, especially with the generic male parts, but in time I was so engrossed that I didn't even notice and finished it the next day of starting.
It felt like a well-written fan-fiction and I was totally okay with that.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Janette J Ryan
  • 07-12-22

Bit OTT

An interesting inter galactical love story.
If only the species of the love interest wasn’t so improbable.
The actual story was a good one and worth the read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-22

great story

love the story line well read and perform couldn't stop listening 👏 👌 🙌 😍

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  • Kayla
  • 06-25-21

Slow burn authentic alien action romance

This outstanding alien slow burn action romance with a suspenseful plot that twists like the corridors in the military underground base where it all takes place, is written rather realistically. The characters and the situational atmosphere/ vibe are very authentic. The whole story line is very well thought out and takes you on a journey of discovery with the heroin. The alien is refreshingly unpredictable, mysterious and differs from human cultural norms - therefore this is not an insta love story with a romp in the sheets after the first chapter - the romance developed later in the book. This book is more focussed on connection, trust and bridging cultural chasms - but the chemistry of the two main characters is nevertheless very palpable. There are only a few books this one can compare with. If you like 'Saving Askara' by J. M. Link you will defiantly like this one. The book has a few gripping scenes, but it doesn't go into horror like some reviews on the internet imply. If you watched Jurassic Park you will be fine. The performance of the narrator is superb and entraining - giving distinct voices and dialects to various characters. Can't wait for the next in this series.