Barbarian’s Beloved by Ruby Dixon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I need a Xanax after this one!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: ☹️🙃🥰
Narration Type: Dual Narration
The heroine: Ariana – She suffers from severe anxiety and relies on medication to help her with attacks. However, when she goes to sleep one night and wakes up later on an Ice Planet, naked and without her medication, she has to learn how to cope. Her thoughts just don’t stop and eventually start to worry her and soon spiral out of control.
The Hero: Zolaya – When he first sees Ariana, he is attracted to her fragility. He flirts shamelessly with her and they become friends. They resonate fairly early and he wants to claim her but can tell that she is not as calm as she tries to appear.
The Story: This book starts out with Zolaya away with some of the other hunters, helping out a new group of people on the planet (probably the Icehome group). So Ariana is at their home with her son Analeigh and the other tribes mates. Though Zolaya is a very steadying force in her life and he helps keep her calm and keep her raging thoughts at bay, so being without him for so long has been very difficult for Ariana.
While Ariana’s mind is going wild, she tries to dampen her anxiety by thinking back on the time that she first arrived on the planet and met Zolaya. I liked how understanding he was with Ariana. How he realized that something in her mind was keeping her from settling down and sleeping. He sees how she tries to act calm even though he could see her mind was spinning and the mind-numbing terror that sometimes results.
Like the rest of this series, this book is told in dual points of view via dual narration. The narrators are Mason Lloyd and Hollie Jackson. I have gotten very used to their narration styles in this series and other Ruby Dixon books and like them both quite a bit. Mason speaks at a great cadence for the alien males and Hollie puts a lot of feeling into her voice.
Ruby Dixon did an awesome job demonstrating how anxiety looks and feels to someone suffering from it, showing how just one negative thought can all the sudden lead to more and more until the person is spiraling and scaring themselves so much to where they can’t stop and look logically at what they are doing. However, I got kind of sick of Ari’s anxiety after a while. Having anxiety is interesting, but I would have liked her to get it under control sooner even if that is unlike reality.
Also, I just have to say that one thing I can’t stand about these books is the fact that the aliens refer to breasts as teats. It really bothers me and makes me think of animals. Just gross.
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