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Ariella's Escape (The Stars at Zenith Book 1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

… Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.
But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land,
Kindle Edition, 181 pages
Published July 22nd 2017
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3.84  · 
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 ·  31 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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L.N. Denison
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise for this story is a good one. I feel it could've been executed better, but I enjoyed it overall. The main characters were well developed, and the story held my interest. Ariella and Demetrius are on the run after the prince of a land where she has gone for peace talks, has his father killed, so that he can take power. The two main characters escape and try and get back to her land in one piece, as the prince has made it his mission not to engage in peace talks. There are obstacles, b ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: the author very kindly gave me a free copy for winning a contest.

I liked this novel but it wasn't perfect. The only real con to it is the writing style and to some, it's probably not a fault. Sometimes the characters speak in ways that people don't speak (such as not using contractions) but it's minor.

I really enjoyed the action scenes in this novel! It gave the novel some intensity! I enjoyed the premise and the plot line. The sex scenes were also great too. They were very steamy.

Nikki Landis

What a wonderful fantasy romance! The action and steamy romance started from the first page and didn't end all the way up to the end. This is the first in a series and I can't wait to grab and read book 2. Well-written, sexy and steamy, full of action and unique storyline, and a romance with a perfect intensity. Loved it! Ends in such a way that you're sure to want to read more.

I'm fascinated by the strong heroine Ariella and loved her fierce yet warm and loving warrior personality. Demetrius
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ariella’s Escape is the first book in a fabulous new series (the Stars at Zenith). There is so much to love about this book. A strong and beautiful warrioress. A sexy manslave who ends up being so much more than the heroine bargained for. Evil villains bent on destroying our main characters. Fantastical creatures (including elves). Great fight scenes. A dash of magic. And heart pounding romance. Although the story opens up right in the middle of a hot, sexy scene and there are several other fan- ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-romantic
Thanks to the author for donating this book as a contest prize.

Although this book was a little outside the genres I normally read, I did find it enjoyable.

The action was fast paced, starting with the very first chapter. Ariella was a likable character; a capable warrior and an intelligent, practical woman with a sense of humor. The love interest was a bit one-dimensional in the beginning, but he developed into an interesting character over the course of the book. This is the first in a series a
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ariella and Demetrius are fantastic leads. I adored the way their relationship evolved and there were some smoking parts between them. The part where they perform for their keep was especially hot and intense. In addition to having an awesome romance, there was a really good story with some action as well.

The escape and revelations along the way kept this moving at a fast clip and made it a real page-turner. Ariella is my kind of heroine, and Demetrius appreciated her for more than sexual reason
***Disclosure: I was provided a free copy in exchange for a review.***

This was an odd book.

It definitely belongs in the Erotica Fantasy Romance category, even though it's not billed as such, which hurts it because if you knew that going in, you wouldn't feel so let down by it all.

What's Good: a female protagonist who swings a two-handed sword, rules her own lands and gets to make use of a sex slave while on a diplomatic mission? Heck yeah- I'm in! But that initial encounter at the start of the b
Ariella's Escape is the story of a beautiful warrior-baroness who falls in love with a handsome slave belonging to her deadliest enemy.

The goals of the book seemed to be: a little love, a little lust, a little magic, and a little blood. Those goals are reached with writing that is professional and deft.

The love scenes are nicely done, with enough detail to spark the imagination, but not so heavy handed as to snuff out the flame.

While I felt that the author's heart was in her work during the enti
Christian Nadeau
I’m not an expert on romance/erotica. In fact, my only references in that category would be the Twilight series, Outlander and Kushiel’s legacy trilogy. Meh, snooze-fest and awesome, so that’s a pretty mixed bag for me.

Enough about the references, what about the book? What about Ariella’s escape?

It wasn’t perfect, but I still liked it though not enough to recommend it without reserves.

Ariella comes from a Queendom in which women warriors are able to hold their own and have repelled barbarian inv
Shehanne Moore
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s always a danger when you pick up a change of direction book by an author you love, that this could be a mistake. Ariella’s Escape, the first book in The Stars at Zenith Trilogy, is a departure in many ways, for Carolee Croft, author of some wonderfully funny and spicy erotic historical romance shorts. Also dystopian fantasy isn’t my first reading choice. I wouldn’t NOT read Ms. Croft though. She delivers tongue in cheek humour, raunch and galz who think for themselves in spades, not just ...more
Book Review originally published here:

In Ariella’s Escape, Ariella is a female warrior who knows what she wants, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she desires. She’s not afraid to enjoy the finer things of life (such as sex – beware, this is an erotic fantasy novel, and definitely NOT for young adults, strictly for adults, I’m afraid), she drinks extraordinary amounts of alcohol, and she also enjoys a good fight. In fact, she’s very skil
Passionate sex scenes. A love story. Fantasy. Elves. Magic. A bloody battle for land. Deceit and treachery. A kick-ass female lead and a gorgeous, sexy leading man - Ariella's Escape has it all.

Overall I enjoyed this story and thought the characters were well developed and likeable. The storyline was engaging but felt rushed in places. This book was the length of a novella but could have easily been a full length novel which would have given the author the opportunity to expand all areas of the
Shanell Meek
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can’t wait to see what the next books in the series bring

I love a book with strong female characters who do not need a man to rescue them, this book didn’t disappoint. It’s a great book, but I feel like there’s some wiggle room for spending more time on building a bigger story and building the characters a little better. I didn’t really feel a connection to the characters like I do in many of the books I read. That being said, it is still a great read! It has everything I’d expect from a fanta
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review-2019
Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer…

This is a feminist romance if I ever read one. Male slaves and female warriors are the stuff of old school romance in reverse and it's refreshing, overall. I'm not someone to rallies against traditional male and female roles but I know people who do and literature like this is something they absolutely flock to read. I'm glad there is this out there for them.

Ariella's Escap
Alistair Potter
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book content: Fantasy / erotica.

After a slightly shaky start the novel settles quickly to a tale of high adventure Fantasy with erotic content. Ariella is a likeable and lively central character and without giving too much away, is on the cusp of greater things. The story is written for a specific readership and I’m sure they will not be disappointed by the adult content or the Fantasy story, which is well developed and engaging. The first in what I’m sure will be an exciting series, this book
Joshua Grant
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good romance set within a greater plot! In Carolee Croft’s Ariella’s Escape, Ariella is a warrior baroness. During her conquests, she is gifted Demetrius, a pleasure slave. But when Ariella is betrayed and threatened, Demetrius is the only one she can trust. I like the adventure of Ariella’s Escape and the growing passion between Ariella and Demetrius. This one’s perfect for lovers of fantasy and romance alike!
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fast-paced, steamy tale was full of elves, magic, mirth, mystical warriors, adventures, friendship, duty, betrayal, trust, hope, and love. It was well written, captivating, and highly entertaining. I had never read anything by Caroler Croft, but I enjoyed every page and can't wait to read the next book in this wonderful trilogy.

I was given a free copy of Ariella’s Escape, but that did not affect my review.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***Disclosure: I was provided a free copy in exchange for a review.***

I liked the book.

The story line was good but little too medieval for me.

The sex scenes were really great too. Not too vulgar like so other books.

I would recommend this book.
Troy Neenan
Overall I don't think there was anything bad about it except for start with the flash back.
Croft, flash backs are a lazy tool that writers use much in the same way that they are used in movies. I would a progressive story over a flashback scene.
Lakesha Foster
I liked this book. The characters were okay to read. I did want more action in this book. I hope the second book gets better. I gave this book a 3.5/5 stars.
Carolee Croft
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
A big thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed the book! And thank you in advance if you're in the process of reading. I'm taking all your feedback into consideration as I write the next book in this series. I hope you enjoy the drama, the romance, and the adventure of Ariella's Escape.
All the best,
Bridget Reese
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Jan 05, 2018
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Linda Coronado
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Oct 08, 2018
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Amit Tiwari
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Stephanie Beechaum
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Dec 31, 2017
cynthia messere
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Sep 11, 2018
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Aug 03, 2019
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