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Publisher's Summary

Some secrets carry the weight of the world.

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally - a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.

Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead - all except for one strange, new alien being.

She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.

In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

Winner of a SFR Galaxy Award 2016 and the Prism Award 2016 for Best Futuristic.

©2015 Michelle Diener (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Dark Horse

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Perfect Sci Fi / Romance Series You'll Love!

Last year when I found this series on Kindle, I was stunned by the beautiful writing, plotting and character development -- something I've never seen in a typical sci fi romance before. I could only hope that if the series was ever given the Audible treatment, that the author would choose the perfect narrator as well. And she did!

I LOVE sci fi romance novels, but too often the writing suffers from authors who lean a bit too heavily toward ever more bizarre alien sex scenes, and overly bit*chy dialogue for the women as a substitute for strength and/or wit. It gets old after a while, and I had given up ever finding a well written book in this sub genre, until I found this amazing series.

Michelle Diener is a wonderful author who can really write, and she has written three great books in this series. Each book contains a lovely romance, lots of action, and spectacular and well thought out science fiction -- it's a freakin miracle!

AND -- Christina Delaine is wonderful in this series, and performs it as well as any of the great narrators out there. I'll be looking forward to hearing more from her!

What a treasure!


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (For anyone who loves sci fi romance, but also wants to read well written books!)


Note: There is no explicit sex in this series, and you won't miss it at all.

42 people found this helpful

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Love this book! New fave author.

I loved this book. I won a copy of the audio addition from a giveaway of the authors. But I already own the kindle addition. The author brings you into her world and makes you want to belong to it. I loved her unique take on things and the plot was excellent. Now the audio addition was good. I did have a little trouble with the voices the narrator did for the Class 5's. I had just imagined something a little different. It was a little TOO much "Good Morning Dave" for me. But once I got used to it, it was fine. I also could tell the growth of the Class 5's as their voices became a little more humanoid for lack of a better tone. But sometimes the narrator would be speaking in Sazo's voice and it wasn't until after when Rose "could tell from Sazo's voice he was embarrassed" that I could actually picture him embarrassed. I hope that makes sense. But that would be my only negative with the audio addition. And it was only a small thing. I really enjoyed it and this author went on my auto buy list. In fact I've gone and bought the other two books I. The series that are out.

10 people found this helpful

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Cheap romance, otherwise great story

The overall story of exploring worlds, pursuing the rescue of mistreated AIs, and showing the best of humanity on the interstellar circuit is really fascinating and agreeable. The romance side of it started to be intriguing, but was thrown away by somewhere at or after two thirds through the book. It was played up as immature minds diving into sex and it really messed with the storyline. Overall, the story is really well written; it's just a shame that very, very few authors, and possibly readers too, grasp the essence of romance or human sexuality. It's obvious when one sees good romance, but today's people don't realize what they're really seeing and how it differs from unenlightened foreplay and sex.

7 people found this helpful

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Awesome Sci-Fi Romance.

After reading the review from another reviewer on this book, it sounded like something that I would like. I am so glad I gave this book a look, I really liked it. I like the whole music aspect of the story, I kept trying to guess what music choices Rose was singing throughout the book. I like the friendship Rose made with the Class 5 ship and realized it was not just a machine. This is an interesting new world and I hope there are many books to come from this series. In my opinion there were a few flaws in the details, but they were minor. Mostly that everything came too easy for Rose to learn and that not many of the other species seemed to ask an questions about Earth. There were hints of it but I feel the story would have been just that much better with a bit more wonder in the plot. Narrator is really pretty good, she does pretty good on all the voices by making them distinct, only a few a bit weird but hey this is an alien society she is speaking for.

6 people found this helpful

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great book

loves the book when I read it loved listening to it just as much Def worth the buy

4 people found this helpful

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A different new world

What did you like best about this story?

An ordinary woman had to become something more in situations she had no control over, just to survive in a new universe.

Any additional comments?

I read the Kindle version several times just because I liked the story. When I found the Audible version I jumped at the chance to listen to a good narrator. I am looking forward to the remainder of this series to be recorded.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointed!

All three of these books are exactly the same with only the characters names changing. Different women, different male gree, and a different ship, but the exact same story. Listen to the first book and save your money, because there is no need to buy the next two. I did thinking the story would evolve, because the narration is good and it is well written. I feel like I have ben scammed!

7 people found this helpful

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WHAT A JOKE & OPERATIC THEME? HORRIBLE BOOK!!!

The main character is a female crybaby, entitled, and plays the victim game too friggin much.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Epic Story

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dark Horse?

The Narrator

What does Christina Delaine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I am so glad I did the audio along with reading. It brought the story to life. It was narrated by Christina Delaine, and her performance was excellent. She had different species and IA to represent and she did it with ease. She even sang for a few scenes and that made it even better.

Any additional comments?

This was an Epic read for me. And, of all my 5 star reads this year this story was the most outstanding of them all. The writing was superb, and as I said the plot was epic. The smidgen of romance and sex was enough to keep my libido interested. That alone is a rare find for me. The species characters and the galaxies creation kept me intrigued. The thrilling adventure was beyond anything I’ve read in a long time. In the beginning the artificial intelligence scared me, so it had angst. Then, I came to love the same artificial intelligence. The heroine and hero represented all we want in our couples and their love story. What most impressed me about this author’s writing and the story was the amount of dialogue. It was meaty with conversations and not just narrative. That’s also a rare find for me. All of these examples are what made this an over the top read for me.

2 people found this helpful

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This is the book you want as a series

This is the most underrated book- Where has it been? The writing was excellent and every minute . It’s an action / adventure/ sci-fi / suspense/ drama and a sprinkle of romance . I say sprinkle because the romance was the least best thing about this book. I fell in love with an AI and it was beautiful and the best part of this book. I need to know more. The only one little thing is the author descriptions of the various species could have been more detailed. It is unclear to me whether they were different or not. Still this is the book you want to send 15 hours with.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leigh UK
  • 12-27-20

Geezanages! That was good!

The plot, the characters, the writing, the world building, the 'human' rights issues.... let's just say I missed a night of sleep. I just could not put it down. I thought, I'd set the sleep timer and be asleep in 30mins. 30mins later, I extended it to 45mins. 45mins later I extended it again and then honestly, I just gave up. I literally listened to this til the sun came up. I absolutely had to know how it would end and I couldn't wait til tomorrow to find out. On to book 2! Or maybe I should get a night of sleep in first... hmmm

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs C
  • 08-27-21

Great start to series

I enjoyed listening to this story I was gripped from the start and am looking forward to the rest of the books in the series. The narrator was also very good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tracy
  • 02-09-22

Surprisingly enjoyable

This was a free book on Audible - thank you Audible - I’m liking this feature!
Woman abducted by aliens makes friends with previously trapped AI
Meets more ( and handsome ) aliens - but cliché
But it’s ok ..bit different and I got used to the narrator who I liked
I have downloaded the second ( also free) book then we’ll see if I like the series enough ti purchase the next

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 05-27-22

Incomprehensible

Although read quite well by Christina Delaine, I found the first three chapters hard to understand. I wonder if you are meant to have read a previous work. This is just like a continuing chapter where nothing is explained.

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  • Asra
  • 12-06-21

Soapy, but catchy

The story is interesting, It has that soapy sticky romance tone, but not all the time. There are elements of mystery, it is quite addictive once you start listening. But. Here is a spoiler allert. The writer slips sometimes, contradicting in details. For example - aliens have no equivalent of stories or movies, and yet are using terms like "actors". Music is written only for special occasions and songs are performed only once and never again than a chapter later there is a group exercising with the rhythm of the song... It is irritating and I don't think I'll go for other books in the series.
The narrator is not bad, but not the best either.

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  • K Mich
  • 11-18-21

85% good space and AI scifi, 15% Romance

Good story, some space opera, AI and a few fun, alien cultural difference elements.

Romance part is not too soppy, over the top or too cliché.

Honestly, I was a bit worried before I read it, the title and romance could have made this a bad choice for me.
But I am glad was proven wrong, with frankly a solid sci-fi, with a bonus mild but endearing romance story.

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  • Louise Bishop
  • 11-12-21

Great protagonist and plot

I enjoyed the way the author set this up and slowly revealed each layer. Rose was a worthy protagonist. So good.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elle
  • 10-27-21

Amazing

I’ve read the book several times, I love the story and listening to it made it even better. Highly recommended!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C. J.Cambridge
  • 10-02-21

Excellent sci-fi

Really good story. Some interesting thoughts on AI
Will definitely listen to the next book

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C. MacLeod
  • 09-13-21

Overall pretty good

Fun and quirky. Overall pretty good and narrator did a good job with different tones and voices to make it easy to follow which character was speaking. However several times names were pronounced differently and acronyms reversed. I don't know if that was a narration issue or just bad editing in the source book. Would probably have been 5 stars all round if not for that.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-22

Enjoyable listening

I really enjoyed this book, I look forward to many more from this author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-25-22

good trashy read

fun story, interesting but uncomplicated plot. well read and good characterisation. why not? cheers all

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  • Janette J Ryan
  • 11-06-21

Sci-fi love story

I listened to all 4 books, one after the other.
They were definitely something different.
I liked Michelle Dieners
idea of Artificial Intelligence, (AI).
There are implications of the use as the books show.
Treacherous people can use it for the detriment of others.
It is obvious that it needs ethics and empathy, as well as knowledge.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diana
  • 10-26-21

*****

Original and fascinating. A great pleasure to listen to. I look forward to more .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anwar
  • 09-26-21

Brilliant

This is the story of Rose McKenzie and Captain Dav Jalan. Rose having been held prisoner on a Class 5 battleship owned by the Tecran and experimented on has made a friend Sazo who just happens to be a artificial intelligence. What follows is a fascinating game of cat and mouse with the highest stakes possible. In the middle of all this Rose and Dav fall for each other but does their romance stand a chance when everyone else is out for themselves at all costs. This book held my interest from beginning to end I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I highly recommend it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • karen grave
  • 09-08-21

in-depth story

first time reading this author and I thought I'd try with help from reviews.
it was a clever scifi whodunit. for me, it was a bit too detective and I prefer a bit more romance.
I've been a fan of ruby lionsdake, Anna carven, zoey draven and Anna Hackett, so this novel was more involved than I thought. I still enjoyed it though and the narrator did really well.
no pretence with romance and clever AI writing....

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  • Nikki Logan
  • 06-06-21

Great space romance with a great narrator

I’ve had this book for ages and just haven’t got to reading it but because it had whispersync I was able to buy the audio at a bargain price. I’m so glad I did. It’s the first time that I’ve actually stopped doing other things in order to listen to an audiobook (rather than listening while doing those other things). I ended up spending a lot longer than I expected listening but wasn’t sorry (except that it was over all too quickly.) Looks like the series is going to have individual storylines with new characters in the existing world but that’s OK because book one came to its own satisfactory conclusion and I’m ready to visit some of those other planets and cultures.