Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: I like it although the heroine would not want to be caught dead in that outfit. She does not wear leather.
“I’ve learned the hard way that love is nothing more than the sharpest blade, and it can easily be turned against you. I refused to let anyone have that kind of power over me ever again”.
Darian has lived alone for almost a century in the shadows of the night. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind - an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.
Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm’s length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent - and a welcome distraction. But when Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...
Darian is an assassin, and a good one thanks to her special abilities. Her targets are only bad guys, mobsters, murderers, child molesters. And she gets paid top dollar for killing them. And of course, her “employers” will someday be her targets as well. If they pay her to kill of the competition, someone else will pay to see them removed.
Darian is a Shaede, she can melt into the shadows, and just disappear, but not during daytime. Her handler is Tyler, whom she thinks is just a human. Tyler is totally in love with her, but she doesn’t want to have a relationship with him. They are working together. And so far, her history with being in love has not been a great one. When her parents all but sold her to the handsome doctor who wanted to marry her, they had no idea what she was getting into. A closet gay, who uses his wife as a punching bag. Darian hates her life, but there is nothing she can do about it. Everyone thinks she has the ideal marriage, a gorgeous husband who is devoted to her. But that is only the public side. Then one evening, he brings a very handsome man with him, and Darian is totally taken with him. Azriel gets her to talk about her own life and ideas, and her husband is getting more and more angry. And when Azriel has gone, he beats her more severe than ever, and Darian knows that this time he will kill her.
But just before that happens, Azriel is in the room with them, killing Henry and saving Darian. He takes her with him, as he has made her a Shaede. He enjoys killing people, and for the next 25 years or so, he shows her the world. Then one night he just leaves her and never comes back, leaving her to fend for herself, without any money or much skills. Only those of an assassin, and so Darian becomes one. He told her there were no other Shaedes, and she should stay hidden. But Azrial lied to her. Because Darian’s new job is none other than the Shaede King himself. Darian is a pure American though, and doesn’t acknowledge Xander as her King, which is something is people don’t like. But Darian has no choice but to obey Xander’s wishes as he is so much stronger than her, and has the power to do whatever he wishes. She will be trained to be a better assassin, since her next victim will not be a paltry human, but more.
When Tyler shows up to “rescue” her, she thinks he is just unnecessary putting himself in danger. She can handle herself, and she needs him to be safe. But Tyler is not human, he is a Djinn and he has bound himself to her. It is very irritating to Darian (and to me) that no one is willing to explain things to her, that they expect her to just obey orders and understand everything at once. But slowly she gets more knowledge about herself and her heritage. But not only is she found by the Shaedes, she is also found by their mortal enemies, the Lythan. A whole new world opens up to her, and suddenly she is no longer the best, she needs to train and learn.
It took me a while to like this book, but once I did and the story started flowing fast, I was hooked. Especially after I learned more about her past, I liked Darian and understood her reasons for keeping Tyler at arms length. I still think it very strange that she never ever saw anything supernatural, as her world is filled with them, and especially hidden in the shadows she should have seen something. But she has really no clue what else is out there. Of course, Azriel kept her ignorant, refusing to tell her anything. He knows she is special, and he wants to exploit her destiny.
Darian does not back away from a fight, she is a great kick ass heroine, and I totally applaud her for not wanting to fall for and obey Xander, whom I think is a jerk. I liked Tyler, but he could have been honest with her.
The story itself is totally original and I liked it. I am looking forward to learning more about this world when Darian does. And I am very happy to already have the next two books on my shelves.
Amanda Bonilla has created an awesome world, filled with all kinds of supernatural beings, some totally new to me, and some familiar. She has created her own rules though, and I like this very much. It keeps it all fresh and new.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian