Assassin's Touch (Iron Portal #1)
Two worlds. Two enemies.
Haunted by loss, Cascadian assassin Rickert D’Angelus is on a mission of vengeance. Determined to stop the Pacifican army from finding a portal to his world, he leads a group of warriors into New Seattle with one goal—to kill all Pacifican soldiers.
Neyla Trihorn had the perfect life until a deadly accident revealed her latent para-abilities. Now, the former fashion designer is the Pacifican army’s hottest commodity in their fight against the invaders.
When Rickert discovers a beautiful, unconscious soldier on a cold mountain ledge near the portal, he realizes she’s a Protection-Talent and cannot be killed. To prevent the army from using her skills again, he takes her as his prisoner instead.
One fated touch…
But when he pulls her into his arms, a sexy and compelling vision appears, awakening something inside him. Something he can’t ignore.
Torn between duty and passion, Rickert must decide if the vision is a Talent trick designed to foil the enemy or the answer to his deepest desires...
Well I’m just not really sure where to start with this story. The first story in the Iron Portal series certainly had its high points and a few low points, but overall was a great beginning to an all new series set in a strange alternate reality with some interesting twists and turns. Laurie London also writes one of my favorite vampire series, the Sweetblood series, so when I saw her branching out I was very excited, though certainly a bit skeptical about this new world. With vivid world building, heart-wrenching betrayals, frequent action and a love story between two deeply connected individuals Assassin’s Touch was one of those stories that will touch your heart and pull you into the characters' lives from start to finish. Can’t wait to find out more about these two worlds and the individuals that make it unique while keeping familiar enough to remind you that all humans are the same at the core, with the free will to choose what they will be—good or evil.
Our story revolves around the warring factions of two worlds separated only by a magical portal. Neyla is a woman that has been conscripted into the army, forced to use her protection-talent to aid the Pacifican army in its battles against the Cascadian soldiers that venture into their world. The Cascadians caused an accident that brought her para-abilities to the notice of the army (or so she’s led to believe) and she was forced out of her life and into a life she doesn’t want to lead and onto a team where no one really respects her or wants her around. When she is injured on assignment and found by a Cascadian military leader, her life changes forever. Rickert has never felt a connection to another woman like he feels for the little soldier he discovers near death on the enemy’s side of the portal, but he’s determined to put her to good use. Dragging her across the portal and into his world he begins to learn more and more about Neyla, while sharing information with her that turns her world upside down and challenges all her beliefs. But when the enemy travels to Cascadia to retrieve Neyla and enact some very frightening evil plans, Neyla and Rickert must put aside their differences and work together if they are to ever have a chance to be together and conquer the real evil in their worlds.
From the second Rickert touches Neyla the passion he feels for her complicates his life and challenges all his long held beliefs. Rickert is a tortured hero for sure; an alpha military leader on a quest of vengeance, he never imagined that a mere slip of a woman could come between him and his agenda in this war. His passions run high only where Neyla is concerned and the protectiveness he feels toward her is even more confusing to him than the desire. But when he learns the true nature of this compassionate, sweet and naïve woman, he cannot help but fall in love. Neyla is different; she lived the majority of her life following her dreams and keeping herself away from danger, until a freak accident makes it impossible for her to be what she once was. Adapting to her changed life, or trying to anyway, Neyla tries to make the best of her situation. Being the brunt of most of her comrades’ jokes and the scapegoat for their anger puts her in some awkward positions. She only really comes alive when she travels to Rickert’s world and finds herself surrounded by the laughter and beauty that has long been removed from her life. Though she resists the changes to her life initially, when she begins to trust Rickert and he opens her eyes to the truth about their worlds and the war, she finds her place in the world and makes her stand, saving the day in the end.
This was a great new series that I am really looking forward to seeing more soon. Rickert and Neyla were a great combination of strength and vulnerabilities, coming together in a blazing passion and inevitable destiny that was both heartwarming and exciting to experience. The world building was full of vivid descriptions, imagery, and mythology, which I enjoyed immensely and will look forward to delving into more deeply. Can’t wait to find out more about Asher in the next book, Rogue’s Passion and hope I don’t have too long of a wait for it! Another great series, Laurie, and I’m glad you took the time to take on us this journey to another world of your imagination.