Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Blood Assassin

Blood Assassin (The Sentinels #2)

by Alexandra Ivy


They are the outcasts of humanity. Blessed with power. Cursed by fate. Driven by passion. The Sentinels have returned. . .
Out Of The Shadows
At six-foot-three and two-hundred-fifty pounds, Fane is a natural born guardian. A flawless mix of muscled perfection and steely precision, he has devoted years of his life to protecting a beautiful necromancer. But after she found love in the arms of another, Fane has been a warrior adrift. He swears allegiance only to the Sentinels. And no woman will ever rule his heart again. . .
Into The Fire
Not only a powerful psychic, Serra is that rare telepath who can connect to minds through objects. When the daughter of a high-blood businessman is kidnapped, Serra agrees to help. But when she stumbles onto a conspiracy involving secrets sects and ancient relics, her life is in mortal danger--and Fane is her only hope. Is the warrior willing to risk his body, his soul, and his heart, for Serra? Or will one last betrayal destroy them both?
Themes: magick, witches, paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating:  
Well this story had some interesting characters reluctantly coming together all for a little girl.  With dangerous allegiances though comes the inevitable understanding that not everyone has entirely altruistic motives and not everyone is out for person gain,  with all the shades of gray in between the black and white of good vs. evil, Ivy takes us through a world of magic users that is completely different from any I’ve ever read.  I have been a fan of Ivy’s series since the beginning of her Guardians of Eternity series and when I discovered she was starting an all new world I knew I was going to jump right in.  This second full length novel jumps off right where the last story ended and delves deeply into the lives of two people that have loved each other for ages but been separated by their duty to their people and the world.  If you missed the first story in the series you may not understand just all that Fane and Serra have been up against as they tried to find their balance together, but you will certainly not be lost as there is plenty of filling in and info to keep you informed.   I enjoyed the story to the extreme and am looking forward to future stories—and dying to see Wolfe get a story since I think I know who is heroine will be!
Now that Callie no longer needs the bond and protection Fane has always given her, he has decided it is time for him to return to the Tibetan mountains and serve his people as a Sentinel trainer.  Serra learns of his plans and her anger and hurt knows no bounds, but she will try one more time to get Fane to admit his feelings for her.  Serra’s hopes are dashed however, when Fane continues to push her away and her anger makes her sloppy, which sadly puts her right in the path of a deadly assassin determined to use her skills to find his kidnapped daughter, no matter the danger that puts Serra into.  Luckily Fane learns quickly that Serra has fallen into trouble and is determined to track her down and save her, but the assassin mastermind will not be defeated so easily. Working together with the assassin and his men, Serra and Fane overcome all obstacles and dangers to accomplish their mission.  The truth becomes darker and darker as the bigger picture comes to light and the full truth of Bas’s life and legend are uncovered.  Fane quickly decides that he will no longer keep his emotions in check, giving in to his desires and claiming Serra as his own, the one thing he has been fighting all their time together.   In the end, the only way they will find a way to be together and live their lives in peace is working with an unlikely ally to bring down an even darker evil.
Serra is one kick ass bitch, with some serious psychic skills and a damn hot wardrobe—a beautiful role model.  Though Fane has pushed her away for years, she never let go of the hope that one day he would see her, really see her, and admit to himself and her that he wants her.  Though she is determined to get her man, she doesn’t let that desire stand in her way, in any way.  When she is roped into a dangerous mission to save a little girl, she never imagined that Fane would come to her rescue and claim her as his, finally and irrevocably.  Her conflicting desires, believing in Fane’s sudden turnaround and protecting her heart from further hurt, leave her open to the psychic and emotional drama circling around her, but it won’t keep her from fulfilling her promise and gaining her freedom.  As they learn more about their new reluctant allies, Serra begins to understand that her mission is fluid and keeping evil from overtaking their world will be her ultimate duty.   She was beautiful, sweet but deadly, and willing to use her outrageous skills to accomplish what no one else might ever be able to solve.  However her greatest strength is her willingness to forgive Fane's stubborn unwillingness to give their love a chance and move on with an open heart and mind to have a shot at a future with Fane. 
Fane has loved and resisted Serra from the first time he saw her all those years ago, but his duty to Callie and his determination not to give in to his possessive desire for her has kept Fane from embracing her many offers to come to her bed.   With his release from his bond to Callie, he is set adrift, with no clear purpose any more, and in need of grounding.  Deciding to return to Tibet in hopes of finding his balance again, he knows he is hurting Serra, hates himself for it, but can see no other course for them.  Everything changes when Serra is basically forced to do the bidding of a deadly assassin that will go to any length to rescue his daughter, even at the expense of Serra’s safety.  Seeing her in such danger shows Fane that there is no way he could ever leave her and he gives in to the decades of desire and makes her his lover. Though she gives him her body, he senses the walls she has put around her heart, protecting herself from the sudden change in their relationship, and will do anything for her to break down those walls and give herself to him body, heart and soul. Fane is deadly, sexy, and dangerous, but his sweetness when handling Serra and his obvious affection for her, even when she is spitting mad, makes him the prefect sexy alpha male.  Strong and deadly men are a dime a dozen in romance novels, but a truly sexy alpha male, with a deep core of honor, affection and love for those he brings into his heart, along with a strong sense of duty and determination, are few and far between and Fane is a wonderful example of all these traits rolled up into one gorgeous beast.
I haven’t found too many stories that can truly keep me engaged right until the end, with plot twists, romance, passion, and action all balanced into a great glimpse into a world of magic and intrigue, but Blood Assassin and the Sentinel series have it all.   Ivy is a master storyteller with the ability to keep a reader on the edge of your seat even as your emotions are grabbed by the dramas in the characters lives and the love that develops between her characters.  Fane is a dedicated warrior, a Sentinel charged with protecting the people of his world and ours, and has given his entire life to his responsibility. Serra is a warrior in her own way, using her psychic skills to capture bad guys, save innocents, and uncover plots that will put her world in danger, but the one thing she has always longed for is a chance to be with the man she has loved for decades.  Fane and Serra finally discover that the passion they have felt for each other in the past is just the top layer of the emotion that will keep them together for decades to come.  Even as they work together, along with their allies, to bring down a dangerous kidnapper, masterminding a deadly game that will put the entire world in danger and could bring down the entire civilization for the high-bloods, their emotional revelations are what makes the story great.  I enjoyed every second of this story, whether Fane and Serra are fighting each other, fighting with each other against their enemies, or giving in to their desires in the bedroom, the fire burning between them is undeniable and palpable.  I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series, but I’m sure that I will love whatever it is.  As a side note there is an intriguing secondary plot in this series between the Tagos and Mave of the high-bloods and I am dying to see where, if anywhere, that relationship might lead.  If you aren’t a fan of Ivy already, this series will make you one and starting with this book is definitely going to pull you into the world of High-bloods and the sentinels that protect their world.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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