Assassin's Honor (The Order of the Sicari Book 1)
by Monica Burns
Blurb:Only love can save a telekinetic assassin's honor in a world where Ancient Rome never fell. Passion abounds in this award-winning series.
The Roman Empire never collapsed for Ares DeLuca and other Sicari. Ares comes from an ancient bloodline of telekinetic assassins who have lived in the shadows for two millennia. The Sicari are honor bound to kill only in the name of justice, but Ares broke the Order’s code and used his sword for revenge. Love cost him dearly once before, and he’s not willing to pay the price again. At least not until hot, sweet, delectable Emma enters his world. Not only does she have the ability to save an ancient empire’s collapse, she holds the key to a valuable Sicari relic and quite likely the key to his heart.
Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches ancient relics. It’s how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins—the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep, he drags her into a world where ancient Rome still rules, and telekinesis and empaths are the norm. But someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who’s every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart.
Ancient Rome Collides with Present-Day Chicago and Only Love Can Save an Empire’s Collapse and Ensure Another’s Downfall.
This award-winning series (reissued for the first time) starts off with a bang with an exciting combination of romance, suspense, sexy paranormal assassin heroes, and extraordinary world-building.
4 out of 5 Stars
For me, this book was definitely one that instantly grabs you and sucks you in. I have to admit I'm a bit of a sucker for mysteries that involve ancient secret societies, searching for lost relics -- all the good stuff. You add a touch of magical abilities, and some GREAT, hot romance, and I am a HAPPY girl. This book made me a happy, happy girl.
Another plus for this book? The perfect combination of damsel in distress, and damsel doesn't need you. In fact, YOU need damsel, or you're in big trouble. The female lead of this story is brilliant, educated, tough, and not afraid to go wherever she needs to go, or do whatever she needs to do, to find the answers she needs. Yes, she's an archaeologist, and it somewhat comes with the territory, but when you reach a certain level of danger -- like lots of people around you dying, and a good chance you're next -- that's when most archaeologists probably decide to move on. Not Emma. It only pushed her more, because now she had vengeance in her heart and some killers to bring to justice.
And then there's Ares...now THERE'S a guy to give you some drive to keep placing your life in danger. I'd help that man find any secrets he wanted. Granted, in the beginning, their meeting wasn't the best, and I probably would've wanted to kill him (as she did), because he didn't go about his introduction in the best way, which he did realize later. In fact, this is probably one of the very few parts of the book that still stands out to me as a part of the book that bugged me a bit -- but only a bit, mostly because of hindsight, and how it ended up working out. But in the moment (and I won’t give it away with spoilers), it was...awkward to put it best. Their interaction felt a little wrong considering she had no idea who he was, other than the fact that it appeared he was extremely dangerous. The scene made me uncomfortable at the time, but as I said, hindsight makes it a little better, once you know more about him.
Ares is a very sexy dude with very literally the weight of the world on his shoulders, and had no idea how much Emma would change everything, and in how many ways she would change it. I liked how they got to know each other (after the above mentioned scene), and the fact that it was complicated. Yes, my inner-monologue did a ton of "why don't you just say....?!" or "why don't you just do this?" It's so simple! But these two are taught not to trust, and both are in very big, and at the beginning, very different, danger. Trust and relationship stuff SHOULD be complicated, even though they desperately want to give into their extreme attraction to each other -- you know, human and all. Some may be annoyed by the back and forth, but to me it makes very realistic sense.
This book was so much awesome to me, because it wasn't just romance. It wasn't just your average historical mystery. It was a ton of hold-your-breath danger, what the heck is gonna happen next, who can we trust, and OMG! Is it 3am already?! Yeah...that kind of book.
And did I mention the hot romance? We all know as readers that authors can sometimes make sex scenes feel like it's an author writing a sex scene; it can feel a little awkward, and just one weird word used to describe a body part can throw off the whole feeling of the scene. This never happens in this book. Some of the best written scenes I've read -- not distracting to the story either, like the author was throwing sex scenes in to get the readers’ attention. And vice-versa with the story itself. The story undoubtedly could've held its own with no sex scenes at all. It was a great balance.
As we know it's a series, and one common concern about the end of a book in a series is cliffhangers, I'll put your mind (sort of) at ease. There's only a very minor cliffhanger, in the fact that the story for this book was wrapped up, but there was a set up that leaves us looking forward to what happens in the next book. In my opinion, the end of the book did fall a little flat, and could've had a little more excitement, but there was an end that set up the next book without killing you like the end of a Walking Dead episode, or the last season of Game of Thrones.
I'm really, really looking forward to what happens next with all of these characters and their search for ancient history, the extreme danger they'll no doubt be in, and more super sexiness that I know we'll be seeing too!