Shadow. That's how I started out; all I was again. A casting of mottled dark. The real me, the me that knew happiness and light left with him.
This was a tough book to read. I mean, what can you expect with an opening like that? The ending of Blood Before Sunrise was a real kick in the gut. And as we begin a new installment in the Shaede Assassin series, Darian is still feeling the burn. Her beloved Tyler has left her and she has sunk into a debilitating depression. But her friends refuse to let her wallow any longer.
Raif and Xander pull her back into the Shaede world, pushing her to lead a protection detail for Anya. The two women have never gotten along, but Anya is pregnant and someone has been threatening her life. Darian has to pull herself together to keep the woman alive, while working to identify and eliminate the threat to her life.
Meanwhile, Tyler returns. But he's not alone. Is the beautiful woman with him Darian's replacement? Of course, that is Darian's immediate assumption. She doesn't deal with her fears in any healthy kind of way, unfortunately. I hated watching her suffer --and make unwise choices. But though Darian is growing, she is still emotionally stunted and her reactions are in keeping with the experiences that have made her into who she is.
I know this all sounds like a giant downer and you may be asking why you should subject yourself to such torture. Well, because it's delicious torture, that's why. Well, mostly. Darian has been through so much. I am desperate for her to find some happiness. And while I have never taken Xander seriously as possible contender for a love triangle, I actually found myself... softening toward him. My love for Tyler has been seriously tested. Whether intentional or not, he is the root of Darian's pain and he could take it away at any time. So why doesn't he? It fills me with so much angst. Angst I could only feel about characters I have become utterly invested in. I think if I were not able to read more of their story, my head would pop off. Or implode.
Amanda Bonilla delivers a fairly big shocker in the story. And despite all of the emotional turmoil, she keeps the story moving fast with plenty of action. The ending... wasn't what I wanted and there is much left... dangling. But Bonilla promises this won't be the end of the Shaede Assassin world, so I will try to remain calm.
If you haven't read this series, this is not the book to start with. Go back to the beginning and pick up Shaedes of Gray. It's good stuff. If you're already a fan of the books, you won't want to miss this one, even if it's hard on your heart.
Rating: B *ARC Provided by Signet Eclipse