A fate worse than death . . .
Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.
Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.
Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her team were left on an outpost to die under a barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But if she doesn’t bring Bastien in, her sister will pay the ultimate price. Now she has to find some way to betray her former wingman (and fiance) before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms.
Yet as she tries to do right by her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to the entire Tavali nation. If she hands him over, three nations fall. If she doesn’t, her entire family dies. Their fates are all in her hands, and time for all of them is quickly running out. dfdfd
Rating: ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ (4.5)
Just for the record, the book cover synopsis totally lies because Ember NEVER betrays Bastien in any way. Admittedly she broke up with him earlier before his uncle destroyed the family in the quest for his own greed and family, but that’s not really betraying the man as confusing and breaking his heart because he doesn’t understand why she does what she does. Now be prepared that I may be dropping SPOILERS since I’m not quite sure how I can explain why this Sherrilyn Kenyon book got less than a perfect score for me when that’s what she usually gets on my personal rating system.
Ember’s actions at the beginning of the story are one of a woman scared that her man is going to hate her for screwing up his life by getting him disinherited. Disinherited because while Bastien’s family tends to be alright-ish for the most part, they’re royal snobs and think less of Ember because she’s a plebian or a commoner. You would think at least Bastien’s mother who is known to dote on her baby boy, would get over her snobbery, but nope. Add that to the fact that his older brother is a jerk who comes on to his brother’s girlfriend and then threatens her and her family if she ever tells Bastien (lovely brother), you can see why she’s not too thrilled to become in-laws or hurt the man she loves by causing him to lose to be disinherited.
Plus she’s preggers. Yep we have one of those stories where Bastien later finds out and is faced with a mini-Bastien who his mother names Florian or Rian for short. Poor kid, it makes you wonder if Ember was taking lessons from Dancer Hauk and Darling Cruel’s parents on what to name your kid to ensure the greatest embarrassment. Not that I can really say much since if I ever had a son, the poor kid would be named Draco (and would probably be in fights after the kids his age got old enough to read Harry Potter…).
Anyways, it seems like Bastien is the old decent member of his immediate family who’s not an ass although the female members are better then the men and he does find himself with a decent baby brother (halfsies because apparently, daddy couldn’t be faithful to mama; those darn pre-arranged royal marriages). But I’m getting sidetracked. A portion of this book is flashbacks that we’ve read in previous books where Bastien made an appearance, specifically Fury and Legend, but the author goes and gives more detail as the focus is on Bastien.
Honestly, while I did enjoy the book, I felt Bastien and Ember’s story could have more fleshed out and the ending of the villains of the piece was a bit of a letdown. We now have a name to Syn’s bitch mom (yeah she’s still a bitch because of what she did to him and how she still hasn’t tried to make a relationship with him and his family) and there is hint of drama with Kyr, Maris and Jafir’s big brother. Considering what we learned about him in the previous book, I’m thinking that it’s possible that he will be one of those characters to be redeemed in his own book. I mean we all thought Jullien was an ass until Legend and then now we have his side and I love the big male and feel bad for all he went through.
Ah well. Now I’m off to binge watch some movies before I have to settle down and binge read some multicultural youth literature for a class I’ll be taking in May, which is a 3-week that was condensed from it’s original 15 weeks so it’s basically going to be hell on earth trying to get all the work done, plus the work of the other 2 classes I’m doing. What can I say, I must be masochistic….