To Mate an Assassin by Ceri Grenelle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
THAT was killer! I have read a lot of shifter books lately but Grenelle’s To Mate an Assassin was unlike any I’ve read before. Well, actually it’s Cymbeline that’s unlike any shifter I’ve encountered before and it’s what made the book absolutely fascinating for me. Without revealing the secret of how she was chosen to be an Incendiary, Cymbeline was born human and trained to be an assassin whose sole purpose was to eliminate those shifters who were deemed dangerous by the Alphar – the leader of the weres for a particular territory. Once she has mastered her training as a human, she was then turned into a were. In Cymbeline’s case, her were form is a wolf and she is the Incendiary for the North American Alphar. And she’s pretty badass when it comes to taking out the bad guy. But when her latest target shows no signs of being a rogue or being evil, she questions her orders only to learn that the ruling Alphar is no longer Riddan and she has no idea of who has been issuing her orders for the past three years – especially when the current Alphar laughs at the idea of the Incendiary being more than a scary fairy tale.
I have to say that I absolutely loved Cymbeline and Kerrick’s first meeting. It was already apparent that the woman was far more dangerous than her petite size suggested and yet Kerrick put his manhood in jeopardy when he ignored her claim of who she was and then attempted to claim her as his mate. Even funnier is that as impactful as that lesson was, he makes a similar mistake later in the book that leaves him aching in the dangly bits and not in the good way – I suppose it’s a good thing the Alphar is sterile. But I digress. Once Cymbeline’s identity has been established, Kerrick continues to treat her as a prisoner because he’s afraid she’ll leave to prevent their mating. As expected, his decision to do so backfires spectacularly and Cymbeline leaves at her first real opportunity to do so, but not for the reason he expected. When she returns, Cymbeline is not alone and Kerrick finds his family growing by leaps and bounds. And he welcomes it and the challenge that mating with Cymbeline presents. But Kerrick isn’t the North American Alphar for no reason and he’s just as set on making her his as she is in avoiding it. Boy do the sparks fly between these two!
Grenelle does an excellent job of creating interesting and engaging characters whose lives are closely interwoven because of how Kerrick runs his headquarters and his territory. It is Kerrick’s easy acceptance of Irisi that made me love him. His power as an Alphar was impressive and I loved the societal structure the author created. That Kerrick actually lamented the fact that as Alphar he did not have the luxury to spending time getting to know his mate (i.e., romance her) demonstrated how well the author kept the book on point when it came to the action. Grenelle balances the developing relationship between Kerrick and Cymbeline beautifully with the impending war between the weres and the Vryks (vampires) so that both elements get the right amount of page time. The battle at the end of the book was intense, especially once Cymbeline’s true nature was unleashed. That Kerrick was proud of her rather than cringing from her true nature was perfect. Just as good was the Epilogue and how it set the stage for the next book in the series. I loved To Mate an Assassin and look forward to reading more of Grenelle’s work, especially the next book in the Lost Alphars series. I cannot wait!
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Check out the To Mate an Assassin (Lost Alphars #1) by Ceri Grenelle blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.
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