Saturday, October 31, 2015

Marked by an Assassin (Eternal Mates #8) by Felicity Heaton Review

Marked by an Assassin by Felicity Heaton

When I say that I love this series, I mean that I LOVE this series! Heaton has created a world that will suck you in and with each additional installment just gets better and more complex. MARKED BY AN ASSASSIN continues the series with another great pairing. Harbin and Aya are connected in a way that is surprising when it unfolds but adds great dimension to what is happening between them. They are both scarred and distrustful for very good reasons. Harbin is more feral than civilized and Aya is trying to be as detached as possible while gaining what she once thought was rightful vengeance. However, with Archangel nothing is at it seems and as the lies and deceptions unfold Aya struggles to come to terms with her part in what is happening to fellow shifters. 


It's always a little hard for me to write reviews for books that I really enjoy because many of the best parts are spoilers. If you are a paranormal romance fan this series really is a must read. As with the others, MARKED BY AN ASSASSIN is full of intrigue, action, and the struggle of fated mates coming together despite tough obstacles. Yes, there is enough of the steamy romance in there as well. 

Just like with the others there are secondary characters in this one that I now look forward to getting their own stories down the line. I stand with my fellow ETERNAL MATES fans in wanting Bleu's story-we ALL do! Now I also want to find out more about Hartt and Feury as well. When a man can help reach someone who is feared by everyone and is about to snap with a calming touch like Hartt can, that's a man I need to read more about. If you follow my reviews you know that I love myself some men who are a bit broken, slightly dangerous, and a little cray cray. Well, Feury has that covered in spades! Feury has a past and Bleu knows about it and I need much more of both of them.

Happy Reading!
Monica

**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
Synopsis

A snow leopard shifter exiled from his pride twenty years ago, Harbin treads the dark path of life as an assassin, driven by a hunger for vengeance, mercilessly hunting the Archangel members who attacked his kin, murdering his mother and sister.

When a new contract comes in and the mark is a snow leopard shifter, he can’t resist venturing into the mortal world on a personal mission to find out why one from a normally peaceful species now has a price on their head. What he finds in a rundown nightclub isn’t quite what he expects—a beautiful snow leopard female that awakens a fierce hunger inside him.

Aya has spent seventeen years living in London, immersed in the underbelly of the fae world, keeping her head down and her tail out of trouble. But when trouble walks right into her life in the form of a sinfully handsome, dangerous assassin, she is pulled into a whirlwind of events that stir up the nightmares of her past but might just give her a shot at putting those ghosts to rest—if she can resist the dark allure of a male she knows is her fated mate.

Can Harbin and Aya resist the passionate fire that blazes between them as they chase the vengeance they both crave? Or will they surrender to their deepest desires?
Excerpt
“I’d pay double to see you go up against a shifter… and a cat no less. At least that Harbin guy isn’t around to hear about it.”
That stopped Harbin in his tracks and he frowned across at the two males, studying the brunet wolf to see if he was speaking the truth. A cat shifter?
He had turned towards them before he had even contemplated moving and was at the back of the couch where the wolf shifter lounged before he had even realised he had moved. He stared down at the pup and the male slowly lifted golden eyes to him, his expression falling slack and lips parting as he took him in.
Harbin couldn’t blame the kid for looking shocked at the sight of him. He rarely interacted with the other assassins, definitely never with the rookies, and he probably looked as if he had been dragged through the darkest reaches of Hell.
Which he had.
“Cat shifter?” he said and the male nodded dumbly. “Hartt has a job requiring the elimination of a cat shifter?”
The wolf gathered his wits and shot him a cocky smile, one that irritated Harbin because it said what the wolf wouldn’t. It asked whether he was hard of hearing or just plain crazy. He hadn’t lost his mind. Not yet anyway. He just wanted to be sure that he had heard things right, because in the close to twenty years that he had worked with Hartt as an assassin, there had never been a job involving a cat shifter.
The blond kid got off the other couch and quickly crossed to his friend, hunkering down beside him and bringing his mouth close to the wolf’s ear.
“What the hell are you doing? That’s Harbin… Hartt said not to mention it around him,” the blond whispered so low he practically mouthed the words, but Harbin’s sensitive ears picked them up.
Harbin narrowed his silver eyes on both males, his lips compressing into a thin line as he contemplated the only reason why Hartt would want to hand out the job before Harbin could hear about it.
The cat shifter was a snow leopard.
He growled, flashing short fangs at the males, and shoved away from the couches, limping quickly across the black floor towards the door in the corner of the room to his left that would lead him to Hartt’s office. He shoved it open, the slam of it hitting the black wall on the other side echoing around the room at his back and the corridor in front of him, and snarled as he picked up his pace. His left leg trembled under the strain but he gritted his teeth and pushed onwards, the fire burning up his blood keeping him going.
Someone had put a contract on a snow leopard shifter, one of his kind, and he wanted the details.
He wanted to know why Hartt wouldn’t give the job to him.
Silvery fur rippled over his forearms before he could stop it, a brief flash of his other form brought out by his agitation. He sucked down a breath and controlled it, his skin cooling as the fur disappeared.
It wasn’t as if he held any allegiance to his kin anymore. He had burned that bridge twenty years ago and there was no way in Hell of reconstructing the charred remains of it. The thought that Hartt believed he was incapable of dealing with a snow leopard shifter mark was insulting. He could be as methodical and removed from the situation as he always was. The rage that had consumed him in the aftermath of the event that had driven him from his pride had made sure of that. It had killed all of his softer emotions and only a hunger for bloodshed and death remained.
He passed several doors to other offices, his own included, his gaze locked on the black door at the end of the corridor ahead of him. If Hartt was in an interview, the assassin in question was about to get a rude interruption and shown the door in a not too friendly fashion.
Harbin slammed the flat of his left palm into the door and it flew open.
Hartt was instantly on his feet behind the broad ebony desk directly in front of Harbin, an obsidian blade clutched in his left hand and his skin-tight black armour sweeping over his body as his clothes evaporated. His violet eyes pinned on Harbin and his pointed ears flared back as he bared his fangs on a hiss.
The second recognition dawned in his gaze, he huffed and the blade disappeared, leaving his hand free so he could plough his fingers through his blue-black hair, pulling the longer lengths back from his face.
“It isn’t wise to barge in uninvited where elves are concerned.” Hartt slumped into his tall-backed black leather chair and blew out his breath as he dragged his hand over his face.
Harbin knew that, but he also didn’t care. His blood was burning too hot, running too fast. He wanted answers and he was going to get them.
“A snow leopard?” He grabbed the door and slammed it shut behind him.
Hartt slowly lifted his violet gaze to him and raised an eyebrow.
He also didn’t care that his chief didn’t approve of his aggressive behaviour. If they came to blows, it wouldn’t be the first time. Hell, it wouldn’t be the hundredth time. He had lost count of how many times he and Hartt had fought over something. Hartt was as hot-headed and hot-blooded as Harbin. Sometimes they just needed to blow off steam and the most trivial thing became something to fight over.
Nothing like a good brawl to release some tension.
“I’m not giving you the job.” Hartt held his gaze and then slowly raked his eyes down the length of him. “Have you looked in the mirror? You’re in no state to take on another mission right now.”
Harbin knew that, and he also didn’t give a damn.
A hot twinge rocketed up his left leg from his fractured tibia, as if his body was trying to emphasise Hartt’s point. Son of a bitch. He gritted his teeth and schooled his features, trying to hide the pain from Hartt. The elf merely sighed again.
“You need to rest and recuperate. Sit this one out.” Hartt straightened in his chair and began shifting papers around on his desk, a clear ‘you can leave now’ that Harbin chose to ignore.
This conversation wasn’t done.
It didn’t matter that he had just rolled back into the guild after tracking and eliminating multiple targets in a mission that had been demanding to say the least. There wasn’t another assassin in the guild who had the patience or balls to tackle such a job, one where they had to take out an entire party of demon mercenaries without alerting the others to the deaths of their comrades.
He had spent three weeks orchestrating it, slowly intervening to adjust the movements of each member of the group to his favour so he could separate them and deal with them individually but swiftly.
None in the guild had the strength to take down five demons of the Fourth Realm in one battle. Attempting to take them down one by one had been dangerous enough and difficult to say the very least. If they had grouped together, they would have easily overpowered him and sent him back to the guild in a box with their regards.
“You know you need your best tracker on this.” Harbin dropped his pack on the floor and eased down into the chair opposite Hartt, making it clear he wasn’t going to just leave quietly and forget this mission as his boss wanted.
Hartt’s violet eyes remained locked on what had to be a particularly interesting paper based on how much attention he was giving it.
“You don’t have an assassin here who can track like I can… and I know snow leopards. I’ll get the scent of the mark long before one of the others could find them without using their nose.”
“I don’t want you on this job. You have your orders, Harbin. Rest and recuperate.” Hartt deigned him with a quick glance, his sharp gaze pinning Harbin with a look that warned him to let it go.
It wasn’t going to happen.
“I’m taking this job.” Harbin settled both hands behind his head, masking his grimace as his left shoulder blazed in protest, and cupped his neck as he stared at Hartt. “And if you try to give it to someone else, I’ll hear about it and I’ll track them down and kill them.”
Hartt’s black eyebrows pinched in a frown. Harbin knew he was pushing his luck by threatening other members of the guild, but he needed to be back out there. He needed it.
Why?
He hadn’t crossed paths with a snow leopard in a long time. He had avoided them as best he could, spending most of his time in Hell and sticking to cities when he had to visit the mortal realm. He even avoided fae towns because they often had a small population of shifters residing in them.
Why was he so eager to place himself on a collision course with one now?
Hartt’s questioning look asked him the same thing, and he didn’t have an answer for the elf. It was just a need that burned inside him, a quiet voice that urged him to take the mission and discover why a snow leopard, one from a normally peaceful species, was the target.
That same quiet voice supplied that it was because he feared.
Harbin snorted at that.
He feared nothing.
No one.
Not anymore.
It was curiosity driving him. Plain and simple. He was curious to see what a snow leopard had done to make themselves the target of an assassination.
“Fine,” Hartt said, jolting Harbin back to the room. Before he could open his mouth to speak or move a muscle to leave the chair, Hartt’s expression turned flat and cold, silencing him and freezing him to the spot. “You get the job on the basis that it will be done as a team.”
Harbin growled. “I don’t need a fucking babysitter.”
Hartt flashed fangs at him. “You have one or you don’t get the job. Fuery is due to return. You’ll track the mark and we’ll meet you in five days, tracking you via your implant.”
Harbin stared across the black desk at the elf male. He had been on the verge of refusing to work with Fuery, a psychotic son of a bitch on the best of days, when Hartt had mentioned the royal ‘we’. Hartt was taking the job with him.
The bastard was coddling him.
He wanted to growl again at that but held it locked inside where his animal form shifted violently in response to his aggravation, wanting to tear into the male opposite him for daring to doubt him.
He drew in a deep breath to settle himself and blew it out slowly, finding a sliver of calm that he could cling to and that allowed him to see the reason for Hartt’s coddling in his purple eyes.
He was concerned and reluctant, and Harbin could understand that.
It had nothing to do with his current condition. Hartt knew his history. The elf had crossed paths with him at the darkest point in his life and Harbin owed him more than he had ever been able to put into words to tell him. Hartt had been the one to pick him up, give him a new place to call home, and a new purpose.
He had given him a new life when his old one had crumbled around him.
Harbin had spent two decades as an assassin, but he had also spent two decades devoted to tracking down and killing the people who had attacked his pride.
Archangel.
During those twenty years, he had slowly shifted from spending most of his time hunting Archangel members to spending most of his time carrying out assassination contracts on other targets. Hartt had been the one to guide him on that path, helping him track Archangel at first and then helping him let go of his past as best he could and move forward with his life.
Now, Harbin no longer lived to make Archangel pay. He lived to kill and he didn’t care who was a victim of his blades. He only cared about feeding his hunger. He craved the emotionless state that came before a kill. He had embraced the cold and methodical part of himself that allowed him to do his job without feeling a damned thing.
Without remembering the horrors of his past and that it was all his fault.
Harbin closed his eyes and ground his teeth, shunning the memories that tried to surface by focusing on his next mission. Forever looking forwards and never looking back at the ghosts that chased on his heels, the spectres of a time he didn’t want to remember. All that mattered was chasing the high of feeling nothing. Feeding the beast inside him. There was always a next mission. Another mark to put to the blade.
He slowly opened his silver eyes and fixed them on Hartt, the cold filling him as he shut down all of his feelings in preparation for the mission ahead.
The snow leopard was a mark and nothing more.
He would track them as Hartt requested, using his knowledge of his kind to his advantage.
And then he would kill them.

Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:
  • Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince-my review here
  • Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King-my review here
  • Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince-my review here
  • Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar-my review here
  • Book 5: Craved by an Alpha-my review here
  • Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat-my review here
  • Book 7: Taken by a Dragon-my review here
  • Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
  • Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior – coming soon!

Author Bio

Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | Pinterest | GoodReads

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