I’d like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting me participate in this exciting tour event and Zebra – Kensington books for granting me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to see a list of all the blogs partaking in the tour, please click on the banner above.
Publisher: Zebra – Kensington
Date Released: May 31, 2016
Series: The Sentinels #3
Blessed and cursed by their hidden abilities, the Sentinels have no choice but to live, and love, on the edge of humanity…
The Sentinel assassin, Bas, is facing the greatest challenge of his outcast existence. His young daughter, Molly, has been kidnapped. But her disappearance has brought the return of her mother, Myst, whom Bas has never forgotten–or forgiven.
Haunted by a vision that she’s destined to create a weapon that will destroy thousands, Myst was never impulsive–until she met the irresistibly handsome Bas. But with the Brotherhood, the enemy of the high-bloods hunting for her, Myst had to stay on the run, to keep her child, and the world, safe. Now, with the most important thing in both their lives at stake, she and Bas must embark on a treacherous journey to save Molly, to confront the truth of Myst’s fate–and to face their fierce desire for one another.
I was worried when I first started reading that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as I had previous ones. Initially the two main characters grated on my nerves and I was finding it difficult to connect with the both of them. However, as the story progressed, I found myself sinking into the story more with each chapter and by the end thought it was pretty decent read, though a bit predictable. This is certainly a great addition to The Sentinels series and fans who enjoyed the previous two books will definitely want to read this one, but Blood Assassin is still by far my favorite book in the series.
The first thing I would like to point out to readers is that while I felt the previous two novels in the series could work as stand-alones in some ways, this novel takes up shortly after events in Blood Assassin and follows Bas and his daughter Molly, along with Molly’s mother Myst. There’s more of a connection between book two and this one than there was between books one and two. Ivy is starting to tie the series together and develop the overall series story arc while including the individual story arcs found within each novel. Questions just starting to be asked in the first two books are now becoming the focus as the High-Bloods and their Sentinels start to find answers and protect their people. I’m certainly curious to see where Ivy plans to go in future books for this series and am looking forward to book four when it comes out.
Having said that, while I had fun reading this novel, the fact that it took awhile for me to connect with and like the main characters and the fact that I managed to figure out the ending by the second chapter dampened my full enjoyment of the book. And while it still has the action that I’ve come to love in the series, and the chemistry between some of the characters is still scorching hot, it lacked the intense suspense that the other two books had. As I sit here writing this review I am discovering that it’s difficult to put into words my overall feelings for the novel, so please bear with me as I convey my thoughts.
Those readers who read the second novel in the series already know a bit about Bas. He’s an Assassin who has both a witch’s powers and a Sentinel’s strength. He’s also a law unto himself, as well as extremely arrogant, frustrating, and frankly he really got on my nerves. His initial behavior toward Myst made it hard for me to have any respect for him or sympathy, but as the story progressed my dislike for him started to lessen as I came to learn that he genuinely cares for Myst and worships his daughter Molly (the only trait he possessed that I actually gave him initial props for) and would do anything in his power to keep them safe. I won’t say that I like his character, but I will say that I have a level of understanding for him and grudging respect, which is more than I started out with. Myst was a hard character for me to connect with and having finished the book I’m still not entirely sure what my feels for her are. I can see why she made the choices she did with Molly when she was born, can understand her fears, but a part of me was a angry at her for thinking she could just walk back into her daughter’s life only to later walk out again a short time later. This was unacceptable to me, but then again, in the end she acted as she did in order to keep her daughter safe and I can’t fully fault her for that.
As far as Bas and Myst’s relationship is concerned there’s no question there is chemistry between them, but when they actually allow themselves to give in to their feelings it lacks the scorching connection that the previous books couples had. I shall admit that I was rather disappointed that I wasn’t feeling a lot of fire between them, and it felt to me like Ivy opted to scale back the heat a bit and shift it elsewhere. The true scorching relationship is between Wolfe (the Tagos) and Lana (the Mave). I’ve loved these two characters since I was introduced to them and I’m happy to see both of them playing a bigger role in each book. Dare I hope that one of these day’s we’ll get a story entirely devoted to them? Please? I actually found their relationship to be of more interest than Bas and Myst’s; it certainly made for some fun “will they/won’t they” moments. Also, would it be possible to have a book devoted to Kaede at some point? He’s a character who’s managed to catch my interest and I’d very much like to be able to learn more about him. Please?
Unlike the previous books I didn’t feel as though the plot had as many twists and turns, though that could be because I had figured out what the answer to Myst’s prophecy was by the end of the second chapter. And if I had any doubts that my initial thoughts were wrong, I had them confirmed halfway through my reading, so by the time I got to the end I was more curious to see how everything was going to play out rather than being taken by surprise by the turn of events. There was certainly enough action in the story to keep me reading, though again it was more because I wanted to see how everyone would get out of the positions they were in rather than because I was on the edge of my seat.
The one element to this book that I found to be surprisingly enjoyable was the antagonist. Stella is one of those characters who you instantly are on guard with because while she comes across as being shallow and manipulative, she’s also rather cunning. When I first met her I was tempted to write her off as not being that big of a deal, but as the story progressed I was impressed with her. The woman has some serious nerves and while her downfall was inevitable, I was rather sad to see her go. Loved the interrogation scene between her and Lana.
So okay, I know this review is all over the place, but when everything is said and done there were aspects to this book that I enjoyed and there were those that left me a bit disappointed. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t a decent read, and I fully believe that most readers and fans of Ivy’s books will enjoy this one. For me this is one of those moments where my own hype over the series after the last book was just too much and so my expectations were not as realistic as they should have been. Sigh.
Pacing toward the long bar that was set near the leather sectional couch, Bas grimly poured himself a scotch. Tomorrow he would have the suite cleaned from top to bottom. Maybe that would get rid of the lingering scent of honeysuckle.
He was on his second drink when he heard the sound of approaching footsteps and he whirled to study the woman who came to a hesitant halt in the center of the room.
His brows snapped together. He told himself it was be-cause she was an unwelcome interloper and not because she looked as delicate and ethereal as a moonbeam.
A very sexy moonbeam.
She wrapped her arms around her slender waist, making a visible effort to meet his gaze.
“There’s no need to glare at me,” she chided.
He set aside his empty glass, smoothing his face to an unreadable mask.
It was something that should have come easily. He was a cold, ruthless assassin, wasn’t he? Unfortunately, this woman had a unique talent of getting under his skin.
In more ways than one.
“You’ve been screwing with my daughter’s mind,” he said between clenched teeth, still unnerved by the revelation that this woman had been speaking with Molly without his knowledge.
Her chin jutted to a defensive angle. “I’ll admit that I’ve often communicated with Molly, but I was hardly screwing with her mind. We talked like any other mother and daughter.”
He narrowed his gaze. “You knew very well that I was unaware of your telepathic powers. You deliberately used that lack of awareness to take advantage.”
“Molly was the one to reach out to me.”
His scowl deepened. “How? You’re not trying to claim she’s a telepath?”
“No, but I could sense her,” Myst muttered. “She needed to know that her mother loved her.”
“A mother who loves her child doesn’t abandon her.”
She flinched at his deliberate attack. “I didn’t . . .”
“Didn’t what?” “Nothing.”
He studied her pale face.
She was hiding something. But what?
“Why are you here?”
“You know why.” She hunched a shoulder. “I’m here to see my daughter.”
“Why?” he pressed again. “Four years ago you left her on my bed and walked away without looking back. Surely you can understand my confusion why you were struck
with a burning need to see her now.”
Her lovely face, which looked far too young to be a mother, flushed at his accusation.
“Molly was traumatized when she was kidnapped.” His breath hissed between his teeth.
The memory of Molly’s kidnapping was still a raw wound that made him think about killing things.
“You don’t have to remind me,” he snapped. “We were all traumatized when she was taken.”
The velvet-brown eyes widened with something that might have been confusion. “I’m not blaming you.”
“Then what are you doing?” he asked.
“Trying to explain that after Molly was taken she reached out to me in terror,” she said, her voice trembling as if she’d been as tormented as he’d been by her abduction. “She couldn’t tell me where she was, or who’d taken her, so all I could do was try to give her comfort and swear to her that I would come and visit if she would be a good girl and do everything they told her to do until you could come for her.”
Her soft words should have infuriated him. What right did she have to make promises to his daughter?
Instead, he went hunter-still. “You were so certain I would find her?”
“Yes,” she said without hesitation.
He struggled to keep his face devoid of emotion at the insane flare of pleasure that raced through him at her absolute confidence in his skills.
What the hell was wrong with him?
It wasn’t as if this woman’s opinion mattered, did it?
“Is that why it took you a week to get here?” he snapped, angered by his ridiculous reaction to this female. “Or were you just too busy to care that your daughter was in danger?”
Her head snapped back, an unexpected fury tightening her delicate features.
“Don’t ever say I don’t care about Molly,” she spit out, her hands clenched into tiny balls. “I left the second I knew she’d been taken. If I hadn’t had to make sure I wasn’t being followed I would have—”
She bit off her impulsive words, stiffly turning to walk toward the bank of windows.
“Followed?” he instantly pounced. Was this a trick? A lame excuse for not rushing to help in the search for Molly?
“It doesn’t matter.”
Bas kept his gaze locked on the fragile profile reflected in the window.
“It does if you’re in danger.”
She hunched her shoulders, a visible shiver shaking her body.
“All I’m asking is a few days to spend with my daughter,” she said in low tones.
Bas was moving before he could halt his forward progress, grabbing her shoulders so he could turn her to meet his searching gaze.
“I want to know why you think you’re being followed,” he insisted.
Her ridiculously thick lashes lowered to hide her expressive eyes. A sure sign she was about to lie.
“You’re always in hiding,” she muttered. “I didn’t want to accidentally give away your location.”
Her jaw tightened, but her gaze stayed lowered. “Can I stay?”
His grip eased on her shoulders, his fingers compulsively stroking the satin-soft skin of her back.
“For how long?” he demanded.
“A few days.”
“And then you intend to disappear into the ether once again?”
Some undefinable emotion clenched his stomach at her blunt admission that she couldn’t be bothered to spend more than a handful of hours with her child.
His hand moved from her shoulder to grasp her chin, tilting back her head so he could study her delicate features.
The face of an angel.
How the hell could she be so cruel toward her only child?
Unless . . .
“Do you have another family?” he abruptly demanded.
She blinked, as if confused by his question. “Do you mean parents or siblings?”
His lips thinned. “I’m asking if you have a husband and pack of kids. Is that why you treat Molly like a dirty secret?”
“Of course not,” she breathed, a genuine outrage darkening her eyes. “And I don’t treat Molly like a dirty secret.”
Dropping his hands as if he’d been scalded, Bas took a step back.
He didn’t want to feel a sharp-edged relief that he’d been wrong in his suspicion that Myst was already claimed by another male.
He didn’t want to feel anything for this woman.
“No,” he said abruptly.
“No what?” she asked in bewilderment.
“No, you can’t stay,” he informed, retreating behind his icy composure. “It isn’t fair to Molly.”
She sucked in a sharp breath, her expression stricken. “A visit from her mother isn’t fair?”
“You can’t just appear and disappear from her life when-ever you want.” He shrugged. “It’s too confusing.”
“All I’m asking is a few days.”
“Bas . . .” She held out a slender hand. “Please.”
Her soft, pleading expression didn’t touch him, he fiercely assured himself.
He was turning away and heading out of the room because he needed to check on Molly, not because he was trying to avoid the blatant yearning on her beautiful face.
And the strange emotion that was currently twisting his gut into tight knots wasn’t guilt.
“Lock the door on your way out,” he commanded, refusing to glance at her.
“I’ll return in the morning,” she said, the words soft but stubborn.
His steps never faltered. “You’re wasting your time.”
“It’s my time to waste,” she muttered. “I’ll be back.”
Bas had reached the end of the short hallway when he heard the sound of Myst’s retreating footsteps, followed by the closing of the door.
About the Author:
Alexandra Ivy graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.
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