He wants to forget
West is an archangel’s assassin delivering justice to supernatural creatures who break the law. Not a straightforward job because he also has to absorb the memories of those he kills. Even worse, West is breaking the law himself in an attempt to free his brother from hell. If he doesn’t succeed before his archangel boss finds out, West will be joining his sibling.
He wants to remember
A young guy wakes in a London park with his memories gone. He has no idea who he is, or where he comes from. A bracelet engraved with the single word Tao is the only clue to his identity. With no sign of his memory returning, he drifts into a life on the streets. Begging is his only way to survive.
Two worlds collide
When Tao returns West’s stolen wallet, West offers to buy him a coffee. Tao delights in the chance to sit down with a good-looking guy until his instincts tell him to run away. Fast. West is surprised when Tao flees, considering how much he’d been mentally urging him to stay. Is he losing his touch or is Tao more than a scruffy young man down on his luck?
Only one way to find out.
Archangel's Assassin was almost perfect. I do love Barbara Elsborg's paranormal novels. I like her mix of fairies, demons, and angels and her storytelling is so engaging, I could hardly put this one down.
West is an assassin, working for the Archangel Raphael. West is kind of bitter, but does his job because he's good at killing and and it gives his anger an outlet. Besides, it's better than being in Hell, right? He was a Special Forces sniper, when he was alive and in the military, and he killed whom he was told and learned to live with it, or at least that's what he told himself. Personally, I have my doubts. I think he just didn't let himself think about it. West doesn't think he's a good guy. He feels like he let his mother down and he feels like he failed his brother. Which is why he's moonlighting for the demon that promised to release his brother from Hell, if only he delivers enough souls. Ah, West...
Tao doesn't know who he is. He remembers nothing past two months ago when he awakened on a park bench. His only clue as to what his name was was a bracelet with "Tao" engraved on it. It's close enough to a name, anyway, so he took it. Living rough is hard when your soul isn't tough. Tao just wants to live and be happy. Begging for money is soul-sucking and so he only does what he must. But there is more to Tao than what you see. He knows pretty much any flower by name (including the Latin), and he can occasionally make things appear.
After a bit of a rocky start to their relationship, I really loved their romance. In fact, my only real niggle with this story is that there was a while there when I didn't much like West. He ran hot and cold and the first time he had sex with Tao, it was cold. I did not like that, at all. Tao is so happy and sweet, he deserves more than that.
West was trying to protect his heart, though, and he felt like he didn't deserve to be happy, so it took time for Tao to chip away at the wall around West's heart. And when he did -- I loved West. Because, you see, he is a good guy who would sacrifice himself for those he loves, and Tao sees it.
I enjoyed watching the story unfold, too, and finding out who Tao really is and seeing West grow as a person. And though their separation gutted me just a little, I was glad that it never felt contrived. Plus, they do get their glorious happy ever after...after that separation ended.
Archangel's Assassin reminded me why I enjoy this author's work. She does paranormal just right.
ARC of Archangel's Assassin was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
Get the book: