Review: Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

Review: Blood Assassin by Alexandra IvyBlood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

Series: #2 The Sentinels
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Kensington, Zebra Books on December 30, 2014
Pages: 433
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars  

After enjoying my introduction to the Sentinel World and another wonderful series by this author in Born in Blood, I was eager to continue with the series and read about another Sentinel’s story. I like the blend of paranormal, intrigue action, and passion in these stories. This second book was no exception.

I’m not sure about the rest of the series, but these two definitely need to be read in order. Both the hero, Fane, and the heroine, Serra, were introduced as minor characters in the previous book. The events of this book begin nearly as soon as the last one finished and the beginning of this one is sparked from that one both the character arcs and some ongoing series arcs.

The story begins with Fane, the lethal Guardian Sentinel, at a loss after the high born he guarded for so many years begins her new life with her husband Guardian Sentinel. He is decided that he needs to return to the Sentinel training role he had before and leave behind the woman he dreams about and loves. In his mind, he is giving her up for her own good as his life is dangerous and takes him away a lot, but in Serra’s mind, Fane is just issuing one more crushing rejection after she has put herself out there for him over and over. This time, really was the last time. No more. She’s done letting Fane, intentionally or not, stomp on her heart. She will move on even if it kills her.

In the meantime, a shadowy secretive rogue high born brings Serra too him by a compulsion and issues her an ultimatum. Help him find his abducted child or he will allow the poison he has put inside her body to activate and kill her. Any attempt to seek help from her fellow Valhalla highborns or Sentinels will result in the same. He is desperate and there is more at stake than just his missing child. Unfortunately, the rogue doesn’t anticipate that Serra has a very dangerous protector who tracked her and will be staying right there with her until the rogue releases her from the poison. Serra is glad to have Fane there, but is determined to see his arrival to aid her as anything, but love. Fane knew the moment that Serra disappeared that he had made a huge mistake. How could he have even thought about separating from her? Serra is his- his to protect, his to care for and his to love- and the rogue will find that his days are numbered as soon as Serra is able to find the little girl with her psychic ability. Meanwhile, others and their activities move forward with their own plans that are on course for Armageddon if they are not stopped.

This one presented so many actions and threads to keep my mind busy and my attention that I couldn’t get lazy as I read. The book didn’t drag, but I confess that some threads were more intriguing than others for me. I learned that sometimes the smallest thing can be a big deal later on. Like a really minor character from a previous book, Myst the archivist, red flagged for me when some mysterious and tantalizing details crop up. Then there is the growing role of the secret normal human organization set to take out all the highbloods (magical and gifted humans) along with the investigation of the temple in the desert that was revealed in book one. Add onto these things, the ongoing and growing plot of Wolfe and the Mave’s relationship and that doesn’t even include the current main characters. There is also the insertion of more Sentinel lore with the intro to the other rogue high blood groups and the assassins. Yeah, lots going on here.

And that leads me to the hero and heroine. I liked them individually- Fane was all I hoped for after seeing the huge, trained warrior-protector who really cared for the woman he guarded. He was reared in a monastery without the benefit of familial love and only a harsh, strict regime, but yet he cares deeply and loves Serra passionately. He doesn’t believe that he is a good bet for a long-term satisfying relationship so he seeks to do the right thing by Serra and not entrap her to him. Can’t fault his motives even though he really wasn’t giving her enough credit. At least not the Serra I met in the first book. Now, the Serra of this book maybe he had a point. Her about face in personality made me wonder if she could handle him being out of the room from her let alone out doing his job as a warrior Sentinel.

Serra didn’t make sense to me once Fane changed his mind and decided to quit resisting their relationship. She’s this tough, confident, kickbutt woman with strong psychic powers who is gorgeous, brazen and knows her mind. She is determined to get her guy even if nefarious means are needed. He frustrates her and keeps her on her toes. He’s the only guy that she can’t just waggle her hips or give the come hither look and he comes. Serra’s a cocky one so it was a nice balance that Fane was attracted, but not slobbering at her heels too. But then, as soon as she does have his attention, she turns into this insecure needy type that starts dinking around throwing up emotional walls and making excuses that he doesn’t love her and that this is just duty, etc. Not once has Fane lied or given her less than the truth so why she suddenly can’t seem to believe a word he says makes no sense to me especially when her actions made it clear that she both trusted and loved him. Fortunately, they are kept really busy on their mission so I didn’t spend a lot of time with her doing her wishy washy thing.

In the end, this was another exciting installment in the series. That teaser at the tail end will drive me nuts until I get the next installment. It wasn’t a cliffhanger just this twist that leaves things in an interesting place. I would recommend this one and the series to those who enjoy paranormal romance involving witches and gifted humans or X-Men style spicy romance stories.

My thanks to Kensington Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I love paranormal spicy series ! I think I’ve got the first novel, by the way, so I hope I’ll get to it soon. Great review 😉

    • Thanks, Iza!
      I saw the Amazon sale for the first one and snagged it too.

  • It would appear as though you enjoyed this novel slightly more than my associate blogger, Lorna. Her review posts tomorrow BTW. You two should compare notes. 😉 I keep meaning to give Alexandra Ivy’s writing a go, but unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day, and UF always trumps PNR for me.

    • I did like it. I preferred the first book of the series. I really like her Guardians of Eternity series.

  • Shari Delighted Read

    I am reading book one now and getting kind of bored. It isn’t keeping my interest like I hoped. I love the world Ivy has built and I have always wanted to read some of her stuff so thought a new series would work better than a long one. Just not sure I like the characters. I don’t hate them, just think they are blah. At about 40% I am ready for the conclusion already which isn’t really great to think.

    • ah, bummer! I thought it was the better of the two. Haha!

  • I love her books but haven’t read this one yet. I’m loving that cover though. Thanks for the great review.

    • Oh yeah, the people on the covers definitely look convincing as dangerous types.

  • I loved the twist at the end too…I just can’t wait for the next book, and I just need to read the first book in the series…I am totally hooked on this author after reading this one. Hope you have a wonderful new years!!!

    • Thanks Renee! You have a Happy New Years too.
      Book one was on sale at Amazon last I checked.
      Oh yes, the twist has me ready for book three. I was glad that I liked these especially when I found out her last Guardians of Eternity book comes out in the Spring. So bummed.

  • Interesting! I’ve still not managed to try her books but I really would like her to be one of my New To Me’s in 2015. That’s good to know about reading in order. I’ve gotten lax about that from doing review books on the blog and it can really bite you sometimes.

    • Oh me too, but I read her Guardians of Eternity series so I knew better. She tends to be one that starts the new couple in the book before and continue them into their own book. She likes to sneak in little things here and there that seem insignificant, but come out later as significant to the series arc. Not my top five PNR, but definitely up there.

  • I’m not a fan of that cover. Still it sounds like an interesting enough story, I read a couple of books in her Guardian of Eternity series and loved them. Maybe, I’ll have to give her another go soon.

    rocking review Sophia 🙂

    • Yeah, I kept staring at that cover too and not in a good way. Not the worst by far, but lets just say that I liked book one’s cover better.

      This one has a few awkwards, but I think its going to smooth out once it gets going- or so I hope.

  • I’m with Sharonda, I’m not a fan of that cover. As kickass as Serra sounds, why put her BEHIND a man 🙁 sigh. I haven’t read any of Alexandra’s book as yet. They do seem involved though and I like an author who can successfully build a world in PNR. Great review Sophia!

    • Thanks, Nelle!

      Yes, cover would get a thumbs down from me too. I started reading her Guardians of Eternity years ago and loved it. It is exciting like many of the brotherhood type series out there, but has a bit different tone and included some slight different world building.