Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.
Oh man, this is a real tough one to rate. I thoroughly enjoyed about 90% of the book however I just was not on board with the romance, and it’s marketed as a fantasy romance. If the romance was removed from this book (or even with another of the males) it would have been an easy 4.5 to 5.
Maxym M. Martineau created an absolutely beautiful world, full of magnificent and wonderful beasts. This could have been a book about Leena travelling the world taming beasts and capturing hearts and I would have been happily along for the ride.
Leena is a strong, empathetic individual who has an innate connection to the world and creatures around her. Noc is … there? I got to around 75% of the book and I still didn’t feel any type of way about him, which isn’t a positive when he is meant to be the LI of the story. I get that he’s being portrayed as a broody assassin, however I don’t feel like I ever really got to know who he was or what his end goals were. I also feel like while the romance strengthened Noc, it was came across as a weakness for Leena.
Oz and Calem were absolutely beautiful and I wanted to see more of them. Oz reminded me of one of my all time favourite characters and I thoroughly enjoyed that comparison.
There were a few tropes that I cringed at, others enjoy them but they’re not for me. I’d love to never hear or read the word mate again.
I would recommend this book purely to meet Effie, the Laharocks and every other beautiful beast.
*thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.