Title: Assassin’s Heart
Author: Sarah Ahiers
Date Started: April 5
Date Finished: April 7
Format: Hardcover from local library
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.
Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.
Okay, so I was really excited to read Assassin’s Heart because of the tones of Romeo and Juliet with a twist of the His Fair Assassin series thrown in. I’m a sucker when it comes to forbidden romances. Add in a strong female heroine and I thought for sure this was going to be one of the better books that I’ve read in a while. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Don’t get me wrong it does live up to the assassin’s hype, but Lea isn’t a strong heroine at all. In fact, one of the things that annoyed me about this book was that she constantly got her ass kicked. For someone who was from the First Family in Lovero she sure didn’t act like it. And I know that sometimes author’s have their heroine’s lose to make things more interesting, but every battle? Really? What a drag.
Then there is the pesky addition of the romance in this book. At first, it does start off as a little Romeo and Juliet with Lea being from the Saldana’s and Val being from the Da Vias’ and there is a torrid history between the two families that no one is allowed to speak of and has to deal with Lea’s uncle Marcello. But…it lost its punch after the fire that takes out the Saldana’s. Val actually becomes a dick and while Lea is looking for her revenge she comes across Les – whose full name I’m not going to even attempt to spell – who is an apprentice of her uncle’s in the art of being a clipper. They form a friendship that is actually something more on Les’s end, but Lea refuses to act on it because she feels guilty about what happened with her family the last time she fell in love.
And yes, the GUILT. At some point I kind of wished that Lea had attended a church service and confessed to one of the father’s about her ‘role’ in her family’s demise. Maybe then she wouldn’t have felt so damn guilty throughout the book. I mean, I get it. Her love for Val made her blind to when he stole her family house key and that’s how the Da Vias got in the night of the fire, but c’mon. You’re on the path for revenge. Store the guilt until you avenge it.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. For a book that sounded like it was going to be awesome, it was only average. The heroine is so caught up in her guilt and plans for revenge that she lets things get past her when she is trained better. Her ass gets constantly kicked and I’m really not surprised that she kicked the bucket. The added twist of the ghosts and serving one god was sort of interesting, but still… I don’t understand why this is labeled as a series on Goodreads considering everything was tied up pretty nicely.
Bookshelf worthy? If you’re into assassin’s and love stories then give it a shot, but otherwise move on.