So apparently this is the 5th book in a series. I didn't know that and I haven't read any of the other books in the series. I can guarantee I will go about rectifying that oversight at the first available opportunity. The book is supposed to be a standalone and I believe it is. Since I haven't read any of the other books, I can't tell you if there are series spoilers contained in this book. My advice is to just start reading the series from book 1. If they are all as good as this book, you can't go wrong and you'll get to this one eventually. If the first four books suck (I don't think they do), I apologize in advance for leading you in that direction.
First thing first- Jackie Ashenden is just a really good writer. Read any of my reviews. I sometimes say that authors are good writers but not all the time. If i say it, it's because the writing really stood out to me. From like the first few chapters I was completely sucked into this book. The writing was seamless. By that I mean that I couldn't find the thread between the story the author was telling and reality. I was just transported into the story for a few hours at a time and forgot reality. Good writing is really underrated. A so-so writer can't save a shaky plot but a really good writer can transform an entire reading experience.
The story and the characters were brilliant. I'm not going to run down a plot summary of this book. I don't think it's necessary and I don't want to give away any of the twists. But here's what I will tell you, the characters, Jericho and Temple are intriguing, compelling and thrilling. Temple is a 5 foot 2 inch assassin with Shirley Temple curls. Who knew? Temple has a one track mind and the track is vengeance. She's been so obsessed with vindicating her sister that she has kind of gone dead inside. When she meets Jericho, it's on purpose and it's supposed to be just another step on her path to revenge. Temple has become so attached to revenge and so detached from reality that she is actually hoping that her next kill presents a challenge just so something can wake her up inside. (which reminds me that this whole book reminded me of that Evanescence song "Bring Me to Life").
Then there is Jericho. He is in the same emotional space as Temple. Jericho has been so focused on ending a global human trafficking operation that he has done nothing else for 15 years. Jericho is beautiful and dangerous but from the beginning it's clear that he is also dead inside. When Jericho meets Temple, he is drawn to her for the same reason she is looking forward to her mission, he senses a challenge. People have tried many times to kill Jericho but nobody but Temple has ever made him curious.
The thing that sucked me into this story and kept me hook was the emotional war between Temple and Jericho. Both of these characters hate that the other exposes their desire. Both try desperately to reassert their indifference. Jericho and Temple both know that the other is dangerous. Temple won't walk away because she just doesn't care about her safety anymore. Jericho won't walk away because he can't shut down his need to know what is drawing him to Temple. And so the book is a constant push-pull between the two. Add in some sexy sex, a lot of suspense and a great supporting cast and this is a book I recommend you not pass up!
**ARC provided by Publisher**