Love is her enemy…until his beast sets her free.
Cymbeline Kendall’s life is quiet, solitary—until a letter appears in her P.O. box. Then she becomes an Incendiary, a human chosen at birth to be trained to strike like lightning to take out the most dangerous of the Werekind, then fade back into the shadows.
She is a weapon only to be used by the leader of North American shifters. But when she learns the Alphar was unseated three years ago, she sets out to find who’s been pulling her trigger.
Kerrick Masterson has borne the burden of leadership for only a short time, yet he already feels the Alphar power tempting his soul toward the insanity that destroyed his predecessor. He has no time for the woman who breaks into his compound claiming to be his Incendiary, but his beast insists he make the time—for his mate.
In one searing, soul-consuming breath, everything Cymbeline was taught to believe is ripped away. Yet the mystery of who’s been sending her orders remains…and finding the answer could lead to all-out war.
Warning: Contains an assassin who doesn’t tolerate those who hurt the weak, and a shifter leader determined to unlock his new mate’s repressed emotions—even if that puts his balls at risk. Explicit sex, violence, and references to abuse that could be rough on sensitive readers
THAT was killer! I have read a lot of shifter books lately but Grenelle’s To Mate an Assassin was unlike any I’ve read before. Well, actually it’s Cymbeline that’s unlike any shifter I’ve encountered before and it’s what made the book absolutely fascinating for me. Without revealing the secret of how she was chosen to be an Incendiary, Cymbeline was born human and trained to be an assassin whose sole purpose was to eliminate those shifters who were deemed dangerous by the Alphar – the leader of the weres for a particular territory. Once she has mastered her training as a human, she was then turned into a were. In Cymbeline’s case, her were form is a wolf and she is the Incendiary for the North American Alphar. And she’s pretty badass when it comes to taking out the bad guy. But when her latest target shows no signs of being a rogue or being evil, she questions her orders only to learn that the ruling Alphar is no longer Riddan and she has no idea of who has been issuing her orders for the past three years – especially when the current Alphar laughs at the idea of the Incendiary being more than a scary fairy tale.
I have to say that I absolutely loved Cymbeline and Kerrick’s first meeting. It was already apparent that the woman was far more dangerous than her petite size suggested and yet Kerrick put his manhood in jeopardy when he ignored her claim of who she was and attempted to claim her as his mate. Even funnier is that as impactful as that lesson was, he makes a similar mistake later in the book that leaves him aching in the dangly bits and not in the good way – I suppose it’s a good thing the Alphar is sterile. But I digress. Once Cymbeline’s identity has been established, Kerrick continues to treat her as a prisoner because he’s afraid she’ll leave to prevent their mating. As expected, his decision to do so backfires spectacularly and Cymbeline leaves at her first real opportunity to do so, but not for the reason he expected. When she returns, Cymbeline is not alone and Kerrick finds his family growing by leaps and bounds. And he welcomes it and the challenge that mating with Cymbeline presents. But Kerrick isn’t the North American Alphar for no reason and he’s just as set on making her his as she is in avoiding it. Boy do the sparks fly between these two!
Grenelle does an excellent job of creating interesting and engaging characters whose lives are closely interwoven because of how Kerrick runs his headquarters and his territory. It is Kerrick’s easy acceptance of Irisi that made me love him. His power as an Alphar was impressive and I loved the societal structure the author created. That Kerrick actually lamented the fact that as Alphar he did not have the luxury to spending time getting to know his mate (i.e., romance her) demonstrated how well the author kept the book on point when it came to the action. Grenelle balances the developing relationship between Kerrick and Cymbeline beautifully with the impending war between the weres and the Vryks (vampires) so that both elements get the right amount of page time. The battle at the end of the book was intense, especially once Cymbeline’s true nature was unleashed. That Kerrick was proud of her rather than cringing from her true nature was perfect. Just as good was the Epilogue and how it set the stage for the next book in the series. I loved To Mate an Assassin and look forward to reading more of Grenelle’s work, especially the next book in the Lost Alphars series. I cannot wait!