Sunday Love Affair is a new feature here at Books of Love which spotlights Romance and Urban Fantasy titles. I like reading them. I was inspired by Parajunkee and Book Addict Patti by their Romancing the Weekends and realize I miss reading Romances and Urban Fantasy. I've been wanting to spotlight them as well, so decided to start a feature.
Oh Button was made by me and Jennifer The Book Nympho did the text.
This Week's Selection is:
Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby
Author: Amy Raby
Series: Hearts and Thrones
Genre: UF, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, etc genre-bender
Publisher: Signet-aka Penguin
Pub Date: April 2, 2013
My Copy: Courtesy of Net Galley and Penguin books
Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.
As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him his woes for a while-and fulfill other needs as well.
Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin can not fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.
Everything about this book was like an amazing adventure that I never wanted to end. Vitala and Lucien sizzle with so much intensity that you root for this couple to get together. This couple was the center of the story and definitely one of the finest examples of how to make two people from two different worlds fall in love.
What I love is that these are two individuals who don’t sugar coat things, but are very true to what their purposes are in life. Plus both Vitala and Lucien have very sharp minds. They meet because of a set of circumstances that have driven to them to play the roles that they are given. Vitala is there to assassinate him originally. As she gets to know Lucien, she realizes he is not the man she thinks he is. Lucien is far more complex and much more skilled in kissing than she originally thought.
The early part of this book was interesting as I found it to be that getting to know you stage. It really was wonderful during the parts that they are playing Caturanga because it’s this game that helps them bond and understand each other and learn respect for what the other brings to the table. Lucien also gets beaten by Vitala quite early on. Also love the gift that he gives her. It spoke of someone who has been construed as a monster, but isn’t anything like what Vitala and the reader is told about Lucien the emperor.
Some really interesting things happen as we get someone who usurps Lucien and does this. It leads to Vitala changing direction in a lot of ways, as well as Lucien too. Vitala has to make quick decisions. Those decisions don’t always sit well with Lucien who likes to give orders, not take them. Yet he does because they both need to survive if Lucien is to retake the throne from Cassian, who has usurped the throne and has taken a royal bride. Because of Vitala’s actions they manage to survive.
As they are running, dodging people who try to kidnap, they start to fall for one another, then the debacle happens with the Circle as Vitala miscalculates what they will do. She wants, no needs their help to restore Lucian to his throne and they think it’s ludicrous. Through out the whole book, the Circle has their own agenda and will do what’s for their best interests. Yet I really liked how Vitala and Lucien escape the Circle and find some new allies to help them. It’s very important to have allies when going to war.
The book progresses in a really great way. I love the way that the women are in positions of power to make great change, sacrifice, make decisions, even if the men don’t always see eye to eye with the women. There are a lot of other characters who come into this book that they help our two main characters realize that sometimes in life we have had something tragic and need someone to talk to, to help get over it. Which both Lucien and Vitala have had tragedies happen to them. The two scenes where they open up to each other was wonderfully done and one of those moments where you just fall more in love with both Lucien and Vitala
Yet the ending was so good and rich. I really enjoyed this book so much. It definitely was one of my favorite books this year.