Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Assassins' Lover by Emma Holly

Katsu Shinobi isn’t your ordinary princess. For one thing, she’s a Yama, a member of a supposedly demonic race Humans discovered living secretly among them forty years ago. For another, Kat doesn’t subscribe to the icy-hearted principles most royals swear by. She wants to live life—maybe not as recklessly as Humans but as fully as she dares.

Accustomed to sharing women, demon assassins Ciran and Hattori introduce Kat to the pleasures of an intense ménage. Neither expects to lose their heart to her, or that Kat's enemies will one day hire them to kill her.

Their bid for freedom will pit them against the icy dangers of diamond lands and the alien comforts of a Victorianesque Human world. Most of all, though, this daring trio will need to conquer the threat within. Only when they put all their faith in love will they find happiness together.

There are few women who write erotica like Emma Holly. I tried to explain the plot of this book to my coworker without making it sound completely ridiculous and I came to two conclusions:

1) America is such a prudish country that I find it hard to explain how a relationship of 3 people can be really really meaningful and full of emotion.

2) Even things that make no sense work in Holly's world, I think solely because it's Emma Holly.

To get to the point of this review, Holly released The Assassans' Lover as a self-published e-title and I'm excited to say that it's just as of full of story and depth as they always have been. Plus the lots and lots of sex hasn't gone anywhere either. 

Kat first meets Ciran and Hattori when they've been employed as her cousin's bodyguards, but things rapidly heat up into the kind of no-holds-barred explosion that Holly (at least in my mind) is known for. Still what's great about her erotica is that it doesn't feel out of place or cheesy. It's not like that porno where the delivery man knocks on the front door and is holding the package in front of his junk. It's a quick transition but it's meaningful, and something that all three of them remember 4 years later when circumstances bring them together.

Now it's unfortunate that those circumstances are Kat's stepmother hiring Ciran and Hattori to kill her, but what are you gonna do? It's time to make the best of things. The three of them then spend the rest of the book (a hefty 260 pages by the way) trying to figure out how to fool the stepmother, save Hattori's twin brother, build a new life in a human city, AND decipher the rocky road to a stable relationship where everyone feels valued and loved.

Yeah Emma Holly doesn't make things easy for herself. I loved it though and I can't wait to pick up some of her other self published titles because if this is any indication, they should all be great.

Oh and yes this is part of a very specific world from her previous Yama stories. There's no specific connection so newcomers won't be lost, but the nuances of how everyone interacts are more clear with the background from the other titles. 

Highly recommended!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - 1) The Demon's Daughter 2) Hot Spell (anthology) 3) Prince of Ice 4) Demon's Delight 5) Beyond the Dark (anthology) 6) Demon's Fire 7) The Assassins' Lover

**Title requested from author for review**