Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns

Title: Assassin's Honor 
Author: Monica Burns
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance
Series: Order of the Sicari #1 
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Number of Pages: 342

Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches relics. It's how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins-the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep demanding an artifact she doesn't have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths-someone who can sense the emotions of others- are the norm. Now someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who's every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart. (from

Monica Burns was the first author I got to meet at the Lori Foster get together, and she was just really nice..she actually talking to someone else in line, and they said her name and Bells (from Hanging with Bells)  and I turned around and said: "Monica!" because we both follow her on twitter and it was nice to put a face with a name. She took our fangirldom in style though, and I knew right then that was going to be a fun weekend.  I had heard great things about her Order of Sicari books and had been wanting to read them forever, and this event was the perfect place to finally have an excuse to buy them.  I started this book at lunch on Saturday, and I have to say that it made me really anti-social at the table I was at, but it was hard to put down!

By now everyone knows about my weakness for heroines who just happen to be archeologists. I was won over completely by Emma Zale when she was wondering why she was attracted to Ares when she shouldn't be and mentioned my favorite history crush, Josh Bernstein: Pg. 57:  "There weren't too many History Channel babes like josh Bernstein running around the Egypt or the hallways of the Oriental Institute." Emma is one of those rare heroines who doesn't like the fact that she's tossed into a new world, but accepts it while at the same time puts Ares in his place and lets him know she doesn't like the mess he has gotten her into. She's vulnerable and strong willed at the same time. I really liked that she was smart and not afraid to show it. When she wanted to do something, she didn't sit around and wait for Ares permission-she just does what needs to be done. I loved how it drove Ares nuts, because like all alpha heroes, he's used to being in control, and he just doesn't know what to expect from Emma. Everything she does just gets him into trouble in his professional life and makes him lose control in his personal life.

Emma and Ares are both stubborn and don't give into their feelings easily. Both have been hurt in the past, and while Ares does everything he can think of to win Emma over, it always backfires on him. Emma has trust issues because she has a special gift: when she touches an ancient artifact she can read the history of who has had it last. Her unique gift got her hurt badly in her last relationship and is afraid of making the same mistake twice-and to her Ares every action seems like he is only interested in her because of her gift, not herself-which of course isn't true, but makes for some great conflict.

Another aspect of Assassin's Honor that I really enjoyed was the mystery of the Order of Sicari, and the artifact that Ares and Emma are looking for, and there is an additional mystery of who killed whom (I can't say more then that because I don't want to give anything away) that normally bores in romances, but held my attention all the way through in this book. I think the added element of everyone having some sort of paranormal ability helped a lot.The only thing I would have liked was to learn how Emma got her ability to read ancient artificer, but I have feeling that will be dealt with a little more in book two.

  Even though this book had a lot of paranormal elements to it, I wouldn't call it a total paranormal romance~it's one of those books that can be classified in several categories, and be enjoyed by everyone. :)

I also really enjoyed how we got to meet those around Ares, and Lysander and Phae (Ares number 2 and sister in that order) were great secondary characters, and his Aunt who led the council were all wonderful and helped give the story an air of mystery. I'm almost glad that I waited to read this book, because now I can dive into book two, Assasin's Heart, which is the story of Lysander and Phae.

Curran Crush Meter: High 
Martini Sigh Meter: High 
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: High 
Finn Sidekick Meter: High 
Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Medium