Formats available: ebook
Genre: Science fiction romance
Series: Kinsmen #1
Length: 50 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date Released: June 2, 2009
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance
Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder.
On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport–in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask.
Kill the man who ruined her life.
Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen–and skills with a blade–won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control–his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Her eyes alone set his blood simmering, stirring ridiculous adolescent fantasies about breasts and honey. With a few words she dissects his soul. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?
It’s almost too easy to draw Celino within the kill zone. Meli plans to revel in him. Drink him in. Wring every drop of pleasure out of every moment.
And when she’s sure he belongs to her, she will finally repay a decade’s worth of pain–in a single, brutal dose of reality.
Revenge is a dish best served hot and with a side of passion cones.
Although the revenge that Meli Galdes plans and the revenge she actually gets are two different things.
Blame it on those passion cones, which are a dessert in the province of Dahlia on this futuristic world that Ilona Andrews has created for her Kinsmen series.
The future is a dangerous place. As envisioned in this series, the ability to survive interplanetary journeys and planet colonization was provided to certain families through genetic modification. Their descendants rule, through the inheritance of lethal talents and deadly implants.
Those with special abilities are Kinsmen. Survival of their families, and their family corporations, is considered the highest achievement–by any means necessary.
Meli Galdes was a casualty of two families desire for greatness. A daughter of the Galdes, she was contracted in marriage when she was 10 to the heir of the Carvanna family. Unfortunately for Meli, young Celino Carvanna saw their impending marriage as a fence around his freedom. As soon as he could, he disavowed the contract, leaving Meli unmarried but still bound. No one else would court her for fear of angering Carvanna should he decide to someday claim his bride.
So Meli chose to be disavowed by her family, so that she could do business for them in secret. Deadly business–we call it ‘wetwork’. As an “excise”, Meli became her family’s best and most deniable assassin.
When she tires of the game of death and the loneliness of her life, Meli retires. But her father asks her to take one last job–to kill the man who broke her heart, all those years ago. Killing the head of the Carvanna’s corporation will save the Galdes’ family business from ruin.
Meli gets close to Celino by turning herself into a woman he can’t resist. The problem for Meli is that it makes her the woman she once trained to be; the perfect partner for Celino.
So should she condemn her family by sparing her target, or kill the man she has come to love?
Escape Rating B+: This is too short! The world creation looks fascinating, but I want to see more of it. How did the families get this way? What other powers are available? How do they know how rare particular talents are?
Underneath the futuristic setting, Silent Blade is a second chance at love story. Meli and Celino missed it the first time around, because their six year age difference loomed large when they were 16 and 22 respectively, but is miniscule now that they are adults.
Celino was also a selfish asshat, because he could have set Meli free instead of leaving her in limbo. (On the other hand, selfish, 22 and privileged go hand-in-hand.) Celino had the world at his feet, and he didn’t think beyond his own desires.
Meli comes back into his life and makes him desire her. She is just what he is looking for, but doesn’t know it. She, on the other hand, knows perfectly well what she is setting up. She just doesn’t expect that her own emotions will be engaged. Again.
She can destroy him. She can even manage to destroy him in such a way that her family survives the crisis that started this mess. It takes her a long time to accomplish her mission without leaving dead bodies in her wake.
Even though she is left broken-hearted again, at least this time, she has company–a man who finally realizes that it is worth breaking his own chains.
*This review originally appeared in the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly