Rating: 3.75 stars
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Kael Saunders is an agent with the Secret Intelligence Service. In other words, he’s a trained assassin. So when he’s assigned to assassinate Sven Andresen, he expects for his plan to run as smoothly as always. Instead, after Kael performs his fairly routine kill, he finds that a young man has been watching, and realizes that he’ll have to kill him as well. The boy, a presumably 20-year-old Angel, is waiting in the shower, expecting to die a swift death. Kael, however, is moved by Angel and not only makes a physical connection with him (Kael has a habit of having sex with willing victims before he kills them), but also feels an emotional connection with him as well. Against his better judgment, Kael has Angel pack a few things and flies him back to his flat in England, telling himself that he’ll use him for a few days and then get around to killing him.
A few days turns into much longer. Stephen Conran, Kael’s supervisor with the SIS, is suspicious that Kael is harboring the fugitive. Kael has been a Dom for years and has taken many boys into his dungeon to do with as he pleases. However, with Angel it is different. Angel’s been fantasizing about having a Daddy for as long as he can remember. Kael is everything he imagined. He’s found his Daddy — an extremely hot one — and he quickly begins developing feelings for him.
As Kael trains Angel to be his boy, Conran arrives at Kael’s home to confront him about Angel. Kael has to resort to some serious blackmail techniques to protect the boy and secure his British citizenship. It’s not just Conran who is a danger to Angel. Bosnian terrorists are after him as well, intent on recovering a ransom from either Angel’s mother and billionaire boyfriend or the American or British embassies. When Angel becomes distant due to Kael’s weak ability to communicate with him, he becomes a target for the Bosnians. It’s then up to Kael to use his skills to rescue his boy before he loses him forever.
Fyn Alexander has created complicated characters in both Kael and Angel. While Kael turns into a bit of a softie when it comes to his boy, he has lived a life up to this point that is, at best, morally dubious. Growing up, he used his strength and cunning to protect himself from bullies that only saw him as a poor charity case. Sometimes, this involved sexual as well as physical assault. His propensity to be sexually dominant carries through into his work as an assassin. He’s had sex with his eager victims before he slit their throats. He’s not exactly the pillar of the community. He’s only been in love once, and since it broke his heart, he’s shut down that emotion ever since. For a hit man, Kael is extremely easy to like. He’s got a dangerous, sexy, secret intelligence agent thing going on, as well as a big bad dominant side as well. Add to that a vulnerability that slowly grows as he begins to fall in love with Angel, and it’s easy to open your heart to such a screwed up man.
Angel is an adorable twink who just wants to be loved. He’s looking for a daddy, and he’ll do anything to become Kael’s boy. He’s eager to learn and turns out to be smarter and stronger than Kael ever expected. At the same time, I think Alexander did a good job of portraying Angel as less than perfect. He is, after all, barely a legal adult, and there are times that the immaturity of his age shows through. He can throw temper tantrums and act like a child, but his sweetness makes him attractive not only to Kael but the reader as well. They are a magnetic combination, and one that could easily carry a series of books on their damaged but capable shoulders.
This book is not for everyone. It has a strong Daddy/Boy element, so if something like that makes you uncomfortable, you’ll want to avoid this one. It is, perhaps, this relationship with which I found the most fault. Angel is a virgin when the two meet, and while he’s eager to become a boy to Kael’s daddy, he’s inexperienced and young. Kael immediately starts in on heavy BDSM play, which I found irresponsible and a little unrealistic when it came to Angel’s fairly easy acceptance of all of the things that Kael throws at him. As a warning, there are some heavy BDSM elements here, and not just between the two MCs.
While I am a fan of BDSM and also don’t mind a daddy/boy power exchange, especially when it involves a large age-discrepancy, this relationship is pushed in your face over and over. It becomes a bit too much. Angel is always calling out for his “daddy,” and Kael’s constant inner dialogue of emotions starts to get tiresome. While their relationship has a solid base that I’d like to see explored in the upcoming books, it could lean a little toward the annoying side. Kael, who starts out as emotionless and even a wee bit diabolical, too quickly turns into a giant mushy teddy bear. I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more resistance on Kael’s part, since his life has been walking the line of amorality for many years.
Angel and the Assassin has a very strong beginning. The secret service elements are exciting and a the relationship between Kael and Angel is captivating. Things fall apart a bit during the last third of the book. Angel makes some stupid decisions, everything goes haywire, and things have to quickly resolve themselves before Kael and Angel can be reunited. It felt a bit rushed and chaotic toward the end, but the interaction between Kael and Angel in the last few pages almost make up for it.
I enjoyed this book enough to want to continue reading the series and see where these two men end up. It’s not a perfect book, but it has enough strong elements for it to be a successful series, and I look forward to reading about the new adventures of Kael and Angel.