Kael Saunders’ life changed for the better the moment Angel Button entered into the picture. The two have lived in relative harmony for months and, while Kael understands that Angel isn’t perfect, the boy consistently does what he is told and when, both in and out of the dungeon. At least until now. As Kael struggles to keep a Russian diplomat at arm’s length while on the job, he finds himself dealing with a suddenly disobedient sub.
Angel wants nothing more than to please his Daddy. But Kael is insisting Angel attend Cambridge and do so without the benefit of a gap year. To submit to Kael in the dungeon is one thing, but Angel finds it increasingly difficult to be as wholly obedient as Kael demands. With his well -ordered life on the verge of chaos, Kael must wrestle with demons old and new while he learns to be the kind of daddy Angel needs. Because if he doesn’t, he may lose everything he holds dear.
Sins of the Father is book three in the Angel and the Assassin series. You really have to start this series from the beginning in order to fully understand and appreciate the complexity of all the relationships. This series is consistently well written and Sins of the Father is no different. The author does an excellent job of creating compelling characters that are flawed, but who are so desperately loyal and devoted to one another it’s hard not to connect with them. That said, it isn’t always an easy book to read. Like the rest of the series, the BDSM is intense and not for those who might be squeamish about this particular kink. In addition, Kael can be very difficult to relate to or even like and there were several times during Sins of the Father where I struggled to understand his actions.
Angel sees some real growth in this book as he openly defies Kael for the first time in their relationship. It is nice to see his streak of independence shine through and it reminds the reader of how equitable the balance of power between master and sub truly is. Though he is sometimes is immature, Angel’s character is hard not to like. He is effusive and artless and utterly sweet. Kael on the other hand is more problematic. I think it would be safe to call him a sociopath. He admits to enjoying killing and even to feeling unsettled when he hasn’t killed in awhile. Kael appreciates this makes him different and even dangerous, but it doesn’t stop him from acting on his impulses. My issue is that there never seems to be any kind of ramifications for his actions. When he wantonly kills a man for failing to pay a hooker, it turns out the victim had killed multiple other prostitutes. So it’s suddenly “okay” that he killed a man. This is both a plot device that works too easily and is far from realistic, even when viewed through the scope of Kael’s job. Kael claims he wants to be good for Angel, but rarely shows much evidence of this and he is frequently hard to connect with as a result.
Perhaps more than either of the two previous books, Sins of the Father has too many easy fixes. Situations are created and then allowed to fade away thanks to resolutions that are predictable and don’t offer much satisfaction to the reader. While there is definitely some form of character growth for both Angel and Kael, there isn’t much else that happens by way of action or forward story motion. The end result is that melodrama is created from minor events and drawn out far too long for enjoyment. This is probably Sins of the Father’s greatest stumbling point.
The heart and soul of this series remain with the developing relationship between Kael and Angel and we do see a great deal of this in Sins of the Father. Angel’s reckless decision to disobey Kael feels natural for his character and creates a true sense of dialogue between he and his master. Kael is less easy to either like or understand, but as a reader you do appreciate his love for Angel. Sins of the Father feels like the weakest installment of this series so far, but the main characters remain compelling enough to carry the novel. Hopefully we’ll see a return to action and a greater balance between Kael and Angel’s relationship in the forthcoming novel, Reckoning.