Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark #16) by Kresley Cole
Synopsis: An immortal assassin is caught between desire and duty…
A foundling raised in a world of humans
Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Her baby brother Thaddeus was as perfect as she was flawed; protecting him became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl… to would-be superhero… to enchanting, ruthless villain.
A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission
A threat to the Møriør has brought archer Rune the Baneblood to the mortal realm to slay the oldest living Valkyrie. Whether by bow or in bed, he never fails to eliminate his target. Yet before he can strike, he encounters a vampiric creature whose beauty conceals a black heart. With one bite, she pierces him with aching pleasure, taking his forbidden blood – and jeopardizing the secrets of his brethren.
A boundless passion that will lead to sweet ruin…
Could this exquisite female be a spy sent by the very Valkyrie he hunts? Rune knows he must not trust Josephine, yet he’s unable to turn her away. Despite his millennia of sexual conquests, he can’t ignore the unfamiliar longing she arouses deep within him. When Jo betrays the identity of the one man she will die to protect, she and Rune become locked in a treacherous battle of wills that pits ultimate loyalty against unbridled lust.
Review: Oh my goodness, this one was so good. It was so hard to put it down. I loved the characters; Rune was such a strong male lead with such a dynamic personality and history, and Jo had so much spunk, attitude, and fire on the page. The plot was very strong and carried the reader through it all from beginning to end. The conflict wasn’t some malevolent bad guy but rather how Rune’s past colored his present and Jo’s desire for companionship even in the face of a man who, on more than one occasion, told her he wouldn’t be faithful. Her drive to protect her brother and then reunite with him also added a depth to her character that pulled the reader in. I loved how strong her personality was on the page and when the inevitable happened and she left Rune it was so heart wrenching. I really did worry that Rune wasn’t going to see the error of his ways before it was way too late to salvage his relationship with his mate. There isn’t anything I didn’t like about this story. Loved it!