Title: Hidden in Ashes (A'yen's Legacy Book 5)
Author: Rachel Leigh Smith
Genre: Futuristic Romance
Publisher: Rachel L. Smith
Available: Kobo, B&N, Amazon (535 pages $4.99)
Childhood enmity turns to love, with one problem: his heart isn't his to give.
Lorin is a daro, a Lokmane man trained to make humans feel special and valued. As Prime of Arkos House, no one stands between him and the safety of the daros under his care—except his mistress. The dead one, and the new one. He needs to focus on the Essence crisis infiltrating the Houses, and his sister's safety. Not figure out how to balance his duties with falling in love.
When her mother dies, emotionally wounded Sagira Memeos becomes the Marcasian Empire’s newest High Lady. And reluctant owner of the most sought after daro in said empire. He’s her childhood nemesis, and way too sexy for his own good. With his kindness finding its way into her bruised soul, asking for his help to navigate her succession to ruling high lady probably isn't her brightest idea.
Lorin wants Sagira. But not if he has to pay for it with innocent lives. She’s a distraction he can't afford while the bedrock of Marcasian high society is under attack. Not to mention facing losing his sister to the man who wounded Sagira. If the daro houses fall, all hope of freedom goes with them.
What I liked:
As always, Smith delivers a well written and emotional twister of a tale with a rich and culturally diverse background that builds on her universe. And while the longest book of the series so far, I didn't feel that the overall story dragged or got tedious.
What I didn't like:
This just didn't grab me or give me the intense emotional impact of the other books. I think the tension and threats to the characters could all have been cranked up a notch throughout and/or the resolution of their feelings not come quite so soon. Though its length didn't make it drag, it did feel repetitive in places and the ending felt incomplete (though the author notes their story will continue in the next book). And while I personally have nothing against tattoos and piercings, having both, the constant references to Lorin's tongue studs made me feel icky all the way through.
A worthy tale to add to A'yen's Legacy series but I'm glad I waited for the next book to be out before reading this one so I don't have to wait for a full conclusion of Lorin and Sunny's story. Not to be missed if you enjoyed the previous four books though I don't think this can stand alone without reading the others to understand the full background to the plotline.
Disclaimer: All information correct at time of posting. Book purchased by the reviewer from a legitimate retail site for their own personal enjoyment.