This story is a gem in the rough.
"Assassin's Love" delivers quite the premise, the good bits and the rough bits. My rating is 3.75 due on the author following the prompt quite excellently, staying true in form enough for a history nerd such as myself and giving a great snack.
Sadly, this story is a snack and not the full course meal it should have been.
The first quarter smoothly ensnares with a story about a mute little boy named Miles. I ached for Miles and his horrible life. The author captures his innocence and jadedness from his nine year old eyes very well. (I can't stand adult-like kids) Now if the story held that tone it drop kicked me with into the feelz territory, I would be stealing everyone's stars and ratings to stuff this review.
The story progresses nearly a decade later, Miles was taken at nine by the evil earl of Wessex, trained and beaten into an assassin, newly dubbed "The Shadow". He's a silent killer. This I loved. Gimme a dagger wielding, sword swinging assassin over a gun toting bad boy ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.
The story carries a good story line with Miles/Shadow killing at the evil earl's will. During one of his assignments, he meets eyes with Sir Anthony, a Duke's heir. Cut to a year later, both men still are intrigued with one another. Sadly the earl is evil and wants Sir Anthony out of the picture. Guess who he employs?
The story has romance. Some nice words to convey what the men feel.
"Without uttering a word, your eyes and touch still speak volumes to me. You and I will learn each other’s ways. We will take delight in finding each place that gives pleasure and builds to release. You are mine now, as I am yours."
BUT...there is not enough time given to the men for me to fully believe it. I mean MANTEARS so quickly? You can argue it's because Miles can't express his feelings verbally but I expect a teen who has had a shitty existence- ridiculed, tormented and beaten to be a little harder to crack. Someone fell to their knees too quickly and declared their feelings in haste. Instalove in hosen.
Do the main characters belong together? Yes.
But they needed more story length for me to believe it. It read rushed. I can't ignore it even if the setting gave the tingles or the premise made my heart smile.
I can't rate this 3.5 in good conscience because I can see the author's work and attention to detail in some aspects. It reads good.
I just wish there was enough length of time to make me 100% believe these boys. I'm swimming in the 85-90% mark.
So gem in the rough, you see.
My thanks to the author and the team behind the story. :)