Title: Angel and the Assassin (Angel and the Assassin #1)
Author: Fyn Alexander
Cover Artist: Justin James
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link:Buy Link Angel and the Assassin
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel Plus
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Raine
Summary Review: Angel with daddy kink meets assassin with killer instincts for complex sex, thrills and sensationally…love.
Blurb: Kael Saunders loves to dominate handsome, masculine men like himself. Being in charge is his way of life whether it be in his work with the Secret Intelligence service, his personal life, or in the dungeon. The last thing he expects when he is out on a hit is to fall in love with Angel, an eighteen-year-old boy desperate for the love and guidance of a Daddy. Yet Angel also has a passion for being spanked and restrained. Two very different men find love in a world of skilled assassins, Bosnian terrorists, and dungeon play.
Angel and the Assassin Series
The assassin of the title is Kael Saunders, an antihero, who is totally unapologetic about his job, announcing:
“The only person in the world who I would not target is my own mother. Everyone else is fair game. Everyone.”
Kael’s personality and actions and my reactions toward him reminded me of the TV character ”Dexter”—it is somewhat disturbing to find yourself wanting a psychopath to succeed.
This is the world of MI6 espionage, terrorism and hitmen…no sorry—professional operatives in the British Secret Intelligence Service. The book introduces Kael as a mess of twisted pathologies; he enjoys killing for a living, and as an extra frisson, sometimes he has sex—consensual—before he kills his targets. He has no conscience about killing any witnesses to his initial hits, who he considers collateral damage. He is obsessed with control of his body, his environment, and as a master, is heavily into the BDSM scene. Kael’s back story is revealed by him writing in a notebook about his previous life. He wants to leave something behind for his mum so she would know about his life. This is a new development provoked by the death of a friend in the service.
This gives us insight into the Kael behind the assassin. He had a hard, poor, rough childhood, tormented as a scholarship boy at an independent school for the privileged until he fought back, even using rape as a weapon. When we are first introduced to Kael, it is as a man in total control of his hard won, successful but nihilistic life. This is to be spectacularly blown apart by Angel, perhaps the real hero of the book.
It is an intense, bizarre first meeting, with a naked Angel, helplessly hiding from the assassin in the shower, so scared he pisses himself, but for Kael it is equally frightening,
An unexpected and overwhelming feeling gripped Kael in the belly. He wanted to take the boy in his arms and calm his fears. He wanted to comfort him, not kill him.
Angel is an unexpected witness to the murder of his arms-dealer stepfather by Kael. Although in a previous episode it has been established that Kael is quite happy to kill an innocent witness, something about Angel saves him. For all his short life, beautiful and willful Angel has been neglected, and abandoned, emotionally needy on a cosmic scale, his sexuality is, if anything, more complex than Kael’s. Angel has an adolescent obsession with sexuality. He is very self aware of what he wants—a leather Daddy or a Master, but his real desire is for a Daddy. The attraction between them is mutual and instant. They both lie and manipulate each other in that initial meeting, and we find that Angel is not the helpless victim he first appears.
Kael decides he can’t kill Angel and decides to take him from the US back to England to keep him safe. He is so obsessed with keeping Angel safe he is willing to sexually blackmail his boss in order to get him a passport. A great deal of fun is had in introducing a stroppy teenager into a control freak’s immaculate life. One of the most enjoyable scenes in the book involves fastidious, ‘anal retentive’ Kael rummaging through rubbish bins to recover something of Angel’s that he had thrown away without realising it’s value to him.
He had run with bullets whizzing past his head while he laughed out loud as he dodged them, and it was never enough. Yet here he stood feeling deliriously happy watching Angel hug the filthy blanket while looking at him with unadulterated admiration.
” Daddy, you are the man.”
Angel is fascinating mixture of immense vulnerability and common sense. He is the catalyst to enormous change in Kael’s life. Although Angel gains stability, sex, affection and a role model, it is Kael who is miraculously transformed by the relationship. In many ways the relationship does illustrate the sub/Dom rule that the sub is the one with the power. Kael’s new life is expanded to include friendships and new emotions. This speech illustrates the changing relationship with a light touch:
…all he felt was incredibly responsible for Angel’s safety and emotional well-being. He wanted to live up to Angel’s belief in him, so he stayed silent, holding him close, wanting to forget the world for a while.
“Daddy, what are you thinking? Bet I know.”
“You’re thinking you’d like to spank my ass.”
I have to confess I had to take several sharp intakes of breath to cope with the whole Daddy kink, but I did really enjoy Angel as a character so my feeling of unease did mostly wear off. I think, though, that it could be off putting to some people. The BDSM is heavy and detailed. I did have some reservations about the fisting scene in terms of reality as it seemed a bit much as Angel was only one fuck off a virgin. Angel is eighteen, and not Kael’s usual type, but his mental age does move both up and down in range. When he seems younger it can all be a bit much; Angel still has a blankie, he likes to play on the swings and he drops to the ground just like an obstinate child when Kael rushes him away from an internet cafe.
However to balance this Angel has considerable intellectual maturity. He questions his own and Kael’s psychology:
“Daddy, do you think I want a daddy because I never had a father?” …
“I never had a father and I don’t want a daddy,” Kael said. “Listen, boy, you know what you want, how many people wander through life never knowing what they want?”
Angel has a real passion for getting all he can out of his life, no matter how restricted it is. This enthusiasm for things as varied as anime magazines, Big Macs and spankings is totally endearing. He is shown to be brave, observant, calculating and strong—an interesting skill range for Kael’s own profession in the secret service.
Their relationship develops within a twisting, and turning story written with humour and pace involving kidnapping, rescues and of course, killing.
Oh, and an aside? The cover is a really good illustration for the book.
Warning: Strong BDSM and Daddy Kink