I’ve only recently discovered L.A. Fiore and it wasn’t long before she became an auto-buy author. I’ve found each one of her books different and unique and I’ve given high marks for them. So I was a happy camper when I saw this one was out.
But I didn’t find this one up to the usual snuff and I can’t quite put my finger on why. The premise is quite delicious. Lizzie Danton had a horrid childhood. Her mother, who is a true villainess, only had Lizzie to trap the rich guy she was seeing. When it didn’t work and he refused to marry her, mommy dearest had no further used for Lizzie. She treated her abominably until she finally parked her in a horrid boarding school and said her goodbyes, theoretically never to be heard from again. The boarding school was a nightmare of a place where Lizzie was bullied by both other students and staff. Her only outlet was her love for painting and when she finally left the place, she has become a brilliant painter.
Brochan, who was born and lives in Scotland, also had a childhood nightmares are made of. His mother died giving birth to him, and, as a result, his father loathed and hated him. And as Brochan grew up, his father became more and more sadistic to the point of almost drowning him and locking him up in the family dungeon. His only champions are a couple that work for his father and then later a teacher who tries to save him for the evil that is raising poor Brochan. He becomes an assassin.
The two of them meet when Lizzie is left a cottage in Scotland by a great aunt she didn’t even know about. Her bitch of a mother never even mentioned that Lizzie had someone who would have loved to have raised her. The aunt in question is the same teacher who was one of only three people that Brochan loved.
Now, it may be weird but I wasn’t bothered by Brochan’s chosen profession. It seems that the people he eliminates are well deserving of their fates, people who have somehow escaped the judgement they should have received if life were fair. I was going along great guns with this book, finding it hard to put down. There are sparks galore when Lizzie and Brochan meet. She is the light he needs in his world of darkness. The book was headed for yet another most excellent grade for an L.A. Fiore book, but then it just seemed to fizzle and, for me, lost much of its impetuous and I can’t put my finger on why exactly. I quite like both Lizzie and Brochan. They are interesting people who have both suffered, but their paths in life are opposite. Lizzie embraces new things, and, for the first time in her life, feels she has found a home in Scotland. Brochan is very dark and reserved, but I love a dark hero. The townspeople are almost afraid of him, and there is rather a bit of a gothic feel to him – all good things in my book.
Lizzie’s mother comes back into the picture when she sues Lizzie for the cottage she inherited. Maybe that wasn’t detailed enough. Maybe it’s because Brochan comes across as a bit too cold, though we know he’s not.
I think some of it might be because there isn’t enough rationale given to exactly why he chose his profession or enough of the effect it has on him. Both are kind of glossed over. I did find it curious that when Lizzie found out how Brochan made his living, she was extremely accepting of it. So accepting, in fact, she didn’t even ask him any questions. I found that rather odd. I certainly would have questions. Even if what he did didn’t bother me, I would still want to know more.
Perhaps it’s because I felt more was needed when Lizzie connects with the father who ignored her all of her life. I found that rather unsatisfactory and shallow.
When it comes down to it, I was hoping for more – only I don’t know more of what.
Still, based on how much I enjoy this author, this book doesn’t keep me from looking forward to her next one.
They call him a monster.
Pale blue eyes as cold as ice that see right through you.
He lives in a castle fit for a fairy tale, but he’s no prince.
He’s a killer.
By an act of fate, our worlds collide.
They call him a monster, but he is my salvation.
No excerpt available.