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Assassin's Touch (Iron Portal #1) by Laurie London

Assassin's Touch (Iron Portal #1) by Laurie London

Two worlds. Two enemies.

Haunted by loss, Cascadian assassin Rickert D’Angelus is on a mission of vengeance. Determined to stop the Pacifican army from finding a portal to his world, he leads a group of warriors into New Seattle with one goal—to kill all Pacifican soldiers.

Neyla Trihorn had the perfect life until a deadly accident revealed her latent para-abilities. Now, the former fashion designer is the Pacifican army’s hottest commodity in their fight against the invaders.

When Rickert discovers a beautiful, unconscious soldier on a cold mountain ledge near the portal, he realizes she’s a Protection-Talent and cannot be killed. To prevent the army from using her skills again, he takes her as his prisoner instead.

One fated touch…

But when he pulls her into his arms, a sexy and compelling vision appears, awakening something inside him. Something he can’t ignore.

Torn between duty and passion, Rickert must decide if the vision is a Talent trick designed to foil the enemy or the answer to his deepest desires...

 

My Opinion:

 

Divided world > One side is a lot like ours, with advanced technology > Pacificans . The other side hasn’t reached the industrial revolution, but has some intriguing powers of its own which make it very different > Cascadians . And the two worlds are in conflict – but both sides have very different versions of WHY they’re fighting, each presenting the other as the aggressor. The Cascadians are protecting the portals that give access to their world while the Pacificans are looking for the portals to keep "barbarians" from coming through and wreaking havoc. This world-building was all over the place and didn't really make sense to me.

Neyla never wanted to be a soldier – but when a terrorist attack brought out her latent psychic powers, she was quickly drummed into the army where they could be best used. It’s a miserable life and her fellow soldiers are no happier with her presence than she is with being there. One of Neyla's fellow soldiers tries to kill her because he doesn't like her for some unknown reason. Rickert kills the man and takes Neyla prisoner. I hate bullies, so Im glad the ones in this story died.

Rickert has come through the portal from his home in the Barrowlands. The world is very different and he’s far from at home there, but he has to stop the Pacificans finding the portal – and launching another of their devastating raids against his homeland. When he find the unconscious Nelya he takes her through the portal to Cascadia, as a war captive.

This could have been a good story of two enemies gradually seeing the humanity in each other. It could have been a story of illusions shattered, of Neyla slowly realising with burgeoning horror how she has been deceived and how she personally has been affected. It could have been a story of Neyla overcoming suspicion and integrating into her new society.

But nope, he says and she believes. It’s shocking how quickly she, a soldier, loses all loyalty for her homeland and jumps into the enemy camp all due to nothing more than the words of a hot guy, so we got a magical bonding visions and lots of monologues about how irresistibly sexy the other is. Pitty, it had a potential, as long as you get away from the mated pair.

For me Neyla didn’t work as a strong character > She spent so little energy in resisting capture, in standing up for herself in the army.....And Rickert .....is sort of cross between medieval highland warrior and modern man, wearing handmade clothes and kilts, yet also using present-day slang and curses.