This is going to sit in my drafts folder until I make a firm decision about whether or not I want to talk about these books. And I do want to talk about these books, but it’s the kind of series that has some trickle effect and you can’t talk about one without giving away aspects of the other.
So let’s keep it simple; J.A Redmerski is a really good writer. I think this is one of few books that I’ve read in a while that wasn’t littered with grammatical errors. That’s always a plus in my eyes. It gets at least 1 star for that alone. The stories overall are gripping. I like the premise alot.
Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers) – [kindle edition] $2.99
Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.
Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.
While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.
As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.
This is their story…
Reviving Izabel (In the Company of Killers) – [Kindle Edition $2.99]
Determined to live a dark life in the company of the assassin who freed her from bondage, Sarai sets out on her own to settle a score with an evil sadist. Unskilled and untrained in the art of killing, the events that unfold leave her hanging precariously on the edge of death when nothing goes as planned.
Sarai’s reckless choices send her on a path she knows she can never turn back from and so she presents Victor with an ultimatum: help her become more like him and give her a fighting chance, or she’ll do it alone no matter the consequences. Knowing that Sarai cannot become what she wants to be overnight, Victor begins to train her and inevitably their complicated relationship heats up.
As Arthur Hamburg’s right-hand man, Willem Stephens, closes in on his crusade to destroy Sarai, she is left with the crushing realization that she may have bitten off more than she can chew. But Sarai, taking on the new and improved role of Izabel Seyfried, still has a set of deadly skills of her own that will prove to be all she needs to secure her place beside Victor.
But there is one test that Izabel must face that has the potential to destroy everything she is working so hard to achieve. One final test that will not only make her question her decision to want this dangerous life, but will make her question everything she has come to trust about Victor Faust.
I think that I just have a thing for Assassins. In my mind they all look like this:
and of course they walk around shirtless.
Unfortuately I don’t feel like I ever quite connected with Victor Faust, which is a shame really. He constantly teetered on the edge of having emotions. I was left disappointed a few times. Maybe I had it so far stuck in my mind the type of person that he was, that I wasn’t allowing him to become the person that was trying to be. It’s entirely possibly that I blocked his character development. I knew he was evolving, it was right there, but it just wasn’t enough for me.
I stand silent and still at the arched entryway leading into the piano room. And I watch her unlike I’ve ever watched her before. She owns me in this moment
It sounds so promising, but it just falls flat. You’re just waiting for the next cold wave of detachment.
That doesn’t mean though that I didn’t like him. I did. If I remove all of the romantic elements of who he tries to be, then he is a great assassin. It’s a shame to me that, that overshadows him.
One character who does develop really well across all books is Sarai. Her character really falls in line very well with the rest of the story. She was genuine and realistic. With a story like this, it would have been easy to have her bend to the will of those around her and make her weak, but she never comes across like that. In fact she is strength throughout. It was nice to have the two sided perspective (Victor and Sarai).
Now The Swan and The Jackal, that’s a whole other beast.
The Swan and the Jackal (In the Company of Killers Book 3) [Kindle Edition – $3.29]
Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle–until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share.
And then Seraphina was gone.
It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia–after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited–suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past–because she and Seraphina share it–but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead.
But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia–because he knows that to love one, the other must die.
Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?
Fredrick’s story for me was beyond tragic. He’s likeable. Adorable even, even with all of his nasty party tricks. Many times I wanted to be disgusted by what he did, but many times over I was just okay with it. He lives the life he does because really that’s all he knows. Ultimately punishing all of the type of people that tortured and abused him. I felt like it was unfair the cards that are dealt to him. I really just wanted him to be fixed. I don’t think that I’ve ever wanted that so much for a character before. So much so that I hold out hope for a third book. I know that there is a happy ending for Fredrik. There has to be.
There are elements of eroticism in the books. They are just sparse.
You can find all three books on Amazon. Links to each book can be found above.