*I received an arc from Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.
Normally when I pick up a romantic adult fantasy book, I don't expect that much fantasy out of the bedroom, but holy smokes! I was pleasantly surprised with the immersive world building and the depth of the creature lore in this beautiful new series as well as the intense slow burn romance!
I loved Leena from the very first chapter! She's a survivor and it showed with her strength and determination. I loved how complex Leena's character was because the story also showed how much she loved and cared for her beasts. Noc's character was just as interesting with the brooding secretive nature and fierce loyalty to his assassins whom he saw as brothers. There was plenty of chemistry going on in this enemies to lovers trope between the main characters! I was very appreciative that it was a slow burn romance and didn't feel rushed to the point of instalove. The romance and sexy scenes were definitely worth the wait! I also loved the side characters including Kost, Ozias and Calem. The banter between the guys was fun to read and their interesting, individual natures added more depth to the overall story and background of the assassin's order. However, some of the best characters were the beasts. I loved how well written and thought out each beast was in this story. I felt like I was reading a lush fantasy without the added wordage that made you feel like you were stuck in a high fantasy. I can't wait to see new characters and beasts in the books to come!
Overall, I really loved this story that was packed with interesting creatures, complex characters, fantasy, adventure and a sweet slow-burn romance. I cannot recommend this book enough if you love a good balance of fantasy and adult romance!