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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deliverance, Mortal Path, Book 3 by Dakota Banks

Publisher: Harper Collins/Harper Voyager
Pages: 340

(Release Date: March 27, 2012)

From the Cover:

Kill . . . or be damned.

A demon's assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she's destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is spiraling out of control.

Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man's-land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't . . . and time is rapidly running out.

(Originally posted on Book Lovers, Inc.)

Maliha, the ex-demon assassin, needs to balance the scales of justice. For each life unjustly taken as the demon assassin, a life must be saved. As the scales balance, tiny footsteps burned across Maliha's flesh. But, there is another price for the justice she seeks. With every balance of the scale, she grows older, her body slows, and takes longer to heal from her time as one of the Ageless. It makes her more vulnerable to the forces wishing to end her before she achieves her goal, and her soul becomes her own once more.

This time around, Maliha finds herself up against her worst foe yet. To the real world, she is known as  Marsha Winters, author extraordinaire. To her close friends, she's known as Mahila, the righters of wrongs. But, when she returns from the trip to New York, she finds people are missing from her life. First, Arnie Henshaw and then one of her closest friends and advisors, Yanmeng. Arnie was a warning, a foretelling of what is to come. When pieces of Yanmeng start arriving at her apartment, she knows something has gone horribly wrong. Someone wants to pull her strings, become their murderer for hire. Not only does she have to worry about getting Yanmeng back before he's cut up into tiny pieces, but she has to worry about the tight knit group that surrounds her. If Yanmeng was vulnerable, the rest would be easy prey.

The ex-demon assassin takes matters into her own hands. An Ageless has to be responsible, which can only mean, a demon is behind this latest assault on her sanity and her ability to earn back her soul. Then, there's Jake, DEA agent, her lover, and Ageless assassin. She wants to love him, but she can't trust him. Is he the Ageless responsible for Yanmeng? Would he remove everyone important in her life to make sure he stays in hers? She can't rest until Yanmeng is returned and the responsible party held accountable. The question remains, will she succeed or will she become the one thing she detest, an assassin in the service to another demon?

Deliverance by Dakota Banks is the third book in her Mortal Path series. And not to worry, if this is your first foray into the series, it is easy to read as a stand alone. There is plenty of background information to the new reader and well as the longtime fans of the series. In this addition, someone is hunting Mahila's friends. Picking them off, using them as leverage in a bid to retain her services as an assassin. This she can't have. She won't become a demon's puppet ever again. Yanmeng, her oldest and closest friend, has been taken and she has to be honest with herself... he may not even be alive. But, it becomes the new purpose in her life to see his safe return and the demon assassin responsible to meet their doom. Is she strong enough to meet this new challenge? Are her friends? And will they understand if she leaves them, even if it's for their own safety? This new challenge disrupts her life and those of the friends, and if she honest with herself, they have become family, something she never thought to have again. But, if she can't keep them safe, she can't keep them at all. Then, there's Jake and she's becoming more suspicious of him all the time. There are events that only an Ageless could be responsible for, and though he claims his demon as forgotten about him, Mahila doesn't buy it. Evidence of Jake's deviousness keeps popping up in her life.

Deliverance delivers a pulse pounding start, Mahila is back in action with and she's better than before. And it ends in the same way, a wild ride in the life of the one-time assassin. Mahila faces choices, decisions will have to be made, and it all depends on how much she's willing to sacrifice and for whom. She has a code in her life, one she's bound to if she going to buy back her soul, if she's going to right the centuries of the past. But, she also has another code, one she holds sacred, and that's for the tight knit group of friends. Lovers aren't taken lightly in Mahila's life and Jake is proven himself, but something is wrong in their relationship, and it leads Mahila to question more than just his love, his desire, his almost fascination. Dakota Banks writes a series where action pours from the pages, from one heart racing event to another. A strong story of lifetimes bound together, where friendship means more, where love is shared. The Mortal Path series is urban fantasy at it's best. The new reader wouldn't have any trouble at all picking up this book and being drawn into the story. My personal preference is that I like to start at the beginning of the series and read my way forward, but it's not necessary for Ms. Banks' series. Highly recommended for urban fantasy lovers, it's one not to be misses. Paranormal Romance lovers may also want to give this one a try, just enough romance to keep them needing more too. Five out of five fairy kisses for this reader.

I received a copy of the ebook for review from BLI. All opinions expressed are my own.


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