by Lyssa Hart

July 2003
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When Faylin of Kilrathi arrives to fulfill her mission of vengeance and assassination, she finds herself in a bit of a dilemma. Not only is a Royal ball in full swing, it’s a masquerade, and there are several candidates for Emperor. How can she find the right one and finish him off?

An interesting premise for a deliciously spicy tale. Ms. Hart has created a charming world where blue is the color of the day, and the men are everything we could want – witty, sexy, and skilled in the erotic arts.

None more so than Faylin’s “target”, who sets out to torture her, but not with pain - with pleasure. Although very short, this tale packs quite a sensual punch. Faylin is every inch the trained assassin, yet beneath her skills lurks the passions of an unawakened woman. The Emperor is not averse to seizing pleasure where he finds it, and yet he too seems surprised at the feelings Faylin arouses in him. Their initial dialogue is snappy and charged with sexuality right from the get-go, and the reader can’t wait for these two to get together somewhere quiet.

Very erotic, intelligently written, and featuring just the right balance between plot and character, Ms. Hart is to be complimented on this short story. Indeed, that is the only drawback I can is, of course, too short. I would love to have learned a little more about the backgrounds of these two, and perhaps taken a closer look at the Emperor himself. A much closer look.

However, for a short respite from everyday life, you can’t do better than take a break with this book. You’ll wish for a little “torture” yourself.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Celia.

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