I'm not lost. I'm found.
Born of Fire
The League, book two
ebook, 551 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
First published July 1996
He takes no prisoners.
Syn was raised as a tech-thief until his livelihood uncovered a truth that could end his life. He tried to destroy the evidence, and has been on the run ever since. Now trained as an assassin, he allows no one to threaten him. Ever. He is the darkness that swallows his enemies whole.
She offers no escape.
Shahara Dagan is the best bounty hunter in the universe. When Syn comes back on the radar, she’s the only one who can bring him to justice. There’s only one problem: Syn is a close family friend who’s helped out the Dagans countless times. But if she saves him, both of their lives will be on the line. Is Syn’s protection worth the risk? The only hope Shahara has is to find the evidence he buried long ago. Now it’s kill or be killed - and they, the predators, have just become the hunted.
Shahara Dagan is the eldest of her three siblings, Tessa, Kasen, and brother Caillen. Though her reputation as a bounty hunter is flawless, leading one to believe her finances are sound, the truth remains that her family is in a great amount of debt. Most of which was inherited by their father. When her sister, Tessa, is left fighting for her life after surviving a debt collector's assault, Shahara alone is left to find the money it will take to get the medicine and treatment Tessa needs. She doesn't concern Kasen or Caillen. They don't have it, and if they borrow it, Shahara fears where that path will lead.
Syn, too, knows well the life of impoverishment. Once upon a time, he lived as a thief and it was during such that he met Nykyrian when he attempted to rob him as he lay wounded beyond help. From there, the two inexplicably became friends. Nyk paid Syn's way through college where Syn became a successful surgeon, married, and had a son.
Then, his world collapsed around him, and... there are no words for the amount of pain and devastation that Syn has endured. I thought Nykyrian had it rough... And maybe Nyk would win the 'worst existence ever' award if you weigh it all out, but damn... Syn...
Desperate for money, Shahara takes on Syn's contract and manages to do what no one else has. She finds his home. There's a struggle, fighting it out, one overtaking the other, back and forth. Until Syn throws a lockdown and Shahara finds herself trapped. She demands he open the doors. He refuses. She shoots him. Fucking bitch, right?
Syn recognizes Shahara as Caillen's idolized older sister, although they've never met. He refuses to hurt her. Even after she betrays his location to the authorities. He ends up in prison, beaten to within a mere inch from his life by the interrogators.
Guilt ridden, matters play out in such a way that Shahara is able to free Syn, but it would mean betraying him again once their run was over. During their epic flight from ever attacking pursuers, she is further condemned as she learns more and more about Syn's childhood horrors. His father. His mother. The loss of his sister. His whore of a wife. The son, whom he didn't even father, turning on him.
All the while, and despite the ranting to Nykyrian about how all women betray, Syn can't keep his lips from kissing Shahara any chance he gets. Both of them victims of rape, it takes a good while before they end up in bed.
Only to have Shahara's brother, Caillen, land a blow on Syn afterwards that I, too, was left reeling from.
And then Syn lies. He tells her he doesn't love her. Tries to convince himself it would never work. She'd betray him. She'd leave. It would ruin everything she had. He'd never survive the loss of her. Blah blah blah. And even as he goes through the motions of all the reasons not to have hope... the man buys a wedding ring.
Ah, the agony! I was crushed when this book ended. Too good. Too damn good to end! Even as happily as it did despite not coming full circle with the first book--which, yes, the author does well to warn about-- I ached for more. Sheridan Digger Wade is a character I'm certain to carry with him for a good while.
5 out of 5 stars.
The next book, Born of Ice, takes a twenty year jump into the life of Devyn, the son Syn and Shahara didn't expect they could ever have.
Previously in the series: