Title: Butterfly Assassin
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 82k Words
Category: Urban Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Aaron and Michael are so great together; they have such a solid chemistry, and Aaron is just soooooo, so lovely. I hope this book means there will be more to follow.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Clapham Common—a new pack with their own set of problems…
Shifter Aaron Harper gets drawn into illegal underground fighting to keep an eye on his best friend. The thrill of the fight keeps him coming back for more, but discovery could mean imprisonment and banishment from their pack. Without a beta to watch over them, common sense takes a back seat.
Michael Archer of the Shifter Crimes Task Force is investigating recent murders. Despite the brutal cause of death pointing to the work of a shifter’s claws, instinct tells him a well-known nightclub owner is involved, but they have no proof.
Aaron and Michael’s paths cross after another body with the same injuries is discovered. With Aaron finding himself on the wrong side of the SCTF and Michael looking for a killer, any attraction between them is both ill-advised and unlikely. But fate has other ideas.
Review: I’ve been a fan of Annabelle Jacobs’ fiction since I discovered her Torsere series in 2014, though it’s her Regent’s Park Pack series that’s become a favorite. With this latest release being set within that same -verse though focusing on not only a different pack but also having a very different relationship aspect to it, I have to say Butterfly Assassin has just taken its place as my favorite of all her published works thus far.
Don’t let the title fool you; it’s metaphorical rather than literal. There is no murder-for-hire plot here. Rather, the story focuses on the mystery and how a series of murders point to the operator of an illegal bare-knuckle fighting ring as much as it does on the relationship between Aaron and Michael. This is a slow-burn romance, especially so since one of the men involved is a shifter and the other a human. That’s somewhat unusual in this sub-genre, what with the mate bond trope offering the simplistic insta-love option. In this case, however—and what sets this apart from the Regent’s Park books just a bit—Aaron and Michael are not only wolf and human respectively, their association is complicated by the circumstances surrounding the murder investigation. That and the fact that Michael has no desire to leave his humanity behind for the sake of forming a true mate bond with Aaron. This shifter/human dynamic has been touched on in a past relationship in the -verse, but in Butterfly Assassin it’s the first time it’s been the focal point. I loved it. Add in the fact that they’re trying to keep a professional distance while Aaron helps Michael and the Shifter Crimes Task Force catch a killer, and the UST and all that barely-disguised lust worked for me, especially when it surfaced.
The serial murders and the danger of the investigation add a different sort of tension to the story—a missing shifter and the involvement of the Alpha Council brings together the wolves and the human investigators in the SCTF, and I loved this as a first in this -verse. Humans haven’t played as prominent a role in the Alt U/Urban Fantasy as they do here, and it was great to see the shifter world from a different perspective. I hope this book means there will be more books to follow.
Aaron and Michael are so great together; they have such a solid chemistry. Aaron is just so, so lovely, and Michael is his perfect mate. And, while the book doesn’t end in a definitive HEA—it couldn’t without feeling forced and/or disingenuous, so kudos to Annabelle Jacobs for sticking to her canon—it does end in the sweetest and most promising way possible.
No worries if you haven’t read the Regent’s Park Pack series yet. The world is laid out with enough detail to give readers a jumping off point right here without feeling lost. If you’re into shifters with a good dose of murder mystery to go along with them, Butterfly Assassin delivers both with a side of romantic complications.
You can buy Butterfly Assassin here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07DJ1L29H?d” style=”blue” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]