The third novel in the Order of the Sicari series looks at two generations of lovers and the obstacles in their path. Burns continues to do an excellent job creating characters that are layered and vivid. Conflicting loyalties and motivations as well as danger and betrayal all ensure this is one intense ride from beginning to end.
Discovering that her father is none other than Sicari Lord Marcus Vorenus is a shock to Sicari assassin Cleopatra. Anger at her mother, the prima consul Atia, almost blinds Cleo, so she requests an assignment in Rome. Cleo is trying to find a way to rescue her friend Marta who has been kidnapped by the Praetorians. In Rome, Cleo meets the Sicari Lord heir apparent Dante Condellaire and the sparks are instantaneous. Dante, however, swore an oath of celibacy as a teen in order to devote himself to the Absconditus. Never has his will been tested before. The stakes in this rescue mission are high and the dangers intense, for a traitor is lurking in the shadows. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Oct., 370 pp., $15.00)