Title: Moonlight, Tiger, and Smoke
Author: Connie Bailey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Taken from their families and raised to be assassins, Moonlight and Tiger are the perfect weapons and secret lovers. Even when they are sent into service with different clans, their love remains pure and strong until a more insidious threat divides them.
When Moonlight realizes his master is manipulating people for his own ends, the discovery threatens not only Tiger, but their entire society. Betrayed by a fellow assassin, the men are tortured and broken. If their love and their people are going to survive, one of them will have to defy everything he knows and stand up for the only thing he believes is real: Love
Every now and then I come across a book that I’m afraid to review, simply because I don’t know if I can do it justice. A book that has been carefully and lovingly written, one that has been in the writers heart for quite some time, one that holds a place in its readers lives long after they lay the reader/book down. And then to worry that I won’t do the author, who spend countless hours pouring their love out onto the pages of the book, justice. However, as I was given the great honor of reading this story and reviewing it, I’m going to give it a shot, I’m going to tell each person who reads this post to get the book, to read it, and then please tell me it didn’t touch you at all. Because it did me, and several times my heart raced, my fingers didn’t want to turn the pages, my eyes wanted to stop so they wouldn’t see the pain these characters were put through. I put the reader down a few times and just shook my head at the unfairness of it all. And I picked it up and kept going and didn’t want to stop. I couldn’t. Not even if I wanted to. I was too invested in the lives of Moonlight, Tiger, and Smoke, and I’m glad I was given the opportunity to spend time with them.
Connie Bailey has written a novel that deserves more than the five kisses you see above. This is a tale of six children, all of them six years old, who were kidnapped from their families and put into wooden crates and taken to an island where they were told everything they did know of life, including their families were a thing of the past. These boys were told they’d never see them again, and from that day forward, these six special kids endured physical and mental hell. They were trained since they were taken to become more than mere assassins, they were to become so much more and all of them lied to, brainwashed.
We are introduced to them at six years old, we are taken from that time, very patiently and very carefully into their mid-twenties. We see them through all the vigorous training they are put through, we see them rely on one another, we see them become unlike anyone most of us knows. They are taught pain is to be ignored, they are told that they are what keeps the evil in the world balanced, they are told sex among their team-mates is wrong and when these boys turn twelve, they are separated and this is where the story really begins. Tiger, and Moonlight were thrown into a wooden crate with one another, with Tiger being the one who keeps Moonlight secure, protected, and loved. They even shared a hut with each other until their trainers separated them when they turned twelve. That was a rough moment but we are spared the pain from seeing them go through all that pain. The author skillfully advances us to a time when they are seventeen and ready to become men.
When Tiger and Moonlight were separated, Moonlight we come to find out was taken by a sadistic bastard who kept control over the people he governed by using “magic” and his ability to read the stars in the sky. Moonlight was taken and turned into a seducer, a high class call boy if you will, given only to the elite of his Masters choosing. Tiger was taken and he was turned into a killing machine and a fierce fighter afraid of nothing. The only thing he was afraid of was losing Moonlight, and let me tell you he almost did a few times. The evil leader kept these two lovers apart for years, and used them horribly.
We see them in action, killing and taking orders like robots, and then we see them become humans and how hard they fight for their freedom. They are damn near broken in spirit, as in body, for that freedom they seek. Its heart wrenching. Of the six boys taken, four are still alive at the end of the book. I encourage you to get your copy today and meet these misled killers. And please come back and tell me how you loved them all.
Reviewed By: Michele