You had me at “Nun Assassins.”
Sybella is a nun with a twisted past that is uniquely suited for the task given to her: infiltrate her vile father’s household and wait for the chance to assassinate him. Or at least that is how it seems. Sybella is not the most likable character which only adds to how fantastic this book is. She is no saint and no martyr. She has a twisted relationship with her brother and a past full of sins that succeeded in driving her mad. But her Abbess’s orders are clear: become the spy in the enemy’s household. Her tragic and abusive past makes every minute in her father’s house utter torture.
Then her orders change. She is to rescue the Beast of Waroch, who has been imprisoned and tortured by her father, and bring him to Rennes. Feeling betrayed, Sybella makes her own plans. But she cannot leave the noble man to suffer, and succeeds in rescuing him; only to be drug along to Rennes against her will.
Along their journey to Rennes, the relationship between the Beast and Sybella grows. And it grows BELIEVABLY. No 180 degree hate to love crap in this book. Then when they reach Rennes, all her omissions are laid bare and she fears the Beast will never love her as she does him. The Beast however recognizes a good woman when he sees her and refuses to allow Sybella on the suicide mission that awaits her.
The best part of this book however are the villains. They are coarse and uncouth. They are vile to their black hearts. They have depths and complexities and they all follow Sybella’s father like lambs to the slaughter. To be fair, quite a few of them do redeem themselves when taken away from her father’s warped influence, but you can’t change how people grew up.