Moonlight, Tiger, and Smoke - Connie Bailey This is one book that made me feel just about every emotion I could. It's been hard trying to write a justifiable review for it because I'm just not sure how to put into words how much I enjoyed it.

Moonlight and Tiger have not had the best of lives. Taken from their homes at such a young age and then brought up in a society where they're expected to do illegal and horrible things, killing high profiled individuals who are bad for their organization or seducing them to get information that will be their demise is what their lives have become. Bleak is the most accurate word. The only thing that keeps Moonlight and Tiger sane is each other. Their interactions every few months when they've done good is all they see of each other and the only times they can express their love without it being tainted by others. Unfortunately, they have to do some unmentionable acts to earn the privilege to see each other. Tiger, an Iron, is the best of the best when it comes to assassination and Moonlight, a Rose, is the best and most beautiful seducer. Unfortunately, the things Moonlight is doing and the lies he's been told about Tiger almost break him, causing him to become a shell of a man and almost useless. It's up to Tiger and Smoke to free Moonlight from the nonstop misery his life has become and almost at the price of their own.

These characters are something else. While you pity the things they have to do to stay alive and may even be disgusted at what they do, you can't help not being in love with them. The trials and tribulations they go through just to be able to see each other for a few days is heartbreaking to say the least. Moonlight is seductive, deceitful and can easily be defined as perfection. He's beyond beautiful and trained to be the perfect courtesan, spy and manipulator. He is the jewel of the Rose Tribe. He's both hated and loved by his organization and probably the most feared man for his abilities. He's vibrant and alive but only when it comes to being with Tiger. Tiger is fearless, ruthless and relentless. He's the pride of the Iron Tribe. He's a cold, cutthroat killer; the perfect assassin because he holds no emotions. Except for Moonlight. He's become the best because he knows when he pleases his superiors he gets to see Moonlight and all he and Moonlight want is to be free of their kidnappers and run away together somewhere quiet.

I, in all honesty, loved this book. I couldn't put it down once I started it. It's emotionally gut wrenching at times and sweet at others, suspenseful and left me hanging on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. There's just something about Moonlight and Tiger that buried themselves in my heart and wouldn't let go. Everything they go through just to be together is insane but more than that their love for one another is impenetrable. It withstands so much and even after it all their love never lessens. It's intense.

The plot revolves around what Moonlight and Tiger go through. The first half is about their training then moves into their growing feelings, how they become lovers and the manipulation the head master, Autumn, uses on them. The second half of the book is more suspenseful dealing with mostly Tiger's missions with spurts of Moonlight's orders and how he's handling knowing he's being manipulated while trying to put up with it without getting killed. Tie in the fact that Smoke, one of the guys they grew up training with, becomes a betrayer then an accomplice creates a rather action-packed but somewhat angsty book. The world that was created for this story is exceptional. The different terms for the different sectors of the organization are ones that give the book a depth and understanding that made reading it even more enjoyable and interesting.

I truly adored this story and I recommend it to all those who think they'd like something like this. I'd love to see more of these characters and how they are going to handle their new lives.