Yes, had to change my rating from 3.25 stars :(
Okay.. So I attempted my re-read, I got to chapter 38 and decided I knew exactly how I felt about this book. First, let me start with the odd things that I liked. This won't take long considering there's only one thing that I wasn't totally upset or confused about..
I was not happy AT. ALL. when I learned that after all the heart wrenching Ward caused me in the "Shadows", that she was actually bringing Selena back, and so quickly. THE NERVE! But amazingly, this angle in this book, was the only thing that I liked and had absolutely no issue about where it appears to be going. I love Trez. I hate that he's suffering and I found that I just want him happy. I hope it turns out well and unfolds in a way that's beautiful, intense, & real.
Xcor & Layla
*Le Sigh* Now I for one have been in love with Xcor since I met him waaaay back in Payne's book. Didn't want to love him, but hey, he got me. In that book it was clear to me then, at least where part of his story was going to land. And we FINALLY see those fruits in this book (He and Tohr), but I was highly disappointed with the lack of PASSION, push and pull, & intensity between Xcor and Layla. I mean come on WARD! Where was it?! All the intense, stolen moments in the past with these two was not even a blip on the pages here. I LOVED the devotion and sweetness between these two, because yes, we needed that. But I needed a balance here. These two were finally able to be together, but with the enormous threat of being ripped apart for so many MAJOR reasons. And none of that intensity or passion or fire was present here. In or out of the bedroom. So this chick here, was found wanting. MAJORLY wanting. #IFeelSoCheated.. *hangs head*
Now, I've always understood and liked Layla. Even when she appeared to be just a blank slate in the beginning. I got her. Every book she has been in, has confirmed my first impressions of her. She's growth personified. I'm proud of her. She gets stronger every time I see her :)
Xcor's back story I wanted more of this. I can't lie about that either. I felt like we were just given the Headlines & not the true "meat" of the story. Still, what I got broke my heart and allowed me to get a little more insight into him. Why & how he became who he became. And also how he could turn away from his initial road of darkness, destruction, & hate for the love of a good woman.
Xcor & Tohr The moment of reveals for these two was beautiful. I can't deny that. But I needed more. it all happened way too fast, very late in the game, so it was rushed. I didn't like that at all.
Qhuinn & Blay
I felt like their issues were warranted, but I felt more from them, than the main couple of this book. They sort of stole the show. I thought it was beautiful, heartbreaking and real what they were dealing with. But I felt it took center stage and again, that I didn't like. No balance.
Qhuinn pushed some hard buttons here. I knew he would. I expected it. But dang. Even I got a few black eyes from those verbal punches he was throwing at Layla & Blay
He threw the biggest dang tantrums of epic proportions. He really did. LOL!
But it worked out. So there's that ;)
*Sighs* He's my man. He really is. He held it down here. As always. It's very hard to hate on that. I love him <3 But every time he gets a headache, I just want to punch people for him.
I loved seeing these males in their elements. Being in their thoughts, seeing them co-existing with Xcor and the Brothers. They are no longer faceless beings with weird names to me. I see the potential here and I'm very excited to learn more about each of these guys individually. I think they're awesome. And seeing them exercise their own personal code of honor while remaining loyal to their leader was touching.
I love him when he's a good mixture of the serious & lighthearted. He's just more compelling that way for me. I truly hope that Ward continues to development him more and more in this manner. He broke my heart with some of the things that was revealed here, concerning him and his "Learning Curve" with his new role. I can't wait to see more.
WHY?!!! Just why? I'm truly not happy with this sad excuse for a drama plot. *Rolls eyes* And it had a nice long time on the stage in this book, too. Seriously Ward, either sh&t or get off the pot with these two. (Vishous & Jane)... I and the whole world that knows of this series, knows that you've never truly wanted these two together. It's obvious in the way these two have always been written. But why even take it here and now? Why? *shakes head*
WTHeck kinda fresh hell has he gotten himself into?
This was some dark mess. *shudders*
The Climactic Fight Scene
I really loved it. WOW. I thought it was great and I missed seeing this type of action in this series. Let's get back to awesome basics here. #LovinIt
Bottom line I liked it, in theory. But I didn't love it, on paper. It was just way too sweet and too soon, and just too much right now, for all that was still lacking before it got to that point.
Overall, I was truly curious about what Ward was going to do with this book. I was hoping she got back to her awesome, poignant story telling here. I mean she had so many great things to work with. But sadly, it just wasn't what I had hoped. This was just an "Okay" chapter to this series for me. If you're committed to the BDB as many of us are, then yes, you still need to read it for yourself. Just be aware that your feels for this could go either way. Take you anywhere. You may find yourself stuck in this alternate universe like me, trying to figure out just what happened exactly & why.. OR you may actually love it *Shrugs*
~~I will always love this series simply for what it once was. What pulled me in and caused me to stay for so long. I will always have love & hate for the many characters involved here. But the truth is, it's simply not the series that it once was for me. The writing has changed. And honestly, that's not a good thing. It's a sad thing. At least for me.~~
Much Love, my fellow BDB Brothers' & Sisters'