3.5 stars I think is a fairer rating.
Everything goes oh too well for our characters. Even the most evil event leaves (physically) only bruises and sore muscles. Not that I am complaining, mind you.
Another minus for me is the unfinished business. Killjoy, Chacal, Spanish in general - those are still loose ends. I almost wish there was less talk and love making.... oh, who am I kidding!
I don't get Levi/Darius, sorry. There was nothing between them bar pure hate for the longest time, and all of the sudden there is an orgy and a half, butterfly kisses and ribbons and kittens and even the L word. Nope. Not working for me.
I also don't get why Levi had to lie about Ian not showing up for the reunion, along with the stupid decision on Ian's behalf not to pick up a phone call to clear up the situation. You can listen, you don't have to meet face to face, that's the benefit of a phone call, right? So, one silly thing after another after yet another... That's the way of the book. Which leaves me with a shrug and 1.75 stars.
Писательское мастерство автора, да в мирных бы целях.....
Нудная середина и нудный конец. Я ожидала больше, чем "она его за муки полюбила, а он ее за состраданье к ним".
The "comfort" bit of hurt/comfort was overdone, trying to compensate for falling in love, I guess. Once Callisto's new charm was in place to stabilize his condition, everything slowed down to a crawl.
I hope the author forgives me for my speculations, but I am just sharing my personal impression of the book.
It seems to me the story was started some time ago, like a decade or two. When the author came back to it, tho, she did with gusto and somehow propelled the time period from regency or maybe even early 20th century to 2013 without a single glance back. All that I like had ended with Chapter 12. Chapter 13 welcomed us with a very sudden and very vicious addiction to cell phones, texts, voicemail and turning the damn thing on and off. Energy bars, credit cards, modern technology and modern jargon (started with "dunno") is suddenly all over the place.
Everyone is high on caffeine and sugar, hence, I assume, all the giggling, chuckling, laughing, smiling and so on (thesaurus was thoroughly exploited in this story). MC did a 180 and turned into a complete gigglepuss by 60%.
Then, there is all that food and clothes. The author is like a vice, she latches onto a subject and can't let go even after a new shiny pops up :(
Consort/Master dynamics, inappropriate and overused crude dirty jokes appeared to be all wrong to me. Maybe I am overly PC, but I cringed most of the time when Julian stepped in to discuss his responsibilities as a consort. Why is he even male? O.o Alex's "mounds" got pretty old and overused pretty fast; several characters managed to come off as sexist as**oles.
I started the book looking forward to a mystery. I got over my disappointment on that matter very early in the book and decided to enjoy fantasy of manners, magic and The Courtship instead. Chapter 13 (yes, I know, I already mentioned it), disappointed me again. The Courtship stopped. The old charm disappeared. Modern world and modern jargon with multiple new inane characters, whose names mostly start with J, took over.
Means of communication: first it was just a messenger or an occasional phone call, then it was cell-cell-cell, and t-h-e-n, because Alex/Julian relationship is not cheesy enough, we got Horace, The Messenger bird, who carried Alex's and Julian's letters in his chest where its heart supposed to be.
I did enjoy bits of a story, finding the courtship and magic fascinating, too bad it was given up for clothes, food, drinks and endless empty banter. Is ever a revised, well edited version comes out, I will give it a second chance. For now I can only give it one star.