*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.
The big guy of this series is finally getting his story told and let me tell you, I'm a really happy reader.
You already know about my love of Ian and Charlotte Taggart, so it's no surprise that I love their book as much as I do. I may or may not have read this book multiple times too, because that's just what I do with stories I love as much as this one, I obsess over them.
I finally understood why Ian was as dark as he was in the beginning of this series. And as reckless as he was. It all makes sense. I also kinda understood why he did what he did in the first book of the series, Sean's book, when he made a decision that put his relationship with his brother at risk. But I get it. Everything made sense when I read this book. The fact that Ian survived the emotional pain of losing his wife shows just how strong he is. And I say survived, but definitely not recovered from it, because we know he never truly did recover from it. Charlie was the one for him. And I completely understood the way he treated her in the beginning of this book. He basically got his heart broken twice by the same woman, so him being a bit angry, hurtful and mean makes a lot of sense.
At the same time I couldn't help but love Charlie. She had to overcome a lot of tough shit from her past, and while she had to do some really bad stuff along the way, she didn't lose her humanity or her soul in the process. I loved how throughout the book she and her sister Chelsea are shown to be complete opposites. Chelsea, her younger sister, is darker, more lost due to the horrors of her childhood, while Charlie still has some pureness in her.
I really liked how the issue of commitment in a BDSM relationship was approached in this story. Here we have a guy whose wife died and tried everything in his power to survive that pain and did everything he possibly could to cope and to live in the fantasy of being with her one last time, while at the same time we have a woman who knows her husband is alive and well, and she did everything her Dom told her to do, even after she left him. I liked that aspect, as well as Charlotte's reasoning behind doing some of the things she did to honor her contract with Ian.
There were some funny moments too. As already used to from future books when these two appear, I already knew Ian and Charlie are a really funny couple, so I was very glad to see that this was also present in their book.
The plot was really interesting and it shows how cunning the villain was, and how dehumanizing ultimate power can be for some people. It also kind of explains the first arc of this series really well and it shows that sometimes there's a fine line between good and evil. We also understand what ties together certain events and certain characters, because this book adds a piece to the puzzle that shows exactly those details. The ending was really fitting and I liked how in the end Ian chose Charlie above everything else, even when everything seemed to be pointing towards her not being a trustworthy person. So I liked that he took a chance with her. As always, we get a glimpse in the future of the series and Damon is next. I am very excited to see what his story will bring.
Darcy has a painful past. She thinks she failed her sister and now she’s trying to make it up by making sure her sister’s daughter, Lulu is living a happy and safe life. The only problem is that Lulu’s guardian, uptight, ultra-organized, ex-SAS, Capt. Matt Peterson won’t allow her to even visit her. Now Darcy needs to find a way to convince him that being a tattooed ex-con is not as bad as it seems.
I loved Darcy’s kick-a$$ character! I think the author did an excellent job of portraying the true nature of her character. She was tough and protective yet showed glimpses of vulnerability at exactly the right moments. Even when she was unsure or feeling susceptible, she still went ahead and made the tough decisions.
Matt on the other hand cracked me up half of the time. He was supposed to be this stiff, uptight, almost super-soldier but when it came to Lulu and Darcy… well, let’s just say he became someone else entirely different but not in a bad way. He and Darcy formed some kind of bond, that as much as they tried to deny it existed, or not give it a name, worked excellent for me because it was that openness and honest attitude from both of them that made their nameless relationship work; as long as their meddlesome friends were not trying to dictate their lives.
Argh! That really annoyed me, though! Darcy and Matt’s friends were always telling them how bad they were for each other and how much damage each would cause to the other. I mean, seriously, consenting adults? At least in the end, friends served their purpose and proved that without them life would not only be boring but also so much harder and lonely.
It’s not very often I connect this well with characters but this book was something else. Even Lulu was a delight to read. Those that have dealt with little kids will immediately understand and chuckle at what the characters had to go through with little Lulu.
It’s not very often I give 5 stars to books either but I think this one warrants it. There simply was nothing I didn’t like; if anything I could re-read this book just for the sheer pleasure of reading it again.
** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.*** (less)
The story wasn’t bad but I had a few issues that didn’t let me fully enjoy this story.
It was a good romance story, not to mention the suspense sub-plot indeed kept me turning the pages. The thing is, I think there were too many things this book could have done without and it still would have been a good story.
It all started with lots of heart-pumping action. Someone murdered Grace’s father and now she’s trying to escape the same fate. Miraculously, she ends up in the land of a well-placed family that takes her as one of their own. After that initial encounter and Grace’s convalescence, the pace starts slowing down.
The characters were charismatic and complex. Hugh was smart and charming; stern when needed yet wicked when he wanted to be. Grace was also smart with the gift of a super memory, although it took forever to get to why it was so important she had such a gift. Jo, Hugh’s sister had a tragic past, something that I also think we spend too much time on. I think they were setting ground for future books but again, I think it was not needed. The writing was impeccable and the historical accuracy was on point. The problem with that was that we spent too much time reading about history and not enough time with the main characters as people. Even the suspense that was so good at the start ends up being kind of a let down because I felt some things about Grace’s father were more guesswork than actual answers.
** I received this book at no cost to me via Netgalley and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***
Finley and Alina are part of an ancient magical civilization called Albah. Some call them elves, others call them witches, but in truth no one truly knows what they are or where they are from. The only thing they are certain of is that because their race is capable of creating evil creatures they are being hunted to extinction.
This is the third installment in the series but it can be read as a standalone. As I started reading the book I had the impression that one had to read the first two books in order to get the gist of this one but as the story progressed it was pretty obvious that was not necessary.
Finley is an adventurous and one could almost call cynical man that wants nothing to do with the magical family he was born into and couldn’t care less if they truly went extinct. The thing with Finley is that even though he gave up the responsibilities that came with being part of that family, he never gave up his magical gift as he always considered it an intrinsic part of himself. So, when he meets a long lost Albah that never before had the chance to experience life in the magical sense, he realizes what could be lost if all that magic is completely gone, and worst, what would happen to the family and friends he hardly gave himself a chance to meet.
Of all three books this one is by far my favorite. Not only did the author tell us more details of the world of the Albah, their Guardians, Albanex, and Keepers; but the story also gave us a more expanded view of how they interact with regular humans. I also thought there is a bit more humor in this one but that may be due to the interaction between the two main characters (there is also more sexual content so, fair warning) who are young and free and trying to survive a fight neither one of them asked to be a part of. Overall it was a great read with a unique world-building, just as the previous two books, and I do recommend it to anyone that likes PNR/UF with a different twist.
** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**