Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for Honest Review
5 stars from us
First and foremost, I'd like to thank the many fans who apparently asked for this book. I can't believe it wasn't all part of the plan. Since I have only been reading Meredith Duran and historical romance for a very short time, I'm so thankful she listened to your pleas!
I was absolutely riveted by Lockwood from the first introduction in The Duke of Shadows. A strange, dark charm...I actually didn't realize till late in the book that her new release was to be about him, and I was so happy to hear it.
Now onto the review of this book....
It's almost not fair. What kind of brilliance does it take for an author to understand the human condition, make us understand and empathize with both characters nearly in equal measure, hurt and hope with them, and fall in love with them? A Meredith Duran level of brilliance. I know I haven't been reading romance long, but having read #1, #5,#6 from this series I unreservedly say that she is the one of the best that romance has to offer. Her books are instant classics with their meaty plots, incredible but not miraculous character development, and beautiful words. (Which I'll share upon a second reading).
I am realizing my reviews of her books are far less than adequate. I intend to reread and more heavily review this rich examples of romance. I can tell you in so many ways this book pushes you to the edges of your capacity to understand and creates a little fissure that eventually becomes something you can identify with. Though I still favor Duke of Shadows, this is equally poignant. She's taken flawed characters and made us love them more for it.
I shall stop with the gushing...well through writing, I still have a lot going on my up in my brain over this stunner of a book.
Thanks to Netgalley/publisher for the advanced copy of this book.
Since Micah has spent most of the previous two books in a constant drug haze, it was nice to get to know him once he's free of the drugs. He's smart and philosophical, and he's realistic about his situation and the people he hurt with his drug habit. He knows he's got to keep working the program, even the parts that seem silly to him, and he doesn't get defensive when he's called out for veering off the rules. He knows he's got a lot of bridges to rebuild and relationships to mention, especially with his found family who he betrayed in the previous book. So getting know the real him was great.
I also liked that he was just miraculously clean after a stint in rehab. He's still tempted, and he's aware of his triggers and his pitfalls. Being idle is bad for him, so when his fellow rehab friend Austin gets his brother to offer Micah a job, he jumps at it.
Jake, Austin's brother, is a down-to-earth guy trying to grow his landscaping business, but he also has to take care of his younger brother, whose recovery is not going as well as Micah's. And with all his issues with Austin, I really couldn't buy it that he'd jump so quickly into a relationship with Micah. Yes, he questions the wisdom of it several times, and this is one of the few times the mid-book breakup actually makes sense. And even though this relationship develops over a few weeks, as opposed to the first two books which were both over a handful of days, this felt more rushed somehow. Maybe because I didn't really feel the connection, because I kept wondering why Jake, or even Micah, would risk a relationship at this point in their lives, and Austin's just another complication.
Really, this is a massive spoiler. You've been warned.
And I kind of felt that killing Austin off was just a little too "easy" for getting rid of that complication. Obviously, not easy emotionally for the characters, but easy narratively for the author.
I'm not sure what to make of the gentrification plot that's introduced here and which will be resolved somehow in the next book, which makes this kind of a cliffhanger. I guess I'll wait and see that resolution before deciding on it - though reading the blurb for the next book, I can already guess where that's going to go.
The three little snippets or interludes at the end were more like teasers for the next book than anything else, fun to read but not necessary.
Oh, and no way is that African violet surviving. They're way too picky and finicky to grow under the best of circumstances.
I'm barely thirty minutes into the eight and a half hour audiobook and the standard of the writing is outstanding. Elizabeth Strout's prose is effortlessly accessible while still engaging me in the nuances of an old man's perceptions and opinions, building his worldview with such deft strokes that I can't even see how's she doing it,
Megan’s Munchkins was adorable. Though it did something some books rarely do. That is the fact we get to learn about kitten care though not like we are getting bogged down with information all the time like a kitten book.
It as if Megan want to prove to her parents that can take care of a pet. Though she makes mistakes along the way. We see she how she changes and that of her parents. She afraid to tell her parents that she found them.
Will Megan's fear over rule and or will she tell her parents. We see her determination and struggle to want to tell her parents. She doe take on the responsibility of the kittens. She know she want them to live and not die.
Her family does not know other then her brother. Though will she face and accept the mistakes and learn from them. You will need to find out by reading. Her parents see the changes but they get a little upset when they find out what she been hiding.