"But I do hope you are aware, my sweet, somewhere in that absurd heart, that I am ever, entirely, and quite pathetically yours."
A great conclusion to the trilogy. Wish there would be more but aside from a short story, but it doesn't look like it.
The characters in these books have become addicting. Lucien rocked in his role with speech and planning during the final battle. Him standing there in his confidence and arrogance was perfect. It’s delightful that the author plays up his eye and seriousness for fashion even more than the other books. He has sweet and tender moments, followed by severe, dominating ones, all which work. Stephen is just as easy to fall in love with - realistic self-doubts and esteem issues, an almost reverent attraction to Lucien, and a protective angry streak that rears its head at the right times.
So many ‘awww’ moments. These two together are perfect; his submissive streak is a balanced complement to Lucian's controlling one. With their conflicting personalities, definitely among my favorite romantic couples. I like how the author took two men who were completely opposites in their forms of power.
Bedroom moments aren't as steamy as the first, but they're close. I do find the dialogue during these times weak, though, they just don't work. I'll miss something that's now gone at the end of the book (spoiler hint, duh), something that's been a part of Julian since the get-go. Sure, was becoming a pain, but I was used to having that around.
Merrick is a favorite of mine, so I was happy to see he gets to shine in several scenes. The author wraps up his story well. He’s intimidating as hell. I’m not gaga over his love interest, but I dig the idea of connecting townhouses. Loyalty, it works.
The climax of this one was epic ~ tension, creative maneuvering, brutal battle without silly one-liners. Loved the creative villains with the unusual abilities (avoiding spoilers here) - wicked and disturbing stuff. The basic plot is interesting as it shows more internal politics in the justiciar, involves old foes all the way to the first book, a mild mystery involving a main character/red herring. These elements are mixed in with ups and downs in the relationship without dragging it out, becoming melodramatic and tiresome.
As with the other books, humor is present, even if it’s not as laugh-out-loud as the first. I do wish these books, especially this one, was longer. With all the action and something going on, it can afford stretching room. K.J. Charles has a way with words, her writing makes these books breeze by. Her dialogue is a major strength, especially when Lucien is talking in his sarcastic, but aristocratic way. Sure, like I said, the erotic dialogue irritated me, but the every day conversation was entrancing.
The story is not lacking in any way with tension, turns of events, and excitement. Writing flows well to highlight fun, intelligent characters. Humor mixes ideally with action. I love the magical world the author has weaved for this faux historical series.
This one concludes the series, and any hanging threads are things which will naturally be resolved by time for the characters as their relationships and personal lives progress. No annoying loose ends dangling. The author ended this series well, although I wish it could continue – there’s so much more that can be done with these characters and their adventures in her created world.
“Stephen can, of course , use my power, for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s his, just as all I am and all I have are his. Not that he ever asks, of course. I’m not sure that he quite believes it.”