I was thrilled to see that the next book in this series was by the same author (and featured the same characters) as my favorite story in the Valentine’s Day anthology, “Nascha.” In fact, that story takes place over the same time period as this novel, and it was fun to see what was going on in Cal’s life “for real” rather than from the unreliable narration perspective of his great-uncle.
The downside to this, of course, was that the short story essentially spoils the ending of the novel. Getting there was still an amazing journey, and obviously you know that you’re getting a “happily ever after” no matter what, but I’d have liked to be a bit more surprised regarding the details.
As with many of the other books in this series, the author handles diversity (this time in the context of a character with a communication handicap) with compassion and care. Like the two heroes, Cal’s brother Keir was a fascinating and three-dimensional character. Therefore, it was a bit surprising that on the flip side, the author continued to beat me over the head with unnecessary and exoticized descriptions of Cal’s darker (American Indian) skin tone, which became frustrating and repetitive.
Overall, however, I adored this story between Cal and Avery. Despite the whirlwind nature of their relationship, I feel like the two lovers in this book are the closest to “soul mates” of any of the couples featured in this series to date.