I had a great time reconnecting with my favorite trio, but this book threw me for a bit of a loop. Not in a bad way, whatsoever. But it was a distinctly different sort of story than its predecessor.
Part of what I loved about Beck & Call was that the three characters grow into a relationship together. During the immersive role-playing drama of the sequel, we’re returning to tried and true narratives, where the lord of the manor wants to share his new wife with his long-time friend.
That didn’t bother me as much as the uneven method of story-telling. After the “prologue,” the voice switches to Mia completely immersing herself into the storyline of the game. But I didn’t want innocent Edwardian Mia — I wanted modern Mia, and her thoughts about playing the game, especially during some emotionally intense (non-sexual) scenarios. About halfway through the book, we’re jerked out of that period mindset and things switch back to the “actual” characters. Afterward, there’s a bit more back and forth, where we get modern Mia’s interpretation of the life she’s portraying, especially as real-world events intrude on their immersive vacation. I’d rather have maintained consistency of voice through the entire novel.
The choice of POV also confused me because it seemed like the “point” of this extensive exercise was to deepen the connection between Jake and Damien. I’d loved to have experienced their thoughts about the scenarios rather than being stuck in the head of the person who’s already sure of her love and commitment.
Criticisms aside, this was still a fun read with some delightful sexy bits. The usual anachronisms I’d have picked at in an actual period novel were easy to let slide because the other “characters” in the book were also modern people diving into a fun role-playing experience. Emma Holly is an author I look forward to continuing reading.