I keep really enjoying these books and then knocking a star off my rating because the heroes REALLY need to learn about consent and boundaries. Coming to this paranormal romance series as a “modern” romance reader definitely makes certain scenes more cringe-worthy than sexy, but Cole continues to suck me in with her world-building and character dynamics.
This story overlaps with the fun scavenger hunt from the previous book, giving a fun look at the relationship between two characters we’ve met before. As a fun spin, the heroine is an immortal who hasn’t attained that immortality yet, leaving her as a contemporary character among those who have lived for centuries. Bowen and Mari have instant chemistry despite their jarring circumstances, and their very different ideas of “banter” make for a fun developing relationship. Mari is also the first witch protagonist of this series, and we also meet demons and elves as more than just background color. Cole once again shows her world-building chops with the information we get about their worlds.
Like I mentioned above, some elements of the way this series’ werewolves treat their “destined” mates comes across as pretty rapey. The constant use of “male” and “female” to refer to gender was also distracting and often technically inappropriate in the context. Possibly another artifact from the original time period in which these books were written.
The twist at the end was a bit jarring, but absolutely surprising and unexpected. The final resolution was solid and well-deserved. Once again looking forward to the next installment of this series.