Charles has such a fantastic gift for crafting worlds that I want to fall into, populated by characters I want to befriend. In fact, beyond the plot and romance of this particular novel, one of the elements I love best about it is the genuine friendships that have developed between the four main characters that cross class and gender divides. The book opens at a moment when Kim has not contacted Will for weeks, yet Will appears to have a standing lunch date with Phoebe, which shocked and delighted me.

Will and Kim, on the other hand… Well, they might be total idiots anytime they’re not having sex or fighting side-by-side, but it turns out I have a soft spot for idiots in love. The conflict between these characters serves to heighten the draw between them, which makes the slow-burn romance element throughout this trilogy especially effective (as opposed to the characters solidifying an official relationship in the first book). It doesn’t hurt that both men are also extraordinarily competent in their respective skill sets and recognize that in each other, which is also an attractive quality in any romantic leads.

The saga of the Zodiac secret society continues as the external conflict in this book. I love when I figure out a plot twist only mere moments before the characters, and the reveals in this story do not disappoint. I was a bit surprised when certain plot lines were tied up the way they were, considering there is a third book to come in this trilogy, but it merely leaves me more excited to read whatever deliciousness Charles has in store for us. This particular book ends on a satisfying but still dark moment, despite how easy it could have been to leave us all hanging with a cliffhanger.

I can’t wait for the final book in this trilogy, and part of me hopes that Kim and Will keep being idiots at each other in the best way forever.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.