• Read my review of Necessary Evils #1, Unhinged.

Disclaimer: I received an advance electronic copy of this novel from the author.

If you’ve already read the first book in this series, I probably don’t need to sell you on reading this one. For my part, I knew I’d adore August the moment the earbuds came out during the finale to Unhinged. I tore through this book in a single afternoon, and I’m beyond impressed with how James is approaching this series. It could have been so easy for each book to be fairly repetitive: Psychopath chooses his person. Psychopath becomes involved in whatever drama that person brings while being the dominant half of the “relationship.” Together, they live happily ever after.

Instead, James flips the script almost immediately. Each of the Mulvaney brothers is more than a simple psychopath, and August views himself as the “craziest” of the bunch due to his additional spot on the neurodiverse spectrum. The author does a bit of a subtle deep dive into the theme and meaning of “crazy” in this book by pairing August with Lucas, a man with a legit psychic ability who has spent his share of time in a mental health care facility due to his experience with that particular “gift.” The bond between these two men follows the same light speed trajectory as between Adam and Noah, but the dynamic between them and how they relate could not be more different.

Beyond the intricate nature of this book’s “romance” arc, the external conflict is delightfully twisty and led to plenty of unexpected revelations. Serial killer versus serial killer would have been enough of a draw for me. However, James pulls together a much bigger issue so that readers also benefit from appearances and interactions with other members of the Mulvaney clan. I especially enjoy how “Team Emotion” is growing, along with their unique perspective on how to best approach various scenarios.

I enjoy nontraditional romances, and this series is full of them. August is not the only half of this unique pair to experience possessiveness, and Lucas finds emotional fulfillment he could never have imagined in how August allows him to express his true self. And together, they live happily ever after.

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