Read my review of the first book in the Madly Ever After series, Sins That Find Us.
Lindsey doesn’t leave us hanging off the cliff they left us in the previous book for long. However, while Kane’s kidnapping is established, his rescue isn’t quite so straightforward. The guys go through a lot to find him, and Lindsey makes this work for the story and characters in multiple ways. It shows a decent amount of greater context of the activities of this mafia world while also highlighting the various ways in which Phoenix, James, and Ari interact with and balance each other.
If you’ve read the previous book, you should know what you’re getting into with this one already. There’s a lot here that’s fairly dark and violent and shocking, but since I was willing to roll with that, everything mostly made me fall even more in love with this unique band of misfits and their intricate dynamics. One unique aspect of this book I also enjoy is that Kane and Phoenix are older characters. Lindsey makes it clear from the get-go that the misfits have nothing close to a balanced, equal relationship, but I do like that the connection between Kane and Phoenix runs deeper simply because it has lasted longer, even if it doesn’t diminish their love for the other two men.
I especially appreciate that, after his rescue, one of my wishes from the previous book is granted and we get a lot more of Kane’s point of view. His focus and involvement got me much more interested and invested in the twist and reveals of the external mafia plot. Unfortunately, Alice continues to feel more like a human MacGuffin of that plot rather than a character in her own right who enhances the romance aspect of this trilogy. I’m still not clear what she brings to the table beyond (un)conventional social status for Kane. Even without my personal biases regarding the one independent goal Alice does eventually express, I mostly found her to be every worst reaction from a Disney princess while the misfits are the true dynamic characters of this trilogy.
The ending of this installment is more of an emotional cliffhanger for Alice than direct danger for any of the book’s heroes. However, I’m still much more interested in the truth of the full story itself than necessarily in how it affects her.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.