A few quick and dirty reviews of some books I've read recently!
Dayum!!! Chad and Owen are hot, hot, hot! And JFC I will NEVER look at a bow tie the same way again! Chad and Owen were these amazing pieces to a puzzle with blank spaces they didn't know were missing and needing to be filled until they found each other. I loved how they both fed their insecurities by putting thoughts in the other person's head when in reality, they both felt that they weren't good enough for the other. I adored them. The Dapper Dick--I die. Where is the print of that that I can buy to hang above my bed like some sort of sexual dreamcatcher?
It is no secret that I am in love with Megan Erickson and her writing and her books. I have been impatiently waiting for Ethan's story and was so excited to finally see him get his HEA. Lissa was a heroine who takes zero shit which is exactly what Ethan needed. Ethan's transformation from brooding pseudo-recluse to a man who can use his mouth muscles for more than scowling was beautiful. What kept this from being 5 stars for me was the instant attraction of Ethan to Lissa. Ok, not the instant attraction itself but how quickly he acted on it. It was probably due in part to my expectation of thinking he would subtely try and eye fuck her for a while before making a move and him getting so physical so early was a little jarring to me. But overall, the conclusion to this series brought everything full circle and I am so happy to have found The Gamers series.
Really enjoyable and leisurely read. It had some really beautiful moments of writing and I really liked how the romance unfolded. The writing and romance took a very leisurely pace but it wasn't necessarily slow-moving. I enjoyed being in Friday Harbor and it feels like the setting is another character in itself. Especially the house. While this is not my typical style of romance, it was a nice change of pace. I felt like the magical realism could have been more developed. It was really interesting but very much an afterthought and didn't have the impact it could have when *things* happened at the end.
Again, I would have liked the magical realism to be explored a bit more. It was more active and transparent than in the previous two books but I would have loved for more explanation and involvement. It was odd to me that in both books the magic is there but nobody really talks about it or questions it. Odd. I adored the relationship between Zoe and her grandma. You could really feel their love and how much they care for one another. The romance between Alex and Zoe has been my favorite so far of the series. And the sexiest. Always a bonus. I felt like this book of the series felt more organic and real and not so bland and vanilla. Kleypas spiced it up in this one and I loved it. I enjoyed the books but what's weird is that if I hadn't known Kleypas was the author and I read the books blind I never would have guessed. It didn't feel like her style of writing at all.
So yeah.This is an odd one to rate. The first 100 pages were really difficult to get into. So much so that if one of my very best friends didn't love it so much I might have DNF'd it. But I kept reading and I'm glad I did. The book does pick up even if the overall plot remained a bit of a mystery to me. The good? My favorite part of this book was the romance. I felt like this was the most fleshed out and tension filled aspect of the plot. Merik is a fantastic character. Selfless, patriotic, loyal. His devotion to his country was truly inspiring. He was the main reason I kept reading to be honest. And the girls. Safiya and Iseult were both great, together and separately. BUT, this book is pitched as an epic friendship and I didn't get that at all. They spend most of the book apart (I'm talk on legit 300 pages they are not interacting/if they're together one of them is unconscious) and while the moments they do have were great, it was not the strongest relationship in the book to me. Sadly. I really wanted to love their friendship! The bad? I felt like the reason behind a lot of the conflict and the rationale as to why people were doing things was never fully explained. The world building was subpar at best. The history of this world and all that it makes up wasn't explained; the war, the different witches, who gets powers, why this one group of people is completely prejudiced against, etc remains a mystery. The book kept me interested enough but overall it felt like a compilation of a lot of other fantasy books I've read. Shadow and Bone + Girl of Fire and Thorns + Assassin's Blade = Truthwitch.
Standing in Line Outside