TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
This isn’t my first book by London Saint James. I actually reviewed the first installment of this series and I loved it. When I saw this come out, I was rather surprised because well we already have the love story between Winter and Austin but then as I read the excerpt I’m surprised to find that Austin dies! I in no way wanted to read this story but with tissue box in hand I took on this challenged and I’m glad I did.
Everything I loved about the first book is once again in play in this one, emotional impact, vivid imagery, solid character connection but the author took it even further because none of my earlier complaints were there. No repeated words or editorial flaws, the details flowed seamlessly through out the story and I was never in any doubt about what a character might look like this time around.
I was pleasantly surprised by the twist of the plot. I won’t spoil the book but lets just say that the Austin we fell in love with isn’t completely lost to us. Though because of this there was much more suspense and angst in the book. My heart broke with all of Winter’s struggles. Even though there is a gap of sixteen years, she is still in a lot of ways that vulnerable young girl she once was and my protective instincts carried over from the first book.
To say that London Saint James knows how to write an intoxicating romance is putting things mildly. There is no reviewer without being a reader but there are some subtle differences. As a reviewer this was pure gold but pulling that hat off and thinking like a reader and I couln't help but come to a different conclusion. Oh don't get me wrong, as a reader, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story but I had to ask myself, had I paid for the story would I be truly satisfied with the ending and the answer is no. While this story has more to it than the last with the paranormal aspect and yes a bit of suspense it’s still at heart a true romance. I’m not tuning in to find out what next action packed thing is going to happen. I’m reading it for the romance, to know how at the very basics these two characters meet, fall in love, and then how they get their Happy Ever After. At one hundred and fifty-five pages I’m a little lost as to
why there is a 'to be continued' ending. This is where the book lost its appeal and really dampered the story. I want a complete book not a 'to be continued'.
“Winter,” he murmured. I could not answer, but it wasn't as though he wanted me to. It was
an awareness between us.
But this just can't be.
“Please, get out of those wet clothes, take a hot shower, and get some rest.” With that
he smiled all the while seemingly conflicted, hesitant to exit my room. I stared at him. “Winter,” he said softly, his hand on the doorknob. “I….” He hesitated. I watched him run his fingers through his hair. “I need....” He hesitated once more. His eyes shot to my eyes. We were caught in the moment, locked.
For that second time stood still. My heart screamed out. I know him, somehow I know him
but my mind fought against the knowledge.
"I need to see you again,” he said. He opened my door. “In the morning. We will talk in the morning.”
When Cayden left I completely fell apart, flung myself onto the bed then curled myself up into a ball. I wrapped my knees up to my chest, holding my arms tight around them. I crumbled, literally in every sense of the word. My body shook, my head hurt, my voice muffled into my chest. This was worse than any déjà vu I had experienced tonight. I would take the pain of any memories, even the memories of the crash over this current emotion. And it did not matter I was soaking wet or if I got sick. My eyes were overflowing in traitor tears, and I didn’t wish to move.
“Oh God!” I cried out.
I was in more pain than I had experienced since the loss of my love and the ending of my life. My breath had been knocked from me. I could not find my lungs. It did not matter Cayden Cain looked so much like Austin because he wasn’t the man I loved. So for this, I knew those fault lines within my heart, which from time to time would shift and quake had broken open again.
What did matter was the way I felt with Cayden’s simple touch. The kind, reassuring gesture when he reached out and touched the surface of my cheek, set my skin on fire. Lightning struck. It caused a fire which caught. The fire ran the entirety of my body until it found a home between my thighs. For this I was worse than a charlatan, worse than a cheater, worse than a liar. I should not have felt the burn, the desire, the sensation of sin which flowed like an electric current through me. Pure agony riddled my body. Cayden’s touch should be blasphemy to my flesh but God help me, it was not.
“What have I done!” I screamed.
Austin was the only man I have ever loved. The only man who could set my skin on fire yet I felt something in which I should not. I knew I had betrayed the love of my life for the weakness of my flesh. There would be no forgiveness, no absolution. No ending to this disloyal destruction of my deceitful soul.
I cried out in heart wrenching protest. “What is wrong with me? This cannot be possible. Not possible!”
For the desire of my heart, my love, my need for Austin, was in direct conflict to the desire I experienced still burning upon my flesh.