Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
In some ways, this book took me back to the beginning of the series, which is apropos, since it's the beginning of it's own sub-series about the Weres. It had the simplicity of Fantasy Lover and Night Pleasures, being more heavily about the two characters than the over-arching story, which I personally prefer, as much as I love the lore and the action.
I knew I wanted to read about these two the moment they (almost) met in Night Embrace, and I was not disappointed. Vane was a likable hero, heavy on the angst, but not in a way that completely ruled the character or overshadows his relationship with Bride. And Bride. Wow. Not only does she not cop-out and make her "Hollywood pudgy" (she states she's a solid size eighteen) but the book deal with her insecurity in a very sensitive and realistic way. One of my favorite parts of the novel was when her sister snaps at her, and she handles it calmly, if a bit sadly; I think it illustrated how easily even the people we love can lash out at what they see as an easy target.
I saw someone call their relationship "insta-lust" which... is the definition of lust, but also rather unfair to the animalistic idea of mating, and in a larger, more romantic sense, the idea of soul mates that these books take for granted the reader will at least suspend disbelief for. I liked it. I like the romance, and I like that lust is shown as being a normal and healthy reaction to attraction, and of being in a relationship. I also liked that Bride had what she thought at the time was a one-night stand with Vane and felt no shame about it. Ms. Kenyon's novels shame slut shaming.
I do have a few nitpicks. She often introduces lore just to introduce it; it never comes back to be relevant in the plot. The thing with Weres and electricity--does Bride use this knowledge to her advantage in the climax? Nope! She just tranqs Bryani (which is extremely satisfying in of itself, and I'm happy they all cheer for her after her 'don't mess with my mate' speech!) But I'm sort of getting used to that as a problem in the series in general. Bride's complete denial about the fantastical... lasted a relatively short time, I suppose, and it was realistic, to a certain degree, but I had to wonder how long someone would actually believe themselves capable of a delusion that realistic and all-encompassing. Her disbelief was realistic and rejection, the way in which she handled it was not, and I sort of wanted to tell her, for the only time in the book, to get her shit together.
I love werewolves, and the lore of the Weres was fascinating; I loved how it was tied into the Apollites and Daimons. I can't wait to fully dive into other books featuring them, and the different types of Weres! Up there with my favorites so far.