I loved this book. :) Stephen and Crane are among my favourite couples in all of Romancelandia and the opening scene of this installment of their adventures had me squeeing online as I read it. The affectionate banter, the wonderful characterization, the casual sexiness, it all had me grinning from ear to ear.
And then things start to happen. Paranormalish type things. Gruesome murders, theft, pretty yet shifty young men appear on the page. We have Stephen's partner, Esther, with her own challenges. It all seems very disparate at first, but by the time the last chapters roll around, everything hangs together quite nicely.
There's a scene not quite halfway through the book, I think, where Stephen and Crane have an explosive argument. It was so REAL! The author did a wonderful job and had me holding my breath as it played out. I find these books so READABLE.
I think that in this book, the actual paranormal plot, while important and exciting and served to drive the story onward, was really only of secondary importance to the growth of Stephen and Crane's relationship into the strong, walls all down, no holds barred, permanent relationship we've been reading for.
Now, an argument could be made that the hurt and anger they both felt through most of the book was manufactured by outside forces, but I think that what they felt may have been magnified by what was going on, but that there were definite and deep issues that both had to work out. It was all very believable for me and you know, I'm not sure that everything has been perfectly ironed out. Nor should it be. Even if we are looking at the supposed closing of the trilogy and the story of Stephen and Crane. They have their HEA, but there is no doubt in my mind that they will face challenges and hard times and quite honestly, that's how it should be.
I am looking forward to the passage of the torch, so to speak, from Stephen and Crane to Jonah and even more superb writing from KJ Charles.