I am very disappointed with this book. Am I happy that Qhuinn and Blay got their HEA and Ward finally brought m/m to mainstream? Absolutely! However, the cynic in me questions whether this watered-down version of Qhuay was done intentionally. Yes, she's always had different story lines in her books but never to this extent. Qhuay was not in the forefront.
As I said, to me this was not Qhuinn and Blay's book. Sure, they took up some page time but basically it was split between them, Assail/Sola, Trez/iAm, Xcor/Layla, and The Lessers. There were also at least 10 different POV changes. I think I got whiplash. Where the hell was the editor? There was absolutely no focus to this book. I don't mind if there's a different story line in a book but at least have it tie into the main story or the couple. That was not the case here. Each one of these characters had their own story line.
Plain and simple, it was a mess. There was a steady stream of modern-day references, such as tv shows, music, and brand names. Does she get a kickback or something for dropping these names? She really should because it was throughout the damn book. Besides this, there were a ton of typos and grammatical errors. Typically, I can put this aside if the characters and/or plot(s) were engaging, but they weren’t. For the most part the plots were boring. Trez was a big snooze, I tolerated Assail’s storyline and Xcor and Layla pissed me off. They were both completely OOC. First, Xcor was constantly pining over Layla. That’s all he did! I expected a little but geez, he turned into a puppy dog with his tail tucked between his legs. Then we have Layla, dropping curses and getting all possessive. Ward was really reaching with this one and I didn’t believe it for a second. Did she really think that this sudden change would make us forget how manipulating Layla is or the fact that she is a Chosen? I guess so, but not with me. I think it would take a lot longer for this 180 to occur.
Plus, the rest of the brothers were washed down and they all sounded alike. I don’t know what the hell happened. By now I’m used to the fact that she fucked up V but I really hope she can get back on track in Wrath’s book because I saw no differentiation in their personalities. There was also nothing unique with Trez or Assail.
Now onto Qhuinn and Blay. *sigh* It made no sense to keep these two apart for the entire book and then have some over-the-top sappy epilogue. I’m not saying I hated the ending but it should have come way before. Blay also seemed OOC. I couldn’t believe he kept the breakup with Saxton away from Qhuinn. It was a simple plot device to keep these two apart. I also thought Saxton bowing out of the relationship was a major eye-rolling moment. How easy for everyone! Maybe if Ward stuck to making Qhuinn and Blay the focus of the book, she could have come up with something more complex.
There was also an imbalance between these two. We got a lot of development with Qhuinn but really none with Blay. Just the same old same old. There’s more to him that just being gay! It was a letdown that Blay fell to the side-lines.
Something that Ward does very well, is sexual tension. She always has that great build-up, the kisses and the touches, usually fantastic and this book was no exception. Unfortunately, the actual sex had little passion. It started off good but the sex scenes felt rushed and at times awkward. I don’t know if this is because of a lack of experience with m/m or what it was but the sex ran hot and cold for me.
Even when Blay went all alpha in the bar with Qhuinn and we finally get the bonding scent, it was rushed and little happened next. I was so excited for this but from this point on, we're only told what happens and never shown. Grrrr.....
Back to the epilogue. Even though it was sappy, I loved Qhuinn’s surprise and my favorite part was that he put his piercings back on! I was hoping he would. Corny as it may seem, I even loved the dance. The problem was that it came way too late. It was mostly from Qhuinn’s POV and we barely get anything from Blay. It was rushed and seemed like an afterthought. They deserved better! Even though my heart skipped a few beats and I was yelling “finally”, it still felt out of place. What happened to a mating ceremony? This was too “human” for me. It didn’t fit in the BDB world.
Uggg, and the Happily-Ever-After line? Are you kidding me? Gag!
Ok, I feel better now that I got this all out. Time to put this mess of a book behind me and replace it with a fanfiction just as True replaced V's book!