I’m really glad I decided to continue this series because this book went in a completely different direction from the first, and I liked it even more!
Whereas the first was a light, fun, somewhat silly, romance-focused story, this one had some fun to it but also had a lot more struggle, tension, and gravity and was focused on trying to find cures for Ciaran and Noah, both of whom were dying from magic gone wrong.
Trent and Ciaran’s romance was less snarky quips and obnoxious charm, and more difficult secrets coming to light, leaning on each other in tough moments, and realizing/accepting the full weight of their commitment. I was able to feel a little more depth to it.
Noah and Julien’s romance, on the other hand, was awkward conversations, confusing feelings, and difficulty communicating those feelings, at least on Julien’s part. Julien was rather hopeless on the romance front, to be honest. So hopeless that it was endearing, but also made me want to smack him, but also made me happy because it provided me with a bit of masochistic enjoyment when it left both men pining and struggling with their emotions. Luckily another character realized how hopeless he was and stepped in to help. I actually believed their romance more than Trent and Ciaran’s and maybe even liked it more. It was fumbling, awkward, angsty, shy, and sweet. It wasn’t as sudden (they’d already known each other a while), and it had a more solid base than annoyed quips and sexual chemistry.
Ciaran also felt a little older this time, in dialogue and action, and I got more of a sense of his true age.
Another thing that made this one better for me was that they went to the faery realm! I enjoyed getting to see Tir Na Nog and learning about Ciaran’s family and past.
The magic, the effect it had on Ciaran and Noah, was also interesting and even added some emotion to the book. I worried for and felt for them. I felt for their partners too who were worried about losing them.
I still didn’t love the jumping POVs / omniscience, but that is what it is. I’m getting more used to it.
Overall, this was a great sequel that upped the tension and emotion and angst, added more depth to the characters and relationships, and included an interesting trip to the faery realm, and I’m definitely glad I decided to continue the series!
Fans of Book 1 in Tess Barnett's Tale of the Tuath Dé Series. Anyone who likes paranormal romance that's fun and a little silly but also gets deeper as it grows, mlm romance, fae, witches, and some heaviness and tension that's balanced with sweetness.