*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
As much as I enjoyed the original House of Royals books (Alivia’s story), I was ready for it to end. But then this one came out, and I figured I’d give it a go since I did enjoy the original and this one was about a different main character (Elle, Alivia’s sister-in-law). Unfortunately it fell flat for me.
Even though I could understand why Elle was the way she was after all that she’d been through, I still couldn’t connect with her. Withdrawn would probably be a good word to describe her. She was badass in her own way though, I’ll give her that. She wasn’t an expert fighter, but she was an expert with botany and chemistry and creating toxins and weapons to use against the vampires. She also had some more conventional weapons, like stakes and hand guns. And despite the dangers, she wasn’t afraid to be around vampires when she felt it was the right thing to do, like when she was administering cures to the Bitten. So I can see people liking her and maybe connecting with her better than I did.
Another problem I had though was that I felt like not much happened in the plot, then it ended on a cliffhanger, still without anything really having happened. There wasn’t a climax, or maybe that scene would’ve been it, but it was cut short because the book ended. And when Allaway’s plan was fully revealed, it didn’t make sense in that it was just a bad plan and I didn’t see how it connected to the “a sister for a sister” revenge thing.
Lastly, there was a lot of talk about the chemistry between Elle and Lexington, but I never felt it. And because of that, even though it wasn’t instalove, the love still felt kind of sudden. But they had cute moments together, and I did think it was sweet and hilarious when she poured some blood into the batter and made him blood waffles.
So overall this book was too subdued for my taste, I didn’t connect with the characters, and it seemed like it mostly set things up without having much plot of its own. Even though Keary Taylor has created an interesting take on vampire society in her House of Royals series, sometimes you’re just ready to say goodbye to a series, and maybe I’d have enjoyed the book more if that weren’t the case for me. If you still want more House of Royals after finishing Alivia’s story though, or if you were interested in getting to know Elle, you might like this book more than I did.
*Note: Even though this book has a different protag and storyline, I recommend starting this series with Book 1. It might be possible to start here since there are brief explanations for most things, but you might still be confused by terminology and side characters.*
Fans of Books 1-5 in Keary Taylor's House of Royals Series. Anyone looking for a subdued kind of vampire romance/urban fantasy with a protag who's badass in a quieter kind of way.