I have enjoyed my journey with the Wird sisters like few other series of books. There is heart and intrigue, action, unrequited love, and the costs are deadly. Up until now, the series arc has placed the oldest sister, Celia, in the limelight, but now it has turned to Taran, the second Wird sister. She’s a firecracker and even without the known dangers they all face, she can find trouble of the hell on heels sort. Couldn’t wait to start her story and got a bit of a shock when it began in a different spot than I was anticipating. But yes, I was anticipating so I dove in and didn’t come up for air until I closed the book on the last page. As usual, I am badly in need of the next installment.
This is a series that must be read in order. Even though it is switching focus to a new sister with book six, here, the ongoing story, worldbuilding, and characters would be confusing to jump in at this point. I didn’t realize that this book would actually take a step back in time to parallel the events of Celia’s stories. I’m guessing it goes back to the third book? Not sure, but regardless, now it is all those events from Taran’s perspective. There is a bit of re-hash going on, but also a lot of new ground covering Taran and Gemini’s story.
So, the story begins with Taran getting an unpleasant surprise when Gemini asks her to meet his parents. Up until now, Taran could fool herself that things were good and they were just having a good time. Oh sure, Gemini has made it clear that he cares deeply for her, that he loves her, and that he considers her his mate, but she could deny the mate stuff while assuring him that she does love him. But meet the parents? That’s hitting the relationship big time stuff. Her panic over commit hurts Gemini and sends her running to Celia.
Naturally, Celia looks at her like she’s an idiot- a very selfish idiot. Celia would kill to be in Taran’s shoes since she has a mate that is destined for another. But this is just it. Taran sees what love is doing for Celia and they share a dark past after their parents were gone and they had to survive on their own. Taran is terrified of being stuck in a mate bond with someone who will regret being with her. As much as she loves Gem, she isn’t ready. But maybe she can at least meet his parents.
And from there the bad luck just piles on- Mrs. Mancuso, unintended reveals, traditional Japanese parents and their rituals, pushing mom off a mountain, demon babies, witchy women, trouble at the liquor store, kidnapping, loads of bad guys, Gemini shot- if it could go wrong it did in the meet the parents gig. But Taran is a survivor even if she worries if what she has with Gemini can survive it all, too.
I had lots of different reactions as I read this one. I chuckled at Taran’s in your face irreverent snark and machismo. I felt sorry for her being so damaged that she couldn’t just accept a really wonderful good thing with Gemini and for her guilt that wouldn’t allow her to be happy when her sister is suffering. I found it touching about her vulnerability in the face of Gem’s folks. And then there was her blazing courage when faced with peril.
Taran is the sole narrator so this is definitely her story. This story felt like an introduction because it’s the first with her as the lead, but yet I was already very familiar with the situation and characters since this is the sixth book. I look forward to more background on Taran after the hints to her ugly past and it would be great to get a better feel for Gemini, too. If I had a niggle, it was that I needed a bit more on him.
Taran is a flawed character and I think those are the best kind. She comes across as a tough gal, but she feels things so very deeply. She has a lot of fear and self-esteem issues under her bravado. She puts on a face for everyone though her oldest sister, Cecila, sees her clearly. So far, she hasn’t opened up to Gemini and I look forward to what happens when she does. Gemini is a strong, confident guy. He loves Taran and he is passionate when with her, but he won’t let her deflect and use sex to avoid deeper issues. That being said, he doesn’t push her where she is unwilling or able to go further. He loves her enough to step back when she is scared.
The action delivers on the gritty fight scenes. The author is good at this. Taran and the other allies are combating a force of paranormals that work to take over the world. The latest scheme is demon babies that will grow and decimate the allies’ forces. While working on Operation Meet the Parents, Taran has more than one go around with the baddies and the baby demons. She mishandles it when she tries to go it alone, but doesn’t let that stop her from working to save Gemini and his parents’ lives at different times.
And speaking of the parents, Mio Dio! That was a cringe-worthy bust up when Taran encounters Gem’s folks for the first time. Mrs. Mancuso sets her up and then it all goes down hill from there (literally downhill when she accidentally knocks Gem’s mom over a cliff. Thank goodness she’s a shifter).
So, looking forward to what comes next in this exciting, passionate, gritty series that I heartily recommend to Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy fans, alike.
My thanks to Loveswept for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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