Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson #Review

Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson #ReviewWicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson

Series: #4 Blud
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Romance
Published by Pocket Star on October 5, 2015
Pages: 177
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars      four-flames

I had no expectations that the author would return to Criminy and Tish’s story and the Criminy’s circus where this whole delightful series got started. Bravo, Ms. Dawson! I didn’t realize how badly I wanted it until it was suddenly a possibility so I snatched it up and devoured it like the sweetest, most sinful morsel.

The story is indeed a follow-up book focused on Crim and Tish, but it also was a reunion story that brought together everyone from all the previous books and novellas. It felt like coming home when I returned to the world of Sang and I absolutely recommend getting these in order.

The story opens with Tish facing down a decision that she does not want to make. The witch’s curse has literally sucked the life out of her and continues to do so, but she won’t let Criminy take the last of her humanity and Blud her. She says it is because of her dear gran back in the earth world, but deep down it is fear of the final, irrevocable change. She is abrupt and stormy, but Criminy is there beside her even when she leaps at the new idea of bringing her gran across and letting Criminy blud her to save her from dying. Criminy is reluctant, but does it for Tish.

Tish soon finds that her young, youthful gran who insists on being called Ruby is nothing like she expected. Ruby is flamboyant and daring and dismissive of Tish. Then she is gone from the circus. Criminy advises Tish to let Ruby go, but she can’t. So off they go on a dangerous adventure to find Ruby who has gone in search of a powerful dark witch. In the end, Tish is forced to face her fears and not just a few facts and may lose that which is most important to her.

Alright, being reunited with Criminy, Tish, and the rest of the gang in Sang was an absolute treat beyond measure. The worldbuilding was just as colorful, unsettling, dangerous, and exciting as ever. The tone was so well-done the way I had no trouble feeling like I was visiting a bizarre new place.

There was lots of familiar settings and characters, but I loved that the adventure took me into a new situation of ‘what happens after happily ever after’ for people like Criminy and Tish. Tish is stubborn and impulsive and Criminy is devilishly attractive in that foreign macabre way of his. The story cements them as a couple through thick and thin. I loved that they got so much page time together. And the adventure was not easy nor was it loss, but it kept my attention riveted to the very end. I probably should have detested Ruby, but I found her a most interesting character that made a scene absolutely crackle with tension. I had no trouble seeing the situation in a way that the heroine, Tish could not and didn’t until near the end with Criminy’s help.

The adventure was dark and gritty like it can get in the Blud series. The author isn’t afraid to let the monsters in this world whether they are good or bad or a bit of both out. The blend of fantasy, paranormal, and steampunk is done well. By this story, most of it goes unexplained and is just assumed which was fun in its familiar feel.

The romance is an ongoing relationship, but it never felt staid or settled. Criminy is as larger than life, passionate, and dangerous as ever and has no trouble getting Tish out of her head and off her worries. He worries for her in this story and it was sweet to see him expose that vulnerability to Tish. It was a nice blend of scorching passion and tender romance.

All in all, this last book of the Blud series was all that a last book should be. Do I still want more visits to Sang? You bet! But if I have to say good-bye then this farewell was done well. I would recommend this series to those who enjoy a bit of macabre, some grit, and some passion in a blending of paranormal and steampunk in a fantasy world.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #334 SP

Cliché Klatch #204 ‘Let it go’

Historical Romance #101

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oh well, you made me bump this series up my list – again ! 😉

    • Only fair since I added your delightful Low Country ghost series this week. Haha!

  • Oh that cover is wonderful and the story sounds like a fun one to read.

    • Yes, these really are amazing. Hope you get the chance, Mary.

  • It’s awesome when you have the chance to retunr to a series and get reunited with all the characters. Paranormal, steampunk and romance, sounds like a good combination. Are the blud some kind of vampires? I love an author who can make a ongoing relationship interesting, so many books end when the couple get’s together, so it’s fun to see a couple after that. It sounds like a great ending to the series. Great Review!

    • Most definitely, Lola! I loved the reunion aspect and the blend of genres. It’s great getting what happens after HEA.

      And yes, to answer your question. The Blud are vampires. In the land of Sang, there are more than people who are Blud like bunnies and horses. There are also demons and witches. The regular humans are called Pinkies. It’s a complex world that parallels Earth’s mid to late 19th century in Britain, Russia, and France. Very interesting!

  • oh I cannot wait to dive back into Criminy…wait, I meant this world…lols! I didn’t really care for Tish in the first book so I expect her to me crazy here too. Great review Sophia!

    • Criminy is a definite draw to the book, but yeah, if Tish drove you batty, then she hasn’t improved in this one. I wanted to bop her a few times because she can really make things all about her with her worries. But the rest of the book is soooo worth it.

  • vvb reads

    I’m going to have to read the first book as this one sounds good 😉

    • Oh yes, the first book is a definite must before diving into this one. You will feel like you step into a weird macabre world. 🙂

  • I do want to try this series, but I am worried it’s too pnr somehow

    • There is a little of that, but the tone is so very different and the world building is a little creepy and keeps things off balance so that you have no trouble believing that you are not in a recognizable earth, but a dangerous, gritty parallel world that feels more fantasy than anything.

  • karina

    The ending of the series was done wonderfully well, I agree 🙂

    • Always bittersweet to say good-bye to a favorite series. 😉

  • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    I’ve read the 1st book in the series and have the others including this one. Could I read this before reading book 2 or should I read this as book 4?