This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Romance
Published by Forever
Released on February 24, 2015
That last installment in the series left Adam, King of the GIM (Ghosts in the Machine) in a really bad place. It was hard to be patient for the release of this book so I could find out what happened after the Queen of the Faeries stole away his soulmate and called in his curse. Adam has been a side character through much of the series and more than a little on the mysterious side along with his GIM people. This has left me salivating to finally get the up close and personal on his story. And blessed be it was so worth the wait.
[quote]When he finally faced her, she wondered if she’d ever become accustomed to the impact of him. He saw too much, made her feel too much. Always. Her stomach clenched, a hot, pleasurable, yet achy sensation that had her breath catching. Loc 3011 Eliza from Soulbound[/quote]
Before I move on, this is a series that truly must be read in order. It builds on the books before it assuming the reader is familiar with the Darkest London world and the story lines of the previous characters. In fact this book not only does that, it reveals some interesting things about Lord Archer from book one along with a bit about all the Evernight relations that have come since then. Incidentally, that reveal about Lord Archer was quite the delightful surprise.
So, this one jumps in after Queen Mab “rescues” Eliza May from Adam and Eliza has enjoyed the decadent lifestyle of the fae for long enough to realize that beneath the veneer of beauty, wealth and sensuality, Mab and the others are shallow, cruel and self-seeking with an agenda to bring all the other races to their knees. It is then that she discovers her previous captor is now himself in chains, tortured, humiliated and an object of fun for Mab. Eliza can’t understand what this means and she doesn’t trust Adam’s words even though he tries to warn her to get away and that she doesn’t understand the supernatural world she now inhabits. Eliza’s conscience forces her to realize that as angry as she is at Adam for keeping her captive, she doesn’t hate him and she wants him free. That being said, she enters into a bargain with him that she will free him if he will help her escape Mab and Mab’s new plans to marry Eliza to her cruel brother, Mellon.
Adam could withstand Mab’s torture and her desire for him to give up his secrets and himself to her, but it is degradation to have his soulmate, Eliza, see him as a dog under Mab’s foot that causes him to act. Eliza doesn’t believe in soulmates and particularly that she is his and she certainly makes every effort to keep her distance. Adam will do what he must to keep his soulmate and pry the secrets she keeps from him. In the meantime, he must keep them out of fae hands, get to his sword so he can break the chains that bind his power and figure out how to help his people. Ever since his capture, the GIM are slowly dying and their souls are leaving. Adam has always thought that he was alone until he learns that he can rely on his people, on others of his acquaintance and on Eliza May. Eliza is strong and he must trust her if he ever hopes to keep her. Adam has to navigate he and Eliza’s way through so much danger while at the same time convincing her she is his and he is hers.
St. John hates himself and the chains of his blood bond. He hates the betrayal he must serve to his own family at the sadistic Mab’s orders and most of all he hates Mab most of all because of what she has forced him to do. He loves his family and he’s given his heart to the girl from his childhood, but both are out of reach after what he has done. But he is offered a chance at a new path.
Alright, this one is an enemies to lovers romance with an exciting escape and partner to survive plot, but it is set against the brilliant supernatural world of Victorian London. Each story includes all the worldbuilding from before and paints in a few more details each new installment. In this case, its details about the fae and the GIM along with a whole new supernatural reveal. The last one, I’ll keep mum about since its a pretty exciting one with roots back to the first book and ramifications for when Sin’s book is told (and please let the next book be Sin’s).
There is a lot going on, but I love that the author took the time to develop her characters and her plots. Adam and Eliza have interesting backstories that have bearing on the present. One thing I really liked and that many authors of speculative fiction gloss over is that Adam is an old being and the ramifications of that are teased out- heaviness of long-carried responsibility, weight of years, sadness at outliving people and starting over and over. I also appreciated that there is no apology for flaws and there are consequences. Adam screwed up the way he handled discovering his soul mate and the heroine doesn’t give in easily. She can’t just flip a switch, forgive and forget even though she can tell that he genuinely feels regret.[quote]”You are life, Adam. I suspect that’s why you chose the name you did, even if you weren’t aware of doing so. You are life,” she said again with greater emphasis. “You simply don’t know how to live.” Loc. 3020 Eliza from Soulbound[/quote]
There are also no easy solutions and many times suffering and pain occur. Adam overcomes many barriers to winning over Eliza, but in the end he is forced to make a decision whether he will sacrifice the lives of all his people just to be with Eliza or if he will give her up.
All in all, this one delivered a strong story and a hard-won romance that was absolutely superb. It’s set in a historical period, but I think that a wide range of historical romance, historical paranormal romance, and steampunk fans would appreciate these.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Romance Roundabout #86 SP
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Historical Romance #25
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