Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.
When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.
Comment: This is the third installment in the Charm of Magpies trilogy (series?) by the author. I was really marveled by the second book so I had high expectations about this one as well. Thankfully they were met.
In this third full length story, Lucian and Stephen are committed to their relationship but Stephen has a demanding job and he doesn't have as much time to spend with Lucien as he wished. And he doesn't even like what he does, he's badly paid and his efforts - along with his fellow justiciaries - aren't well received by everyone. But he has dedication and can't stay away from what he believes is a duty considering his skills.
However, this new adventure pushed Stephen to make a decision because Lucien is again in danger, their relationship is put to the test. Can they work it out?
I liked this story a lot. I think the biggest factors that make this story well done were used amazingly once more.
The plot is very imaginative again. We can say there are three main villains in this story. The mastermind behind everything, a sort of henchman within a privileged position and a man they both use for his disturbing powers. I'm sure many movies used these character-likes and it's not that original, mas in terms of applying their characterization to make this story move forward, I really liked how they worked out well together. The man used for his powers is weird and has a power we've seen in literature, sort of, but it's really specific here and there's a special scene that really stays in one's mind. I think the author matches really seamlessly all the little things in order to turn her stories into well oiled structured worlds.
The romance, of course, is the thing that pops up the most and the biggest part of the series for me is to see how the relationship between Stephen and Lucien moves along and how happily.
They both have had life experiences that made the who they are, both in personality and expectations. I really liked seeing them use what they feel into trying to be something new and better for the other. After all, love does that to you. Obviously things aren't that simple, especially because Stephen has a demanding job and Lucien is watched because of his money. The fact they don't care about what others think isn't the point because society is what it is.
I think the difficulties of managing his job and the guilt he feels when he faces the fact he should leave it all to be happy is what makes Stephen the most intriguing character in the series. I understand his fears and why he doubts his actions or his dreams. I really think the author does a great job in making him have flaws, doubts and wonder if it's all worth it anyway.
This is a romance so I liked how this ended but even better is knowing he didn't just change personality and his choices in the end match the person he is described to be.
Another good thing about this book was the secondary characters, those really help fulfilling the idea the world has more interesting people to think about. I liked seeing what was happening to the others and their HEAs also felt an important element to enhance the life the protagonists wanted, because friends also matter.
All in all, amazing, interesting hints about a certain character who'll have a story as a spin off too which I'm eager to read, and if this series ends here then it's a positive one and emotional enough to be amazing and detailed too, to make it feel well executed.
Generally speaking, a success!Grade: 9/10