Sighz ... maybe I need a re-read, because this installment didn't live up to my expectations. I really loved the beginning of this novel. I was on edge, I was sweaty, I was anxious, dear Lord I was about to fall off my bed while reading this courtroom scene waiting on the proceedings to start, then for Damien to give us an update ... idk ... anything!! If anything I can give this novel, is a really great opening scene, then again, Ms. Jenner excels at anticipation!
Still, somewhere between receiving the verdict and life after, we got .... flat! And we were on this flat for at least a good 50% of this novel. Honestly, not much was going on and my attention wavered to couple games of uno before I gave it another go.
A lot is missing from this installment. The passion is still evident, but it is really subdued. The extra long fore plays were kept to a comfortable time frame, but actual sex scenes seem few and while the excess was a problem for me in book 2, I occasionally found myself missing this constant ravishing as the space was filled with .... random acts and conversations ... Jamie was also predominantly placed in Nikki and Damien's relationship. That didn't bother me, but kind of surprised me, as she was just a minor character before.
Even Damien seems less like the demi god he is. He seems tamed, even though he still exudes power and keeps a host of secrets. I still love the relationship he has with Nikki and how they call each other out as well as know what they both need without saying a word. But once again, I still feel like something is missing ... kind of like the half empty Malibu house. :/
Nikki ... I can't seem to get a handle on her in this novel either. Her ever changing mind, emotions and life was kind of predictable and routine. Still love her as a character and how she stood by her man and stood up to their issues but that extra Nikki element is also missing! That fire and flare that accompanies her and that caused the constant banter with her and Damien was missing. She was extremely pliant from the fighter we met in book 1.
I think I can maybe sum this book up as being too mellow to be apart of the Stark trilogy ... maybe I am missing a few pages from my copy or something because I'm not sure this is all there is to the story o.O
Due to Jamie's raise in appearance in this novel, I have found that I feel more for her character and even see myself gunning for a novella or some story of her's, I can definitely see her with Ryan ;) She partly add some fun to the scenes, with her promiscuity and the confidence that she exudes in public. I liked getting to know her better and watch her spend time with Nikki and Damien.
Well ... Ollie will be Ollie and Courtney might finally be waking up, even though I am not sure, as a few loose ends were left in this novel. Maybe a novella is in the works ;)
Either way, he is still running from commitment and she is still passive and waiting for the right time to let him loose. Maybe someday ... once again ... who knows!
I am however, glad that the cliches were lessen and even with marriage on the horizon, we weren't subjected to unwanted pregnancies and crazy people who are trying to kill the lead characters ... it's like they don't watch movies -_-
For a book with such a strong start, it fizzled and the climax was not very convincing or intriguing as it could have been. Actually, I figured out a part of the puzzle chapters before it's reveal, and I was therefore disappointed with the series of events after that big reveal. The confrontation and reunion was both flat and not what I expect from the fierceness that is this series. A little bit more fight or drama, or something could have been added! Afterall, Damien Stark gives the best gifts and surprises. ( Love the dog house) :)
It was also good toget updates on previous characters, and even being the wench that she is, I would have loved another taste of Nikki's mom to spice up this installment! Even Evelyn was mostly business ... c'mon now! Where was that Stark spark?
I am not saying this wasn't a good story, but it just didn't hold the vibe, appeal or level of intensity that this series usually possess. With a strong start, a mediocre middle and subpar end, I expected more. Once again, maybe I just need a re-read but so far I am not impressed with what I would have pegged to be an exploding end to a great trilogy. The build up was great but the delivery was majorly weak for a novel at this level. My first review of this series, in 'Release Me', I stated that the Stark trilogy was a brand of it's own, but it crossed that Fifty Shades/Crossfire line in this installment, and for that I am disappointed.
Still, I am a J. Kenner fan and can't wait for her next novel to hit the stands!