I’ve come to the conclusion this series just isn’t for me. I never really connected to it and though I’m curious about what happens, I don’t actually want to read about these characters anymore. This installment fits very well with the series and it’s definitely well written. I just struggle to engage with the characters, as I dislike them all. This part turns up the heat on the relationship between Gabriel and Dorian and they go off in an entirely new and erotic direction. It remains to be seen how they will eventually fit together and what role Michael the ghost will play but the story is setting up all the elements.
This time Dorian receives a threat from an old, and thought dead, friend. Almost immediately Dorian is in trouble. This forces Gabriel to really acknowledge the truth he keeps hiding from himself. Dorian is not like other people, magic aside, and Gabriel finally has to come to grips with that information. Unfortunately Gabriel continues to play the innocent, naïve and frankly too stupid (in my opinion) character that grate on my nerves.
I accept and don’t actually mind the fact that Dorian is not meant to be a likeable character. He’s charismatic and likely evil. He’s not a good person, in just about every way. He’s selfish, self centered, whimsical, arrogant and egotistical. He plays people and doesn’t stop to think about other people and their choices. He reacts in very selfish ways, even when he’s attempting to do something nice for others; it comes from his own selfish emotions. He wants to protect the people he loves because he doesn’t want to feel guilty. Instead of allowing those people to make informed choices, he orders them about. Thus, I’m not bothered he’s unlikeable. It’s just that I don’t particularly care about him. He could die (for real) and I’d barely be moved.
Similarly I don’t really care for Gabriel. My feelings are more intense dislike for him than for Dorian and it’s to the point I actively wish him harm. He’s just too stupid for my taste. He ignores any kind of good sense, claiming sexual lust, but really when does that excuse become too weak? When does the sexual thrill wear off? It bothers me intensely that Gabriel doesn’t seem to make any of his own choices. He chose Dorian but after that he lets Dorian make the choices. He follows meekly wherever Dorian choses without any reason. I guess I don’t see the connection nor feel engaged in the couple to buy any sort of love (not that it’s been mentioned) and the sexual thrall doesn’t seem enough to compensate for all the real issues.
The writing is top-notch and that’s what got me through this installment, as I didn’t care for the mild BDSM scene due to my dislike of the characters. Those that have been enjoying this series will want to definitely keep up as the action is fast and furious and changes always happening. The development of the characters is slow but steady and the supporting cast is excellent. I may have liked the series if I could connect and engage with the main couple but they simply rub me the wrong way. Sadly not for me.