A few months ago, very late one night, C.J. Roberts released the beginning of an epilogue to THE DARK DUET and I utterly blown away by how amazing it was. Not long after she announced that it would be turned into a full-length epilogue book. This is that book.
- IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE DARK DUET, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW!! Instead, go to my review of book #1 and start there.
- If you have read the first 2 books, then this is a spoiler-free review.
The Dark Duet series is one of my all-time favorite stories and so when I found out that there was going to be an epilogue my heart literally just stopped for a moment!! I couldn’t even read it right away because even just the possibility of it brought back a whole slew of strong, heart-clenching emotions I had wrapped up after having finished the series.
My heart was pounding pounding POUNDING. Every detail of the story and my connection to the characters came flooding back to me. From the very first line I was just propelled *right* back to the exact moment that the story had left off. I was right there. My whole heart was involved, instantly. I was *with* it every word of the way. I’m not kidding – it was perfect!
In this epilogue we get to see the story from Caleb’s POV. It takes us back to that scene at the end of book #2 and moved forward from there but this time showing us the story through his eyes…
“I missed you every day, Kitten. Every. Fucking. Day.”
I loved that it felt exactly like Caleb was talking right to me. Ok, us. Ok, the readers. But I can pretend it was me. I felt like it was me. My world just shut down and it was just me hanging onto every detail of the story he told.
The tables were turned in this book and we got to see his frustrations at being in the position of needing HER acceptance. He always had been dominant by nature and so it was a true sign of his love for her that he kept trying to hold himself back and give HER exactly what she needed from him.
“I had gone through all sorts of scenarios in my head prior to making contact with Livvie. However, her passive aggressive behavior toward me was not one of them. My mind is much more problem/solution oriented. Mad at me? Scream at me. Punch me if you’re up to it. Please don’t smile at me sweetly, act like nothing is wrong and then leave me disillusioned. And before you say anything, yes — I realize how fucking ironic my words are. I have played my fair share on mind games with Livvie. It doesn’t mean I liked being on the other side. No man does.”
He tried to play nice and, he was a good person at heart (we all know this) but the truth of it is that he is not nice. He’s not your white picket fence. He’s your dark-and-twisted. But he’s also the guy who loved her with his whole heart and it just broke my mine to see him trying SO hard.
“I know you deserve to be happy. I know you deserve someone… better, but I’m selfish. I want you. I want you bad enough to try and be someone better.”
I loved watching them rediscover each other. They had one hell of a history together but this was like starting fresh to a certain extent – removed from the nightmare, and in a new environment with new hopes and new possibilities.
“No, Kitten. I’m not okay,” I whispered. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to be okay. I just know that as long as you’re with me, there’s a chance that one day… I might be.”
I loved that this truly was an Epilogue in every sense of the word. To me, an epilogue is the happily ever after and with Caleb and Livvie, it wasn’t just a question of slipping into one as so many other book couples do because after the intensly dark and emotional journey of the first two books, it was believable that they would have to work hard to find the exact balance of happy that worked for them. This Epilogue wasn’t just another book in the series, but rather a detailed and focused continuation of how they rebuilt their lives and their relationship.
It’s not often (okay, it’s not ever) that we get to see something like this – an epilogue turned into an entire book. We’ve been through the nightmares and the pain of their journey through the dark but now it was time for them both to find a way to live in the light.
I loved that there was no external drama in this book – it was all focused on the main characters. It literally just showed the struggles of two people try to move on from what they’d been through. It showed the emotional conflict, the questions, the uncertainties, the desires, and most strongly the knowledge that they both needed each other more than anything else in the world. They’d been through so much together and just had to find the way to live with that.
The truth of it is that what happened to Livvie was not okay. What happened to Caleb was not okay. But just because bad things happen, it doesn’t mean there can be no moving forward.
“I didn’t want to hurt her. I loved her. I didn’t know how to do it like normal people. I didn’t know how to tell her how scared I was.”
Their happily-ever-after wasn’t fairy tale perfect but at the same time, I absolutely loved the message it conveyed that even people with the most utterly fucked up pasts could still find their slice of happiness – however unconventional it might be. The point is that they found what worked for them. And that was just absolutely beautiful.
“I know it’s odd between us. How could it not be? We don’t know each other in this world, but I’ve seen you at your worst, and what I know is that you’d do anything to protect me. That’s enough for now. The rest will come.”
I think that this story was so important to tell because after the events that they lived through in the first two books, in order to fully connect with and understand what made them able to move on to their future while living with their pasts, the explanation was necessary to fully show the readers more than just their love for each other but the literally process of how they came to their decisions.
I truly feel that Caleb and Livvie’s story has now come full circle. There are few stories out there that take the time to actually give the readers such a complete picture of the ‘happily ever after’ and it’s a rare and special thing for the readers to experience especially considering the strong levels of emotional connection that bonded us to the characters in the first two books.
The journey they have been through is one of a kind. Twisted. Fucked up. Scarring. Beautiful.
“I had come to understand our relationship would be riddled with moments where the past sucked all the joy out of the present. My only hope was that with enough time, Livvie and I would build memories capable of trumping our beginning.”
If you haven’t read this series yet, I strongly urge you to give it a shot. It is truly in a category on its own. It will test you. Test you to the very possible limit. But oh-my-GOD is it EVER worth it!!
This entire series has a beautiful but utterly RAW and honest intensity to it. It just pulls at your heart. You can’t help but be drawn in. C.J. Roberts’ writing is addictive. Its compelling, beautiful, and deeply evocative. She is honestly one of the most talented authors I’ve read.
I won’t lie though, this story is NOT for the faint of heart. It is captivating, yet deeply twisted… very disturbing and yet truly beautiful. It is gritty and powerful. But honestly, if you feel brave enough to give it a go, its one of *those* stories that you won’t forget.
“I’d kill for you, Livvie. I’d die for you.”
Series rating: 5 ++ stars!
** SERIES READING ORDER **