“I want to own you.”
“You already do.”
OMG. OMG!!! So, I read this book right after The Siren and and holyyy hell, it was fucking BRILLIANT!!! Gah. Wow. Ok, I did love the first book but now I seriously GET why so many of you absolutely L.O.V.E. this series. I get it. The feels. THE FEELS!!! Holy intensity!!!! I have tears in my eyes, my heart is racing and full to bursting. Ahhhh!! Yes, a few scenes definitely had me going WhatTheFuckDidIJustRead?! but that’s all part of the thrill. This may not be a romance series, but my gosh is there ever LOVE on such a strong level. And LAYERS. Layers upon layers to this intricate story. I’m in pure awe. This is 5 STARS!!!
Note: this is not a standalone. You must read The Siren (my review) first. I’m going to keep this review pretty much spoiler-free so anyone can read it but naturally it’ll make more sense after reading The Siren.
The first page of this book alone hooked me right into the story! Ha!! This book is just so bold and I love it!! I have so many quotes highlighted (they’re all at the bottom of the review though).
I’d spent most of the first book eyeing Søren warily, but I did really start to warm up to him in the beginning of this book especially. Sadist or no, there was no doubt that he genuinely loved Nora. But juuuuuuust when I started to think that maybe I could join #TeamSøren, he did something to her that, in his defence, she totally was okay with, but made my insides shrivel up into a little ball while my poor mind was just like WTFJustHappened?! Did I really read that?! So… that put me back on the fence with him. Ish. The thing is that I do really like him. He’s an infinitely complex character that I truly believe is one of the good guys… but, I’m still rooting for Wesley (and I have from the start). Gah, I’m so rooting for Wesley even though a part of me fears it could never work out between him and Nora. Still, I harbor a secret hope!
There’s a very fine line in my opinion between being a monster and being a sadist. Søren is a sadist — he becomes sexually aroused by causing pain to others. Soren doesn’t ever take what isn’t willingly given to him, and he’s extraordinarily careful to stay within the boundaries of his submissive’s wishes. That is what separates him… but that damn line is just so fine that the whole thing relies purely on trust and even though I like him, it does make me uncomfortable that he has to cause pain to get aroused.
The story in this book begins with Søren’s position at the church coming under scrutiny as he’s considered for a promotion and so, to avoid any questioning, he sends Nora away to the countryside to spend time at Griffin’s mansion. And he also sends Michael with her (a young, troubled sub who we met in The Siren and who was such an amazing character!) to train him over the summer months.
I find the whole lack of jealousy between Søren and Nora fascinating. He’ll literally tell her to go sleep with someone else, but it won’t bother him at all because he knows full well that she belongs to him and his heart belongs to her. It’s this incredibly strong commitment mixed with equally strong detachment.
Haha I definitely went through a lot of ups and downs and conflicting emotions and questioning the characters and myself and how I felt about various things but ultimately I just LOVED the story!
Griffin was totally awesome! I liked him from the first book even though we’d just seen him briefly but he really shone here! I totally fell for his playful, informal nature. He was the charming, kinky bad boy of the Underground and the whole storyline with Michael totally made me swoooooon!! What intensity and beauty there was there!! And that scene at the end where Griffin had that big confrontation and all those things to you know who…. OMG!! Bad ass!!! I highlighted endlessly! It was GOLD.
This book had a ton of reveals about Nora and Søren’s pasts. Holy crap is Søren history ever messed up. Like… shockingly, disturbingly, heart-breakingly so. But learning it has made me understand him more. Oh and we got to see more of Kingsley (YAY!) and the little bits that we’ve seen have me desperate to know more about him. Like, the wrist thing? Ahhh, I can’t wait for more of his character!
And you know I’ve been rooting for Wes from the start but after that scene at 75%, I just…. OMG. Oh. Em. Gee. Gah. I know, I know, I know that Søren loves Nora too but the way Wesley loves her just tugs each and every one of my heart strings!!!!! I’m sorry #TeamSoren, I get that you all love him (and I like him too, I really do) but I’m #TeamWesley all the way!!! Especially after that scene. THAT SCENE!!!!! I mean really…. First — PURE FUCKING AMAZING WRITING!!! Second — holy intensity!!! Third — I seriously can’t handle those feels. I can’t. Dammit. SO MANY FEELS!!!!! And just… I LOVE WESLEY!!!!!! *sob*
And I just want to point out that Wes is the only guy that Nora has actually shown real jealousy for. No one else in their world (including her) seems to even have the jealousy gene (heh) but even the mere suggestion of Wes being with someone else made her heart hurt. There’s something there, people!!
That being said, I’m kind of rooting for everyone honestly. I don’t think there’s a single character I’ve met yet that I didn’t like so … I’m rooting for everyone to find their happy ending 🙂
I want to note that I’m generally very wary of religion in books because so often it feels a little “preachy”, but I really want to applaud this author for the way she has incorporated this huge religious aspect into this series in a way that only ever seems like she’s showing us what the characters’ beliefs are and that’s it. I think she’s handled it very tastefully and it’s something I’ve been really impressed with overall.
This is such a richly layered story. Yes, it’s extremely erotic but the beauty of it is that each sex scene only serves to support the story or drive it forward. And not only are these extremely graphic and sensual scenes extremely well written, but they always serve a purpose. In my opinion, this is erotica done right.
And I stand by what I said earlier that this is not a romance series but oh my holy heavens is there ever some of the deepest, strongest, most intense LOVE I’ve ever read. It’s just gorgeous!
In so many ways this series is literally the opposite of what I’d usually read or even recommend on my blog but this seems to be the exception to every one of my rules because I am absolutely LOVING this story. If you have any worries holding you back from starting it, I’d honestly suggest not overthinking it. Just dive right in and let the story show you what it is. It might not be for you, but if you remain very open minded and accepting, you might fall in love with it too! I’d say it’s definitely worth a shot!
I, for one, am beyond addicted to this series and will be starting the next book right away!
Rating: 5 STARS!! Contemporary erotica.
*** SERIES READING ORDER ***
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*** FAVORITE QUOTES ***
Note: I “hid” these in a spoiler tag but they are NOT spoilers. I only hid them because there are a lot and I thought it would be annoying to just have them out there. Have a look if you want, it’s perfectly safe 🙂