Forced to live at Clanhome due to the many threats on their lives, Lily and Rule are trying to make the best of things. But when someone slips into their territory and steals one of Cullen's magical devices, things go a little haywire. Since the device was a secret, Nokolai has a traitor in their midst and Isen goes over the edge in his determination to find the traitor on his land. Meanwhile Robert Friar and the Old One he serves are still causing devastation in their wake, and this time it may just hit a little too close to home.
In my review of the previous installment I had expressed frustration at the lack of emotion between Lily and Rule. I was hoping to see a turn around in that department this time around, but while there was some progress, their relationship is still missing that compelling spark that drew me to them in the first place. In the earlier books, despite Lily fighting against the mate bond, there still was an all consuming feeling about things between them. I realize that relationships are always more intense in the beginning, but they should still retain at least some of that original frenzy to keep things fresh. Sure, the words were there on paper that they love and need one another, that's really all it felt like, words. I just would greatly prefer to be swept up in between them and their emotions.
Another one of my issues with the last book was that the threat was more in the abstract rather than front and center. I'm happy to say that was not a problem at all in Mortal Ties. Sometimes while writing reviews I have a difficult time figuring out exactly what to say as to avoid spoilers, I can't really get into any specifics. That is definitely the case here as there were several new elements added to the story that made a major impact on both the characters and the overall story arc as well. I'd love to go into depth about a lot of that as some things were rather shocking, but I'll just leave it at that so you can enjoy those things for yourselves.
If I had to categorize these books, I would place the first several installments firmly into the paranormal romance category. While there was plenty of plot momentum, both in the books themselves, and the overall series arc as a whole, there still was a great deal of focus on the romance between whatever couple had the limelight at the time. However, with the last few books it seems that these books are moving more and more into the Urban Fantasy genre as the romance has taken a severe back seat at this point. Granted, this is more of a grumbling complaint from me rather than a real flaw with the books as I'm really a hopeless romantic at heart. Once you show me any potential for romance in a book, I want to see it and keep it. So while rating the book, I have to force myself to take a step back and away from my romantic preferences and really look at the enjoyment factor of the book as a whole. And, once I did, I realized that I actually enjoyed this book a great deal. In fact once I picked it up I couldn't seem to put it down despite other obligations weighing on me. If that isn't a sign of a good book, then I don't know what is. So I'm hoping that the next book will go smoother for me now that I've finally accepted the feeling of the slight genre switch. So all together, Mortal Ties will more than please fans of the series as it brings the threat front and center and will leave your heart pounding from the incredibly high stakes.