Top critical review
The Second Half of this Book Ruined the AMAZING Series For Me
January 4, 2019
I LOVED the first book and highly enjoyed the second. I was enjoying this one too until about midway through and then this book fell short. It fell from a 4 star to a 3.5. I was set to buy the paperbacks of this series when I finished reading them, but I genuinely was so bothered by the ending of this one that I don’t think I can. I’m so upset by this because the other two were great and I was already throwing the paperbacks in my cart on Amazon and planning my next read of them.
My biggest compliment of the prior two books is the characters of Emma Jean and Grim, but especially Emma. EJ is such an interesting and strong character. I love her pickpocketing ways and her cons; the way she’s always able to hold her own. What occurs in this novel seems to be against everything that this character was built to be.
She was an orphan in the foster care system, which means no family. This tidbit made her as she is today. Then, the author decides in this book to start bringing in parents. When it was suspected to be the Chief, I was semi-okay with that; I mean, he’s a cool character. But then who it ends up being, and this is a problem at first, but then it is not a problem...Then it is decided that she will go back to Ireland with him, where they live, to meet her birth mother and all be a family, so off her and Gabby go. I would have so preferred if she stayed. I appreciate Grim’s cuteness for wanting her safe, but I feel like things would have just been better if she stayed. But okay, I made peace with it and moved on.
What I did not make peace with is the fact that between her leaving and Grim killing Marco was months! They try to invite him to a thing and it takes months of him hiding before he comes out. MONTHS?! Which means he and EJ have been apart for a long time. You can’t tell me that with all the manpower Grim had, they couldn’t find him and kill him earlier?! On that note, it was so nice to have Marco dead. Grim did a nice job but what would have been nicer is if Emma Jean was there too to get her revenge. After all the rapes and handing her over to his men, the years of fear, she didn’t want to throw in a punch? Maybe get the final knife in his heart or something?
****This next paragraph onwards will have spoilers in it. Proceed with caution. If you have not read the book, turn back now.****
So Emma Jean has been in Ireland for months and that means: getting close to her family. Dandy. Interestingly enough, she accepts the name Imogen so immediately. Again, unlike her character. If you’ve been one name for all those years, and then find out you have another (especially that one!), it would be so hard to change. Sorry long-lost Mom and Dad, but Emma Jean is my identity. Shortly after arriving in Ireland she finds out she’s pregnant, but doesn’t know if Grim or one of the rapists is the father. So months pass and when the timelines line up where Grim kills Marco, he sends her Marco’s ring as a sign to say it’s safe. At this point, she’s described as being very pregnant. I would assume 8 months along. But here’s the kicker...She never told him about the baby, regardless if it may his or not. The whole time, they haven’t been in contact.
So after the ring arrives and she know it is safe to go back, she stays for a couple more months and poor Grim still gets no contact. As he’s building a house for them. She didn’t want to leave her new family, but when she does eventually come back to him, they come with her!! So I don’t get the big deal. So a couple more months pass and what does that mean? The baby is born. And given a DNA test. I suppose she was waiting to find out the child’s true father before returning to him, but does she not know him?? Lucky Grim finds out through the Chief showing him the results for a child he didn’t even know was being tested, so he fixes the house to make room for the child. So finally, EJ returns to him and I’d say by the couple months that passed after she got the ring, that the child is about 1 month old.
Here’s what just bothers me though. EJ was built to be such a strong character and make good choices. Her love for Grim was so strong; like crazy strong, and if she was ready to return but did not want to leave her new parents, then ask them to come along. I suspect once the pregnancy was confirmed that was their plan all along anyway. So she just stays away after all they’ve been through; she does not tell him about the baby and as a result he missed the pregnancy, birthing, and naming of the child. Even though in the beginning he was thinking about seeing Emma Jean “round with his child”, but he doesn’t get to see it. It’s cruel. I didn’t like the months it took for them to kill Marco, but whatever, I’ll live. I can’t live with the fact that poor Grim was building their lives for them and she was keeping him in the dark the entire time. I understand giving her time and all that, but for someone who didn’t want to go (still wish she didn’t), she sure took her time returning.
Emma Jean was my favorite character, even over Grim. It’s always hard to beat my love for the male characters in books as these, so that’s saying something. But this ending destroyed her for me. This was her doing all the way. It just made me so sad and mad at the same time.
This book hints to a Gabby and Sandy romance, and I hope that a book is written about them. It did hint at Mona and Rollo, but the ending tied that up, so I guess that’s out. Would have made for a great standalone. Especially if Emma Jean banished Mona, and then in secret lived on the reserve with Rollo in an entire novel and they got together.
There was a lot of little things that happened at the end, and then the whole family thing, and I just wish it was executed differently. I was loving this series until the end. Makes me so mad…
I read the first half of the King series and now this one. Despite this ending, it seems like I do get attached to T.M. Frazier’s books, so I’ll definitely be reading more by her.