Yeah, sooooo I was pretty underwhelmed. Guess I should have listened to the previous reviews after all. Here's the thing. I'll go through several points where I think this could have been improved and the potential it displayed, but the fact of the matter is that the writing was just too simplistic.
Writing: It wasn't that there was too much tell and no show, the author did show. But instead of that show being a complex weave of events, emotion, and danger it was "Oh no! There's Cyril!" and "He sank deeply into his counterparts ass." That's it? I hate it, hate it, when author's brush through a virgin's first sex scene like it's just, sex! C'mon it's gonna hurt but also be intense and beautiful and deep. But nah. Just some sex. Not super interesting or gut-clenching sex at that.
World Building: Granted, this is the sixth book in the series but the first for me. However, I felt like it could (and was meant) to able to be read as a stand-alone, given how much effort was put into making sure we knew R.C. was dead, and Cyril was the big bad, and what-not. But besides some basics, we don't know how or why. It just is. We're simply supposed to accept it with no explanation whatsoever. So very simplistic when really, with a little extra effort this could be a very complex and interesting take on a shifter world (which is baffling that it hadn't developed more given she's had five books with which to develop it).
Plot: There wasn't one. Don't get me wrong, there tried to be one, but there wasn't really because there was no point. Except of course the purpose of having a little adventure to initiate Miles and Joel into the world of the supernatural. The supernatural drama should have been related to Miles and Joel, not some secondary event. It was pretty irrelevant.
Chemistry: Meh. It started cute. Miles is painfully shy and has had a crush on Joel, his personal trainer, for a year. Joel's friendly and of course Miles thinks he's way out of his league, but we find out Joel has liked Miles to. Not super unique but a trope I like. But of course then they find out they're magical soul-mates and no further effort is put forth to develop a relationship. It just is. We're supposed to accept it because, didn't we just tell you, they're soul mates! OK fine. And a pet peeve, these are humans, raised in the human world, with human minds. They find out they're 'counterparts', fine. But all of a sudden I feel like I'm in a werewolf shifter book with "my counterpart" this and "my counterpart" that. Would they really change their way of thinking that abruptly that the other person is defined as such in their every thought!?
Secondary Characters: Flat. One-dimensional. Unnecessary. I had no love for any of them, except Buddy, who they promptly abandoned and forgot about. WTF! Felix we know nothing about, has maybe 5 lines, and is pretty rude to them for no apparent reason. Candace, is an annoying whiny bitch who is pretty rude to them for no apparent reason. Eli was in one scene... for no apparent reason. Are you sensing the trend here?
I hate to say it, but there was just so much potential here. First thing it needs is more complex world building. Then more sympathetic and developed characters, and then I think the writing will fall into place. Unfortunate.
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, reviewed for Hearts On Fire.