This series is so hard for me to rate. On the emotional turmoil aspect, I want to give it 5 stars. When they come to important scenes, they are so well done, so beautifully written and so insightful. My problem is that they are so few and far between. While I enjoyed taking a journey with Michael and Dominic, experiencing things with them and watching their love grow, I felt the sword of Damocles hanging over my head the whole time.
I have never been so tempted to say "fuck it", and just jump to the last 5o pages to read the climax. Both this and the last book, Intimation, had something dramatic that we knew was going to happen. And in both it doesn't happen until the very end. This makes it hard to enjoy the journey. I sped through these last two books, not because I was so drawn in by the beautiful prose, but because I wanted to get it over with. I was trying to scarf down my veggies without tasting them so I could get to desert.
These would be great to go back and read again at some point, when I can enjoy the subtle nuisances and not be worried about the end game. But as beautiful as it was, there was too much filler in each book after always a dramatic cliffhanger, and I found myself resentful of having to go immediately to the next book for resolution of the story-line.
Edit: Later the same day - I had initially rounded down to 3 stars due to the issues I listed above, but the fact of the matter is that I cannot stop thinking about this book. Reliving arguments and tender moments and fucking, imagining scenes that never happened or have yet to happen of arguments or tender moments or fucking. It stayed with me, so for that, I have to give Vee Hoffman credit. I'm a little depressed, a little hopeful, a little troubled. I'm looking up flight info to travel somewhere, anywhere. I feel somewhat inspired, so I'd say that deserves a rounding up.