Okay... so I should probably preface this by stating that I have been waiting a long
time for Wraith's book like an entire month, like years
. I have been amping this book up in my head for a while because Wraith is just so damn sexy. Look at him, just look.
So, while this book delivered in a lot of ways, I also felt it fell short for me as well.
As usual, the sex scenes in this book were hysterical, well-written and fabulous. I really liked Serena's character and it's a tie between who I like more: Serena or Tayla. But as much as I liked Serena and her spunk, charm and overall kickassery, I found myself falling father and farther away from Wraith. He just didn't feel like Wraith in this book. Serena kept calling him Josh and I soon found that I thought of him as Josh too, not Wraith. I soon had two images of the same man (demon) in my head and I couldn't piece them together. They just didn't feel like the same person to me, and as a Wraith-lover, that really sucked.
Wraith was so gentle and caring and un-Wraith-like. I had been preparing myself for this. As the brother with the most issues, I knew he would turn out to be the gentlest lover. The guy practically has it written all over his face. And when I found out his female would be human, I just knew
we were going to get some sappy-times. But hey! I love sappy-times as much as the next person. I just felt like they came too early.
As soon as Wraith meets Serena in Egypt, he immediately wants to kiss her - an act that he has never done before, partly because most of his partners have mouths you just don't want to kiss and also because he finds the act too intimate. I found it unlikely that he would want to kiss Serena upon first notice. Have sex with her? Sure. Kiss her? No way. The story basically progresses in this way: Wraith wanting things way too quickly and coming to his "good" side much too fast. I felt like, out of all the characters so far, Wraith had the most growing to do. He definitely grew in this book, but it felt skimmed, added as an afterthought. I wish there had been more focus on that.
However, the plot in this book was super fun! I really enjoyed the introduction of Byzamoth and was really happy with Reaver's entire appearance in this book, although I know he has a book slated for him coming out this year. Although, I do have to say, the entire time I was reading this, what with Wraith's almost-dying and then Serena's almost-dying, I was kind of just like: TURN HER INTO A VAMPIRE. IT WILL SOLVE EVERYTHING.
Oh! And, of course, I can't leave out the fact that there was more Kynan and Gem in this one. So fun. Their relationship is, by far, my favorite, followed closely by Eidolon and Tayla's. I love what the author did with this one. I love that everything felt so fulfilled and finished with almost every character. I love the family dynamic and I love that Wraith has a son. And I love that Serena just accepted it with no complaint.
Now, to get to the core reason of why this book bothered me, I have to address the subject of rape. I think that this is a subject that people should never tire of hearing about because we do live in a rape culture. Let's face it. However, this is the scene that really bothered me and does even now, partly because I don't know how to feel about it: Serena basically forces Wraith to take her virginity because he wakes up too late to stop it. You know that if this situation were reversed and it Wraith had been a girl, everyone would have been up-in-arms. But it's important to say that men get raped too
. I understand that he wouldn't have taken her v-card because he loved her and didn't want her to die and she had to give it up to him because he was stronger than she was and able to take out the bad guy I understand all of that and, truthfully, it doesn't bother me that much. It's not the actual scene that disturbs me, it's the dynamics behind it.
Regardless of my moral dilemma, I am already starting the fourth book. Ione is such a fun writer. She is drop-dead hilarious, witty and has a strong writing style - not to mention really fun, sexy and thought out plot lines. She has easily bumped into the top tier of my favorite romance authors.