*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
This was a very character-focused book, all about Grey and Saint and their inner struggles and relationship with each other. It was slow-paced, but that’s not a complaint at all because it never dragged, and the pace worked well with the character-focused aspect and feel of the book.
I also liked that this book included the topic of mental health and seemed to handle it well. Grey was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts (plus one actual attempt at the very beginning), and the book really delved into his mind in order to explain what depression feels like, or at least what it felt like to him. And Saint, while not quite depressed, had his own struggles too, trying to cope with not knowing who he was, with not being human, with grief for all the men he loved, and with the insecurity of feeling like no one could love the monster that he saw himself as.
*SPOILER ALERT (I’m going to discuss the mood/feel of the book and whether it has a happy ending or not)* That being said, this book wasn’t the dark, heart-wrenching thing I thought it would be and didn’t make me particularly emotional. I’m not saying it had no emotion—there were scenes that made me smile and frown and feel for the characters—but it was more hopeful and sweet than dark, with a supportive, near-perfect type of romance (that does not cure Grey’s depression but does help him see light in the darkness) and “beautifully flawed” characters. So while it could be triggering for anyone with depression or suicidal thoughts, the overall story was not a depressing one. This is neither good nor bad, it just depends on what type of characters, story, and outlook on mental illness you’re looking for. However, I do tend to have a high tolerance for emotion/flaws/darkness/pain in books, so keep that in mind. *END SPOILER ALERT*
Last but not least, I want to mention that I loved the beautiful, lyrical style of writing. It was still plenty easy to understand, but the descriptions of the characters, the emotions, the passion, the intimacy, etc. were wonderful.
So overall, this was a very character-focused paranormal book that really delved into the topic of mental illness, and the beautiful writing made it a pleasure to read!
Anyone who likes slow-paced, character-focused books, the topic of depression/suicide, and M/M romance with a light paranormal aspect.
Saint’s afraid to die. Grey can’t stand to live.
Grey Jean-Marcelin wants to die. He thought painting his passion—vivid portrayals of Haitian life and vodou faith—would be enough to anchor him to this world. But it isn’t. And when the mysterious man known only as Saint saves Grey from a suicide attempt, it’s more curse than blessing—until Grey discovers that Saint isn’t just an EMT. He’s a banished fae, and can only survive by draining the lives of those he loves.
All Saint needed was a simple bargain: one life willingly given for another. But as Saint’s feelings for Grey grow deeper, centuries of guilt leave him desperate to save a man who doesn’t want salvation, even if Grey’s life means Saint’s death.
When Grey’s depression consumes him, only he can decide if living is worth the struggle. Yet his choice may come too late to save his life . . . or Saint’s soul. And whatever choice he makes, it may shatter them both.
Book Author: Xen Sanders
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Book Rating: 4
Setting Location: Georgia, USA
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual (Main Character), Gay (Love Interest)
Disability: Depression/Anxiety, Mental Illness, Suicide Thoughts/Attempts
Non-Human Type: Other Supernatural
Romance Type: M-M
Other: Painting, Paranormal/Supernatural
Extra Love: Beautiful Writing, Cover Love