I was disappointed when I saw this book would be from Kelly’s and Jamie’s POVs instead of Seiran’s because I like to stick with the same POV throughout a series, but, once I started reading, I sunk right into the new POVs easily and forgot that I had even been concerned about it in the first place. Both their POVs were just as well-written as Seiran’s, and each character had a unique voice. Also, sometimes suddenly switching POVs after numerous books that were previously told entirely from one first person perspective can make either the new POV characters or the old ones feel off, but both felt natural here.
It also turned out that I liked each of their POVs and the chance to get to know the characters better. For example, I hadn’t known that Jamie had an eating disorder (body dysmorphic disorder and previously bulimia but handling that better now) or that Kelly had asthma.
And those two things were just more to love about the book—disability rep and more mental illness rep. Eating disorders are so often only associated with women, which is a harmful stereotype because then men with eating disorders don’t get the help they need, so it was nice to see the topic being tackled with a male character. It’s also just nice that these books show how lots of people have their struggles and that it’s ok to need help. And just like with Seiran’s mental illnesses, the author seemed to do a great job showing his disorder through his actions and how it skewed his thoughts. Also just like the previous books, even though there were struggles, there was tons of love and care and support and understanding.
I feel like the plot in this book was a little weak though. All the books are more character-focused than plot-focused and thus a little slow-paced for a while until things suddenly start to pick up near the end when the mysterious bad guy shows up, but I can deal with that. The problem with this one was characters making some decisions that didn’t really make sense (e.g. running off to take on the bad guy all by themselves, knowing they were no match and would probably get killed) and a somewhat frustrating romance. I don’t really mind when characters don’t communicate because have you seen how some people act in real life? But in this case, Jamie could’ve at least explained why he was rejecting Kelly, explained that he was only flirting with Cat to get information, etc. And it got kind of angsty in a way that seemed like the angst was mostly included for the sake of plot and keeping the characters apart. I know Jamie had some mental struggles, but I still didn’t understand his constant lash-outs at Kelly.
But overall this was another sweet, enjoyable book that I flew through in about a day. It may have been a little iffy on the plot and romance, but it still kept me reading, it still had great disability and mental illness rep, and you won’t find a more loving, understanding, supportive group of characters, which makes it a great read when you need something to make you say awww and smile.
Fans of Books 1 and 2 in Lissa Kasey's Dominion Series. Fans of character-focused m/m urban fantasy with witches and vampires. Anyone who likes books with struggles and/or mental illness but also lots of positivity and support, plus a bit of fluffiness, to balance it out.
More Books in the Series:
Kelly Harding has become good friends with Seiran Rou, originally the only male witch to actually train in magic. Now after a couple trying months and several crazy plots to kill Seiran, Kelly suggests a ski vacation to help them all relax—even if Kelly does have to work to keep his taboo crush on Seiran’s brother, Jamie, under wraps. But their getaway becomes a fight for survival when a magic fueled blizzard strands them in the middle of nowhere…with a killer.
When visions of a tower and a dying man fueling a deadly spell begin to fill Kelly’s head, he realizes he has to try to save his new family. Jamie isn’t about to let him go alone—no matter how against a relationship with his little brother’s best friend he might be. But their goals are the same: Protect Seiran, stop the spell, and make it home in one piece. It will take a brush with death to make them understand how deep their feelings go, and none of them will make it out unchanged.