*I received a ecopy of this book from the author. This has in no way influenced my review.*
This was another very character-focused but enjoyable novel about Scarlet and Liall. I found myself not wanting to put it down, not because I needed to know what would happen next—there wasn’t really enough action for that—but because I just liked being around these characters and seeing their relationship grow.
Almost the entire novel took place on a ship, so it had a somewhat intimate feel because of how it pushed the two men together, forcing them to spend time together and live in the same quarters, even though there were still other people around.
There was also lots of illness, injury, fevers, etc. Though that’s not necessarily my favorite thing to read about, I did think it added some realism because I sometimes think about how unrealistic it is that no one ever gets sick in books despite their often unhygienic conditions and stress and injuries. It also provided for a lot of scenes involving Scarlet and Liall tending to each others’ wounds and taking care of each other, which was sweet.
Another thing I liked was that the characters didn’t have sex right away. In so many books, characters have sex really quickly, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s also nothing wrong with waiting. So I just like books that portray that too. And the fact that Scarlet was young and a virgin and someone who’d never had a relationship or a lover whereas Liall was much older and more experienced made for an interesting scenario and look at the two different perspectives, including thoughts and concerns I’d have never thought of myself.
As for the plot, it was much like that of the first book, slow-paced without that much going on (though there was at least a small battle scene this time). But, as I said, this was a character-focused book, so that’s not a negative thing, just something that depends on personal preference.
The one thing in the book that didn’t interest me quite so much was the royal court politics near the end. I don’t care that much for and therefore don’t read much about royals, so it was hard for me to keep track of the names and relationships and what the characters were talking about in regards to that.
Overall though, this was another enjoyable book with likeable characters who came across as realistic given their situation and a sweet romance!
Fans of Book 1 in Kirby Crow's Scarlet & the White Wolf Series. M/M high fantasy readers who like slow-paced, character-focused books with sweet relationships.