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Book was good. As the title implies, it’s a bit darker. I enjoyed it, though. Was a fast read, too fast, imo, because I wanted there to be so much more, & I’m hating the cliffhang-ie stuff Ms Tapscott is doing of late. I want to five it 5 stars, because it’s well done for the most part, and this author has been my favorite since Moss Forrest Orchid, but the pacing/ content composition & build felt off this time. And honestly, they have with everything that I’ve read of hers lately— and I’ve mined the hud out of her backlist in years and past, waiting with baited breath for every new literary Pearl to drop. But yeah, the pacing & content issues. These things, I feel, led to it being a fast & not as satisfying read. There weren’t the same rest or comic relief or romance beats that there invariably are in every one of her books that are my favorite: the first 2 Of the Moss Forest Orchid series, the first 2 of her Shannon Lynn Cook series, and the first 2 of this series. Even her contemporary Glitter & Sparkle series. I don’t know what happens after the first 2 of each, but it seems less like a magnificent, whole cloth, ‘awesome stories all by themselves’ offering & more like the volume plots are simply attempting to serve another agenda— to get to certain plot points, publishing goals, whatever, but that brilliance is lost. Like many, this 3rd installment wasn’t bad, it just doesn’t match the brilliance of the first or even second installments. Our main female protagonist spent much of the book angry, but the fleshing if it was superficial, so it felt fatiguing instead of heartbreaking. The new love interests were obvious from go, but weren’t as fun or believable (if you’re going to become enamored with someone against your better judgement, don’t tell me, show me, take me for that ride. I don’t know what’s up with my favorite author lately, maybe I’m not the only rabid fan crying like a insatiable baby dragon for MORE, but more only matters when it’s still brilliant. Otherwise, it’s potato chips for the soul. It’s late & im mixing metaphors and I’ve been so in agony waiting for this book & it didn’t follow Ms Tapscott’s pattern of brilliance, but her recent pattern of “meh.” Which is disappointing. I like where things are going & where the went, just thought the ride was all it could have been.
That said, I’m still in agony that book 4 isn’t to be released for 2 more months. So definitely not bad. Just not the highest caliber of literary crack I’ve come to expect with this author. So, I recommend.
As usual, that went way too fast! I was torn between rushing through it to find out what happens, and taking my time so I could have something to look forward to reading. This series is good and keeps getting better. I love the new twists and additions. I felt like there was a LOT of new, which usually bothers me, but Shari is moving everything and everyone along at a fast pace and with the new introductions you get to enjoy closure along with the thrill of new “what will happens”. And ooooo the new ones are good :)