I liked Angel’s Ink, as well as the two novellas published so far in this series. But I’ll tell you, this story is where the series really hits its stride. Maybe it’s because we’ve gotten past all the introductions and establishing the characters. But more than that, it features a fast moving plot and unpredictable course of events. With great world building and a fantastic sympathetic hero, it’s a book I didn’t want to put down.
As the story begins, Gage is being forced to work for Reave, the Dark Fae crime boss. Reave knows Gage is a warlock and is using the information to blackmail him. That’s problem number one. Problem number two: the Summer Court is in town, putting Trixie in danger. The Light Fae king still wants her as his consort; now the Queen is demanding a meeting. Problem three: someone has figured out the locations of the Dark Towers, putting the warlocks in kill-mode, and painting a huge target on Gage, a rouge who knows all their secrets.
All three problems not only put Gage in great danger, they threaten the people he loves as well. Reave uses Bronx as leverage. The Fae are a threat to Trixie. And the Towers, well… the Towers are a threat to everyone. Poor Gage is being pulled in so many directions, it’s a wonder that he can remember his own name, yet he rises to the challenge. He makes tough decisions. He shows he is resourceful, loyal, powerful, fallible, and brave. You couldn’t ask for a better hero.
One of my biggest issues with Angel’s Ink was that I found the romance too easy –kind of anticlimactic. I worried the Gage/ Trixie relationship would be a lame plot point this time around. Jocelynn Drake avoids this by not making it a plot point at all. Gage and Trixie simply are a given. And making it a non-issue was the best possible course of action. So many other things were going on, I didn’t have time to bemoan a lack of romantic tension. The book is filled with too many other kinds of tension. The kind that kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what life would throw at Gage next.
Beyond that, I really enjoyed learning more about Gage’s backstory and his family. I loved, loved, loved Gideon. (What a treat to see how his character has developed!) I think my female hormones went in overdrive reading about Gage and his connection to the baby Squall. I suffered watching him struggle with all he had to sacrifice for the greater good. And the ending –while not really a cliffhanger– has me itching to see where the story will go next.
Very well done. Would definitely recommend. (While this may work ok as a standalone, it would be better if you read Angel’s Ink first, if you haven’t already.)
*ARC Provided by Harper Collins
Dead Man’s Dealby Jocelynn DrakeRelease Date: May 7, 2013Publisher: Harper Voyager