So, this is my first Sarah J Maas book. I know, WHO AM I and how come I haven’t read any of her books until now?? *shrug*
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
Bryce wasn’t an immediately likeable character, but she grew on me over time. She was half-Fae, half-human and a self-proclaimed party girl. She was sarcastic, snarky, beautiful and she knew it. When tragedy occurred, she became a hateful person who lost her will to live. It took me a while to get to know Bryce and truly understand what made her tick, since she hid herself behind a wall of hate, but when I got to know her, I really loved her as a character.
Hunt seemed to be your stereotypical brooding angel with mad killing skills and a dark past. He acted heartless on the outside, and it was so convincing that I believed it until about halfway through the story, when his true self started to shine. It took me as long to love Hunt as it did to love Bryce, but I ended up rooting for both of them.
The Goodreads summary for this novel described Bryce and Hunt’s romance as a passionate and sizzling one, and at first I expected it to be instalove, and it wasn’t, which was AWESOME, since instalove is my topmost romance pet peeve. I loved that Bryce and Hunt didn’t immediately even like each other. They started warming up to each other over time and became friends, then more than friends. I also liked that there was none of the “I loved you from day one” after the fact either. Bryce and Hunt turned out to be one of the most beautiful romances I’ve read.
The plot was very complex and intricate. After about the 75% mark, it was one plot twist after another. I had predicted some of them, but many of the twists had me blindsided! It was a true edge-of-the-seat rollercoaster of an ending that was so satisfying.
Speaking of the ending, I LOVED it so much. It was one of those endings that had me flabbergasted, in complete tears, and out of words.
I also loved the immersive world this story took place in.
The book stayed with me after the last page, and that was because of the complex, multi-faceted characters and the ties that bound them. I would definitely put this on the reread list!
This novel took a long time to get started (at least from the perspective of an impatient reader like me). It was about 40% in when I finally got into the story and began to like the characters. I’d almost DNFed this book, but glad that I stuck it out.
Why did everyone have to be beautiful? Not just Bryce and Hunt and their friends and relatives, but also the bartender and the tattoo artist down the street? It just gets old, lol.
I enjoyed the plot twists which had me on my toes and always guessing, but those plot twists required a LOT of explanation. It kind of gave me a headache just to think through it all. I wished that they were more evenly spread out, so it wasn’t like, nothing happening nothing happening nothing happening then BOOM EVERYTHING HAPPENS.
Loved the story and the world, and Bryce and Hunt had such great chemistry. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!