Ms. Byrne has done it again. I’ll say it once because it bears repeating: Ms. Byrne has done it again and for the uninitiated, the activity I’m referring to here is called “took my soul and ran with it.”
God, the feels of this one left me reeling for days and so I won’t give out much spoilers because if you haven’t read this gem yet, then what exactly are you doing with your life?
I’ll start my gush-fest with our heroine because God, did I adore Prudence! I want to be her sister, best friend and rebellion-planning partner. I loved that she was a glass-half-full kind of woman by choice, not necessity. But her sheltered optimism did not make her naive to her surroundings, just bold and brazen. Her insecurities were real, her anger at not being believed extremely heartfelt and her resolve to never give up on herself nothing short of magnificent. I’ll take the liberty of using our hero’s words:
“…the woman in his arms was a poem, and he hadn’t the words to describe her.”
Coming to Chief Inspector Morley, I’ve had a crush on him since Highwayman and his back story was more tragic as anything I’d imagined. I thought I was prepared. I wasn’t. The intensity of his painful memories, the wounds he still carries made me tear up more than once. His continued resolve to make the world a better place at the cost of his soul has only intensified with time and the camaraderie he now shares with his reluctant ex-criminal-frenemies was simply too adorable.As for his bunched-up complicated feelings for Prudence, well, they just made me swoon.
I kid not when I say this has been one of my most highlighted ebooks ever! Don’t believe me? Read this:
“You are the epitome of every desire or dream I’ve conceived of since before I can remember, and that is a very specific kind of torment. An unparalleled beauty, a superb lover, a woman of grace and kindness and intellect whom I can only respect and admire. A fantasy in the flesh, here in my house. With my name.”
See what I mean? And this is just a simple taste of pages and pages of sheer, dazzling brilliance. I loved Morley and Pru together. The depth of their attraction, the angst and emotion made this book a page-turner for me even as I tried to pace myself because I did not want this to be over. The start is dramatic but the plot – both the internal and external conflict – moves at a steady pace and the character development is really well done.
It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year – and I have read some pretty great ones – and the writing is so brilliant, it now has a permanent place in my Annual Reads list. Thank you, Ms. Byrne, for this gem and for putting it on KU! Desperately waiting for the next book.
Confession: I have only read one other book in this series but for those who haven’t, I’d suggest reading in order because massive spoilers for secondary characters introduced in previous books.