Release Date: August 26, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Romance | Steampunk | Paranormal
Once the night comes . . .
Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can't control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him—until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.
Love must cast aside the shadows . . .
Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable—and she's the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.
First of all I feel like a schmuck because a few of my Goodreads buddies enjoyed EVERNIGHT more than I did. A little disclaimer before I proceed with the specifics: I love where the series itself, Darkest London, is going; I love its evolution and all the different kinds of otherworldly creatures are being added into the mix; I love that the romantic flavor in all the books remain consistent and it's always habanero hawt! I've always preached that if you love romance and/or paranormal and would like to try Steampunk, you should let Kristen Callihan pop your cherry because she'll ease you in to the fantastical world of Steampunk in a slow, steady, sure, and sexy manner.
So why give EVERNIGHT only three cauldrons?
First off, the romance is solid, I love the banter and intense romantic tension between Holly Evernight and William Thorne. Both are strong and independent characters that are fine as individuals but are made better by each other. Will is your typical fantasy Alpha male, protective of his woman, always enamored by her but a little hesitant to open his heart. Now Holly is the ultimate heroine, she's beauty, brains, and brawn! A female Victorian version of Magneto. There was this scene where she fought with a raptor in the ring and she took that nasty female DOWN! Like Will, I underestimated Holly, she seemed to be the soft woman incapable of defending herself. Obviously I made an ass of myself for thinking this, she might be good with gadgets and machines but she is still an agent of the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, or SOS, and all agents are trained in combat.
In Shadowdance, Will and Holly were the side story and when Darkest London 4 concluded, Will has murder on his mind thinking Holly was the bad guy's pet and purposely turned him even more beastly thanks to his clockwork heart, which by the way might turn him into C3PO's buddy and kill him eventually. So I was looking forward to the enemies-lovers trope a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith but the misunderstanding was resolved almost immediately. The heart of the conflict didn't really involve either of them directly, they were more like pawns in a magical power play. On a side note, I'm looking forward to the next book, Soulbound (February 2015) should be another interesting volume.
EVERNIGHT might not be my favorite as it felt like a filler book of sorts to me (not everyone else) in terms of an overarching series plot (because it looks like there's some big trouble brewing). It's still a great addition to the series and still worth reading for the romance alone.