4.5 tortuously touching Stars
I read a lot of books. Like, A LOT. And there is no shortage of books with irrevocably damaged characters who, with a combination of their own inner strength and the love and devotion of their significant other, make it back into the land of feeling whole once more. These days, there are more books where characters have had to survive something horrific than not. So what could possibly make one more stand out?
Teresa Gabelman’s choice to infuse a great deal of humor, a terrifically diverse ensemble cast of characters who are absolutely more of a family than anything else and her brave and bare bones choice to simply allow her most broken character to fight for her own sanity and healing. That’s what.
Pam Braxton is one of the most courageous and undaunted characters I’ve ever read and believe me when I tell you that she was put through absolute hell. The kind of hell you read about and then stop reading halfway through because you simply cannot make your brain wrap around that level of cruelty. But here’s what Pam does – she transcends what was done to her and simply allows it to fall from her as if she was shedding a skin. She chooses life, she chooses love and in that choosing heals herself. And it is a joy to read.
Duncan Roark is the Warrior who loves her. He is tightly coiled danger wrapped up in sin and wields a knife as if it’s an appendage. And he’s been in love with Pam from the moment he laid eyes on her. He devotes his entire life to her and helping her to recover her life, as she wants it to be and it’s his unconditional love that helps to balance her absolute determination. That lets Pam rediscover her softer, feminine side while at the same time being solidly unbreakable.
This book continues to pull more and more of the rest of the characters into the larger storyline of human trafficking and the continued trade of Crimson Rush. We get to see more of Sloan – head of the Vampire Council. We continue to get to know more about the other half breeds that were turned against their will and are now training to become Warriors (especially the only girl, Jill, who is spunky and fierce and I adore her). And my favorite, we get more of Sid Sinclair. That man can have me laughing so hard I can’t breathe in one moment and then have my heart swelling so big with his tenderness that I don’t want to breathe in the next.
The author weaves this incredibly varied cast together seamlessly. And not only do I care about each and every one of them, I want every book to have each and every one of them in it. Each character has something so uniquely their own, something that defines them and allows them to bring their piece to the bigger puzzle that allows this whole Warrior family to function in such a bad ass way. They are tested over and over again, and they are invincible.
Alongside being extraordinarily insightful, Teresa Gabelman is a master storyteller that just keep getting better and better with each book in this series.
*This review was originally published for Wicked Women Book Blog.*