4.5 introspective Stars
Up until now, Dom Wars has been, mostly, about two things: Lucian and Tara’s relationship and sex. There’s a lot of nuance to both of those and a lot of layers, but if you had to boil the major themes down to two things, these would be them. We’ve watched Lucian and Tara come together and form this incredible relationship; they’ve been to hell and back in a very short period of time. And they’re solid now. There’s no more, will she, won’t she, they are standing together on a fully formed foundation. Lucian launched a full out assault on every single one of her senses by engaging her entire being through intimacy, and it worked. So what now?
Now the real work begins. Now we get to see how Lucian becomes the Ineffable Dom. Now we get to see how reflexes get re-wired. Now we get to see what happens when two newly born people, still in the process of letting their wings dry, go about learning to fly.
Lucian’s work lies with his relationship with his father. His reflex is automatic rebellion, no matter the instigation. His reflex is to default to the inner monologue instilled by his father long ago that he’s not good enough, not worth enough, not capable enough. The snake chasing its tail is that cycle of damnation and rebellion. In order to finish his transformation into the Ineffable Dom, Lucian must first knock that cycle off course and hardwire new reflexes into place. He has to re-learn how to trust himself on new legs.
Round 5 also brings us a new level of Steve. He goes from the cheery, problem-solving sidekick to a main character in this round when he’s made to pay penance right along with Lucian and Tara for their rule breaking behavior before Round 4. Steve brings a wonderful dose of humor to what would otherwise be some pretty painful and uncomfortable situations.
Last, but certainly, not least is the Preacher Dom. Designated to meet out Lucian and Tara’s punishment for breaking rules, he’s set up as the bad guy. He’s set up in such a way that we shouldn’t like him. Shouldn’t want to know anything about him other than, hopefully, he’ll leave Lucian and Tara alone. But I fell head over heels for him. This man has survived the seven levels of hell through the grace of love and faith and to watch him dole out that faith and that love as lessons instead of punishment is glorious indeed.
Lucian Bane has written a pivotal book with Round 5. This book peels back the façade of pleasure, success and simplicity of competition and exposes the interior framework still under construction. Exposes the raw nerves and, in the end, the immense power and beauty waiting to be claimed by doing that work. This Round is well balanced between humor, introspection and some truly lovely (and hot as hell) scenes of intimacy with Lucian and Tara. Bane continues to have moments of absolute perfection with his writing. Moments that make me stop and have to re-read entire sections several times just for the sheer joy of it. Those moments alone are enough to keep me shouting from the rooftops that everyone should read this series.
I don’t know what the final round has in store for our crusaders. But I do know that as long as their journey continues to be laced through with the same heart, soul and laughter than exist in all the previous rounds, it will be nothing short of epic.