Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review. No other remuneration was received.
Book Title: FOREVERMORE
Author: Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London #7
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Category: Historical Paranormal Romance
Author’s Website: http://www.kristencallihan.com/
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Main Characters: Layla/Sin
Find It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | IndieBound
Source: ARC provided by NetGalley, ebook format
4.5 Batty Moons!
Isolated and alone, Sin Evernight is one of the most powerful supernatural creatures in heaven and on earth. As an angel of vengeance, he hunts down the darkest evil, but when his long-lost friend, Layla Starling, needs him, he vows to become her protector. Even though she will be horrified by the man he has become.
Now a famous singer and the toast of London, Layla believes that Sin is only here to guard her from rabid fans and ardent suitors. However, the truth is far more sinister. Desperate to avoid losing Layla a second time, Sin will face a test of all his powers to defeat an unstoppable foe – and win an eternity with the woman he loves.
READ ON FOR MY REVIEW!
I read less historical romance than pretty much any other subgenre. Although there are definitely a few that I read NONE of, like steampunk. I’ve always wanted to change that. While FOREVERMORE isn’t steampunk, it’s got the taste I imagine steampunk would have, because of its setting in the sooty streets of late 19th century London, and the grim and gritty sort of atmosphere of in which the events of the story takes place. (Also, one of the characters who shows up later on, who is a character from a previous book, has a clockwork heart–a very steampunk thing!) It made me very excited to keep reading right away.
The opening scene was so charming, I probably would have kept going whatever happened next anyway, but this really interesting, one-of-a kind paranormal world and its denizens drew me inexorably in! It felt more like a dark fairy tale, the way many of the first PNR books did, but most have gone the way of UF, more dark and dangerous (not that there’s anything wrong with that! I love me some urban fantasy.) But reading this was like coming home.
It only got better from there! I was glad the night I read it was one of those that was so hot, I could barely stand to lie in my bed (we don’t have air conditioning, and I don’t have a bed in the basement where I spend most of the day). I wasn’t sleeping, so I used that time to read FOREVERMORE almost all the way through in one big, wonderful hunk!
This is the 7th book in the series, and I requested it on Netgalley before I laid down my new rule of not reviewing anything later than #2 in the series unless I’d read the previous books. I’m SO glad I did! While a LOT happened in the first 6 volumes, Ms. Callihan manages to weave all you need to know from the previous books through the story in this one. I never felt lost at all. There was enough information about this very complex mythology to get along just fine. Okay, better than fine. Fantastically!
The battle between mythological species in this universe is complicated and ancient, and goes far beyond the usual depth of PNR/UF complexity. There are angels that aren’t quite angelic, demons that aren’t necessarily evil, werewolves that can go one way or the other (but they’re still all growly and awesome), vampire-like beings that aren’t quite vampires, and shapeshifters that can turn into a flock of birds, but also have bloodlust. They have much cooler names than I’ve given them here, of course. But you’ll want to discover them for yourself!
This is firmly a PNR with a strong dark fantasy throughline. The central story of the book is the one about the relationship between the heroine and her hero. He has some of my favorite PNR characteristics (I don’t care if they’re played, or annoy a lot of people. I love them when done right!): dark, broody, damaged, self-loathing, and absolutely convinced he can’t possibly be good enough for the heroine. The difference between this and other Brooders is that why he is one actually makes sense, at least as it is explained satisfactorily in this book. Luckily, the old healing heroine trope is present too… and I loved it.
The love story really captured me, and I confess, made me cry. It reminded me of a youthful romance I had that I was certain would last forever, but fell apart as so many do when you grow older. All these years later, it brings tears to my eyes to remember how much we loved each other, as only kids can. There was a particular scene in FOREVERMORE that forced me to put it down to find my Kleenex, and take a break for a while just to have a little breakdown. It reminded me so strongly of one of the last times my OTL (one true love) and I spoke face to face, that it broke my heart. Seeing the two characters mend their relationship and work toward their HEA was really touching for me. But it still made me cry. LOL
The heroine/hero’s is not an easy relationship, and the terror of the plot is an enormous brick wall constantly jumping around and between them like those giant crickets that are starting to invade up here in the Adirondacks this time of year, only it’s like, 500 feet tall, has poisonous spines, vicious fangs, and breathes fire. You’re never quite sure who will and won’t make it to the end. The company of secondary players, couples from previous books, become central to this one. It’s heartbreaking, nerve-wracking, scary and wondrous, and I will definitely put the rest of the series on my TBR. I’m sure I will get to them before my 80th birthday. 😉
I can’t believe I forgot! There is some STEAMING HOT SEX in here too! LOL
I can’t recommend this book enough, and I highly encourage you to read the rest, because I imagine the deep emotion of this book has to be present in those. Here they are:
This was a really fantastic book that satisfied not only my logical reader/reviewer’s mind, but this squishy romantic heart. Kristen Callihan is on my to look for list in the future!
FOREVERMORE earns a nostalgic and pleased
4.5 BATTY MOONS!