Author: Faith Gibson
Publisher: Bramblerose Press, LLC
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Summary : Deny, Deny, Deny
Review: I was completely looking forward to this installment of the Stone Society series. Ever since Jasper’s story came barreling into what had been, up to that point, an entirely M/F series, I could not wait for Uri’s story! Thankfully, I was not disappointed.
Urijah, Urijah, Urijah. You took denial to a whole new level. Never have I encountered a character who spent nearly a thousand years wallowing in self-delusion … until now. I have been thoroughly enchanted with Uri’s stoic, sad, and mysterious character pretty much from the beginning. While reading this book, I became #TeamBanyan because I mean, come on! Uri came off as kind of a whiny brat for a lot of it.
That said, I still loved Uri. I wanted to get a plunger to help him get his head out of his own rear end, but … I still loved him. Banyan was a solid gold sweetheart the entire time. Seriously, who on Earth would wait 800 years for someone to come to their senses? I despaired of it ever happening. After finally finding out exactly what—besides Uri being in denial about being gay, and being mates with his childhood best friend—was keeping the two apart. When I found out, I was like, “Duh, Uri. What else did you expect?”
So not cool, btw, for Uri to bring in a pinch hitter. I didn’t really see the sense in that. Especially not since said substitution reminded him of the real deal anyway. Why? Why? Why go there? It was at this point that I hopped the fence. Go #TeamBanyan. Uri had nobody to blame for any of that but himself and his centuries-long state of ineffectual denial.
It is also worth noting that I might have been on Banyan’s cheerleading squad the whole time, and especially after this, but he infuriated me too with his calm passivity. I wanted a little more fire from him, well, from them both really. Don’t get me wrong. There was plenty of chemistry and tons of UST, some of it reinforced from previous books. The problem was that Banyan came across as a little doormat-like from time to time and Uri occasionally read almost like one of those M/F heroines who couldn’t shoot themselves in the foot and can’t get out of their own way (and for no good reason).
It was a little incongruous because these guys were the two biggest, baddest, most skilled swordsmen of all their long-lived brethren. They had history, they had feels, they had plenty to be angsty and angry about, but we saw very, very little of Banyan’s frustration—he was just kind of in the doldrums—and when Uri FINALLY came around it was practically over. I would have liked to see them together at like 30% and still working through some crap. Wishes meet horses.
Putting all of my nitpicky opinions aside, Faith managed (as always) to throw a few twists in there, wrap up a longstanding overarching plotline with some of the major players, and do something to one of my favorite characters that made me want to drop back ten and punt someone, anyone through a plate glass window into a stand of really gnarly cacti. Uh-huh. I won’t spoil it, but dangit! The feelz were intense.
I loved how this book took care of some loose ends long overdue for snipping. I loved how we got to see a much softer side of Urijah that included something besides pain and heartache, even though it took forever! I loved Banyan, period. I loved Banyan and Uri together, I loved the UST, the buildup, the journey and their individual storyline. There were a few niggles, mostly that the reason for the conflict in their relationship after New Orleans was legit, but also felt kind of tame to me given the gargoyle culture. I mean, it was a gimme given the whole mates thing.
That incident did explain why Uri was so dead set against being with Banyan recently, but didn’t tell us squat about why he was being so stubborn for the prior 7+ centuries. Especially when you take into account the fact that Uri ultimately accepted he was gay (and acted on it too) in the intervening years! So why not go after Banyan when he knew they were mates instead of substituting? It makes that whole scene in NOLA seem even more trivial in the grand scheme of things when you take it all in context. That bothers me … a lot.
But overall I want to make it clear that this was a rock-solid read. I also loved that the author gave us another M/M installment here even though I feel robbed of the potential for at least one other (not to say there won’t be more just … ugh), but it can’t be the one I wanted. Bah humbug on that, dear author. Bah humbug.
Otherwise, I am pleased as punch with the whole thing. It was well worth the wait.