Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Years ago, a very intoxicated Martin nearly died in the woods outside Everlasting, and a beautiful creature saved him, although Martin’s done his best to forget it. He spends his time in a haze of weed as he avoids his emotionally abusive mother—and the way he feels about men. Martin is already a weirdo in his isolated small town; he doesn’t need a sexuality crisis too. He’s a mess, but someone—or something—always seems to take care of him, usually a tall, sarcastic deputy by the name of Ian Forrester.
No one knows much about Ian, which is how he and his family prefer it. Ian has resigned himself to a lonely life keeping his secrets and guarding his forest. It’s safe to dream of Martin, because Martin never remembers Ian helping him. Besides, Martin barely speaks to Ian, so nothing can ever grow between them. Right?
But with the dragons—and the magic—back in Everlasting, suddenly anything seems possible, even a happily ever after for two men who never expected one….
I’m a big fan of R. Cooper and the Beings books in particular, so I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while. Picking up where Treasure for Treasure left of, this is the story of Deputy Ian Forrester and barista Martin Dyer. Ian knows Everlasting, knows the forest and people, and tries to help them all while staying as low profile as possible. He has secrets, personal and family, that he needs to keep and being known by the town won’t help him keep those. He’s been good at it, too, except when it comes to Martin. After saving him once, he finds he can’t leave the boy alone to suffer nor can he help himself from saving and seeing him more. Martin has secrets too, though mostly those are his own worries and questions about his sexuality. His mom is a cruel person, who has made it clear that she thinks beings and lgbt people are awful and not to be trusted. Martin doesn’t agree, but he wants his mom’s approval and love so he tries to quietly disagree. Can these two meet each other in the middle and help each other?
So I love this series, and I really wanted to love this book, but it had a lot of problems. That said there were a lot of things I did love! For example, I loved Ian and Martin. They were each interesting, complex characters who had great chemistry together. Ian was honestly funny and seeing him try to keep away from people while wanting to get to know them was hard to watch but interesting to read. And Martin was so sweet and optimistic. He deserved better from his mother, and he had a lot to work through. I was glad it was told from both of their points of view, so we could see what they were both thinking and dealing with. I also loved seeing more of Zarrin and Joe. So much! We got a resolution to their story and it was a joy.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of things I didn’t like about this book. Like Treasure for Treasure this book spent a long time rehashing personal problems, in this book the main problem was that both Ian and Martin lacked a feeling of self-worth. Unlike in Treasure for Treasure, Martin and Ian didn’t have an extended time together to be happy and work on their problems. This was a long book and there was a lot of slow build up for their relationship (which was good!) but when they FINALLY got together they broke up in literally a day. Then they didn’t get back together until the last fifty pages. While this was in character, it was so frustrating as a reader.
There were some other more minor problems, such as confusing time jumps and characters coming to unusual conclusions, but they didn’t bother me as much as the angsty relationship. I also wanted to know more about the magic of the town! Even just more guesses as to what was going on. It SEEMED like everything was figured out, or at least figured out enough, but there were still things that weren’t clarified.
The good parts of this book were great! But 400 pages of problems built up. If you enjoyed the other books in this series then this is a good read, especially if you want to catch up with the characters from the previous books. But this wasn’t my favorite book of the series.