The final book in USA Today bestselling author Kristen Callihan's critically acclaimed Darkest London series!
Miss Layla Starling, the young, beautiful, and extremely wealthy heiress, is the talk of London. Until now, she's managed to evade the marriage noose. Despite the fact that she is unfortunately American, she's received a staggering number of offers. And turned down every one. St. John Evernight does not want to admit the relief he feels every time he hears that she has rejected one of her suitors. Which is unfair of him. Layla deserves to be happy. But he can not offer her happiness. He will never be normal, never be anything but a freak in her world. So St. John resolves to keep his distance, until he is recruited by the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals to guard Layla. For she is in grave danger, and he is about to learn the full extent of his powers.
Themes: angels, demons, paranormal, historical
Rating: 5 stars
Sad to say but the wonderful Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan has come to an end with this amazing story of two childhood sweethearts who find love, through strife, danger, and differences beyond belief. I have been an avid fan of this series, surprisingly to myself, since I read the very first book and have been dying for Sin to finally get his HEA. For those that are coming into the series with this finale, you will sadly miss out on a lot of the subtext and subtle references, but you will still enjoy the hell out of this story and will be given enough information that you won’t feel lost or overwhelmed. As usual, Callihan amazes with her characters, setting and ability to turn the most mundane and seemingly boring of settings in history—19th century London—into a remarkable world of angels, demons, vampires, and so much more. I am sad to see the story end but was thrilled to get to enjoy Layla and Sin’s story as they both found their place in the world, reunited with family, and found a way for their love to blossom and save them both. The thrilling end of the Darkest London series will leave you breathless and on the edge of your seat as these two lovers navigate the dark and disturbing waters of the danger surrounding Layla as she comes into her powers and finally learns the truth about her past and her true nature.
Layla is the kind of woman that has always known what she wanted, even though she suspected she would never have it, and Sin is the man she always thought would be her husband. When they were separated on her fifteenth birthday, she pined for him, but always held out hope she would see him again, so when she returns to her guardian’s home, defeated, and disillusioned she is pleasantly surprised to find Sin back in her life. At least until he opens his mouth. Sin has changed a lot from the young boy she once loved, but the attraction he feels for Layla is surprising and beyond unwelcome, especially when her guardian, his mentor, decides that the best way for Sin to serve as her protector is to become her husband. As Sin works hard to keep her safe, more and more Layla is coming out of her shell, and she’s not going to let Sin deny their pull. But even with all the passion between them, can they overcome their differences, keep each other and their friends safe, and find a way to be together, all while battling an epic demon, as well as facing their own inner demons. Can love truly conquer all or are these two doomed?
Sin has always had issues with the powers that were trapped in his body, inexplicably coming to the front at the worst times, but after being kept as a blood slave for much of his adult life, he has to face facts—he is screwed up and needs serious help. With these new powers to contend with as well, Sin is determined to prove to his mentor that he is worth the trouble. I enjoyed finally getting to know St. John, the last single Evernight, and seeing him grow and develop into the truly powerful hero he was always meant to be. There were some real family dramas as Sin refused to face his past and make his family accept the truth of his past actions, but with Layla’s help, he was able to get the closure he needed and find that loving foundation of family that he needed all his life. He is obviously a tortured hero, but often those are the best kind as they work to find the good in themselves and show that to those that love them. I loved Sin’s interactions with Layla, even when he was being an ass, because it reminds us that sometimes the factor that makes a man truly great is the love and support of the woman that has captured him heart and soul. Layla too has some serious concerns to overcome as she finds her place in this new and amazing world she is thrown into. Living ignorant of all the entities that share the world, vampires, demons, and so much more, leaves her at a distinct advantage, but with Sin by her side and trusting in her own instincts she finds that, while Sin is necessary to her happiness and well-being, she can survive on her own and will do everything she can to protect herself and her man. I liked Layla a lot and was thrilled to see her learning to kick ass as well as finding a way to make Sin see her as a woman to be reckoned with. The best part to me of course was seeing Layla discover her true origins and accept the difference within herself that make her a truly great heroine.
Forevermore, the thrilling finale to the Darkest London series is beyond exciting and borders on incandescent in the ways Callihan brings her characters to their ultimate HEA and allows them both to grow into protectors for the unsuspecting humans of the world. Sin was a man that has walked through fire and come out the other side stronger for the traumas of his past, but with the love of his woman will never forget that there is good in the world and that is worth continuing the fight against evil. Layla might seem like a naïve youth that is playing a game in the world she thinks she’s living in, but when her eyes are truly opened her ability to adapt and overcome challenges marks her as a woman that will not be denied and will not be defeated. I loved seeing these two find their hearts entangled and the passion between them was sometimes beyond scorching, but always there was the underlying sweetness of two youths that fell into innocent love long ago, proving that love given is never really returned and can develop into the deepest and most life altering of connections. While I am sad to see this series end, we got just the right amount of cameos from previous couples to know that the characters we have fallen in love with over the years will have long lasting happiness and if in the future, another story visits their world it will be like visiting an old friend. Callihan has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I am looking forward to her next project with baited breath and know that whatever it is will be remarkable and unforgettable just like Darkest London. Great work Kristen, thanks for the memories!
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.