I hate when I don’t write a review immediately, so bear with me on this one as I try to distinguish this book from the others.
Overall, this one included some brilliant scenes. From the introduction of Miles Toogood (who could be my favorite kid ever) to the fat but witty Peyton Garic, this one continued with some fantastic humor involving the lovely Nik. I adore him in these scenes.
“You’re a historical figure now. A superhero. You need a name.”
Miles looked down, blushing furiously. “I don’t much like the names that get made up for me. Miles Too…other things.”
“That’s because they aren’t seeing your secret identity. Hmm, let me think…Chainsaw.”
“Hush. It’s a secret identity.”
“I wish you didn’t have to go.”
“Not many people have ever said that to me.”
“Nor me. You should say nor me.”
“No, you shouldn’t! You only use nor when it’s combined with neither! Everyone knows that! Otherwise it’s or. I think I’d better lend you my Golden Treasury of English Grammar. But you will return it, won’t you? I don’t really like lending my books.”
I love this kid. And I hope we get much more of him in the future.
But one of my favorite scenes and one I would desperately want to see played out on film was the introduction of the bodyguard. I never suspected this at all and how this unfolds is all together perfect.
We continue as well with some wonderful moments with Emilia and Ulyana as Nik continues to build a family around him. Squeezy also gets a bit more page time in this and his relationship with Nik as well is another interesting dynamic I want more of.
And then, of course, the relationship between our Nik and Ben. This continues to be unbelievably written and strong. Their relationship showing their continued need for each other, in order to sustain life.
Ben was biting his own lip. When he could taste blood, he bent down and kissed Nikolas, murmuring, “Take my blood and own me.” He felt Nikolas’s tongue licking along the little wound then pulled his mouth down to his nipple. Nikolas bit him, as Ben knew he would. It was painful and exquisite and was just between them, marking them, joining them. They didn’t do this very often, but it was entirely understood between them—they were each other’s sustenance and life. Nikolas lapped at the bleeding bite mark he’d inflicted. They were both so aroused it was painful to remain in clothes.
So why not five stars here? This one unfortunately fell just below the others for me. The story of Oliver seemed quick to end and honestly I was left confused many times by what was happening. The underlying meaning for me was hard to follow. Was he murdered? Honestly I have no idea. And there are several other things which (as the books continue to unfold become clearer) but at the time I was losing grasp of what Nik was actually up to. Perhaps this was entirely on purpose but it almost drove me a little crazy. Ultimately I have determined that the mysterious Nik will do whatever he has to do to protect Ben and so nothing is off limits or out of the realm of possibility.
Many surprises continue to unfold here and it will be interesting to see how these actions begin to affect the dynamic of these two men. I eagerly await more.