This book and I have an interesting history together, so I'm having a difficult time assigning it a star rating. Hopefully after I get a few thoughts and reactions out I'll be able to make my mind up.
So, it's been almost two years now since I first read J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series and was introduced to the m/m world by Qhuinn and Blay. One of the threads on that forum was recommendations of other m/m books for the newly curious and this was one of them. (So was [b:Heaven|3236765|Heaven (Heaven Sent, #1)|Jet Mykles|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1306077372s/3236765.jpg|3271400], which I read first, thank god, or I might have been permanently frightened away from m/m altogether.) Yeah, so the only real exposure I'd had to m/m before starting this was the wonderfully fairy-tale-like Heaven Sent world with its innocence and happiness and staunchly monogamous couples.
I made it through this book that first time right up until Peter's first time joining Lucien as he feeds. At the time I'd never read any story involving menage of any type, so that scene horrified me enough to stop reading. Looking back now, I'm fascinated at how naive I was and at how much my taste/interests have changed in the almost two years since.
This book itself is fascinating on several levels. It's the most unusual mix of sappy, fluffy, soul-mate romance and horrific violence. There's also the interesting contrast of the couple close enough to literally read each others thoughts who have no problem having a semi-open relationship.
What I was most fascinated by this time was my reaction to Peter and Lucien's relationship. The part of me that adores the sappy fluffy stuff just ate up their incredible connection, and the strength that their relationship gave to both of them to be better individuals. And I appreciated this time through that physical closeness not only for the blood for his vampire but also energy for his incubus is how Lucien sustains himself, and it also really helped that Peter understood that about Lucien and therefore didn't get jealous (at least as long as he could be there...) I love how careful they are to make sure that the two of them come first, but then are willing to invite others into their relationship to share a little of that with them. The scene with Caleb was fantastically hot! And I love how Peter finally claiming Xander helped so many things click into place, and how much happier everyone seemed to be after that.
I'm very glad I gave this one another chance. It was enjoyable to read (even if parts were horrific or gut-wrenching) and I found myself honestly invested in the various relationships. I'll definitely look into continuing the series.