Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: 3.5/5
There’s a potential traitor within the Guardian’s ranks and after an op gets sabotaged and an explosion injures the team of Guardians, including (one of my favorite characters!) Dom, Santiago has to step up the search to figure out how the Darkbloods are getting past all their security measures. In the Northwest filling in for a honeymooning Lily is Roxy, one of the best tracker’s in the country and she’s tasked with teaming up with Santiago to play the part of a couple during a highly attended awards gala in Seattle where many Guardians and top members will be attending. With so many members in attendance, Roxy will be able to use her skills to try and find the traitor and they also suspect this might be the next event that the Darkbloods hit. Unfortunately, Santiago and Roxy didn’t get off to the best start when they first met and now they have to play the happy couple, making Roxy’s appearance at an event she wouldn’t normally be attending, make sense. Playing at being a couple turns into them being engaged followed quickly by them pretending to be married and the sparks start flying between these two.
I enjoyed the way Roxy and Santiago played off each other. Santiago is the leader in the Northwest area and people usually don’t dare argue or stand up to him. Roxy doesn’t hesitate in this and it leads to some frustrating exchanges on Santiago’s end when he’s constantly arguing (and loving it) with her. Roxy sees past the persona Santiago puts out there and helps him deal with the stress and anger in his life. When he would normally intentionally drain his own energies by hurting himself via UV light, she finds other ways to calm him down and starts to see another side to this man. Growing up with a father who wasn’t the best influence when it came to a stable, loving home, Santiago tells Roxy straight out that marriage and a family isn’t for him, but he gets blindsided by how much he starts caring for her.
One frustrating part of their relationship was how they assumed things about each other and kept things from the other person. It’s a pet peeve of mine, really, in any story when the leads don’t communicate or wait until the last minute, or page, to finally be truthful with each other. I wished they would have talked a little more, or at least sooner in the story about certain things, especially one big whopper from Roxy that she keeps from Santiago until the very end. Yes, it’s a great source of angst for the characters, but it’s a frustrating angst to read about it.
On aspect to this series that I always enjoy is finding out about the enhanced abilities the hero and heroine get once they’re together and sharing blood. When characters find their “one”, the person that just fits them, abilities start to become enhanced, as a sort of side effect bonus. Roxy’s tracking ability is taken to a new level and Santiago finds out about his new ability when he and Roxy, need it most. It’s a fun detail in the books that I find myself always looking forward to, finding out what it is and how it comes into play.
The series storyline with the Alliance and the Darkbloods is still ongoing. The fight with Ventra, an enemy in the Alliance, has no conclusion and ends in a “to be continued” way. She uses a Guardian, Mitch, who unknowingly puts those around him in danger and the man is not handling it well. I hope this book serves as his story set up and we see him lead in the next book because I want to know more about him and how he’s dealing with the events and his decision at the end of this story.
I always look forward to getting back to into the world of the Sweet series and I liked this latest installment. Santiago and Roxy are a fun couple, and even though they had a few moments that had me wanting to shake the secrets right out of them, their banter and personalities were well matched and they were a couple that fit.