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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Ridley Duchannes is a bad girl, the absolute worst. A siren with enough juice to persuade anyone to do as she bids, she's out for her own. But after losing a poker game, she's in a world of shit and she can't seem to get out on her own. Wesley "Link" Lincoln just wants to make it big in the big bad city. Off to New York to start a new band (or join a band) on his way to fame and success. Link, though, is a southern gentleman at heart and he also really wants to be with Ridley. Can the two love birds make it work or are they going to crash and burn in NYC?
I've been avoiding writing this particular review because I have only negative things to say. I hate writing negative reviews on books I got just to review. X_X I might as well get it over with, right? Ridley and Link are just the same as they have always been, but we get a few new cast members here. I honestly won't go into details about them because I didn't love any of them and that's part of where this series failed as a spin-off. With Beautiful Creatures (and it sequels) I loved most of the characters and generally wanted their success and happiness. Here I was pretty ambivalent about the new people. Hell, I was even a bit ambivalent about Ridley herself. Her determination to remain a "bad" girl and the idea that it was all she was capable of doing drove me fucking nuts. She refuses to even try to be better. And we all know she is capable of more, but she is just so damn stubborn. It really made me sad because I loved Rid in Beautiful Creatures & Beautiful Darkness.
The only cast member I really loved was Link. Sweet, devoted Link. He should irritate me. He's a pretty stereotypical southern boy, but he's got so much charm that it just works somehow. That's probably why I was still rooting for the Rid/Link duo, because I wanted to see him happy. But we don't get that here. This veers straight into love triangle (square) land, with both Ridley and Link finding new love interests, but somehow still being interested in each other. It was a bit confusing because it was clear they were both moving on and then the thing at the end? WTF?
Another issue for me was this was exceedingly boring. I know I received an eARC for review, but I just couldn't get through it. I ended up getting an audiobook copy and listening to it almost entirely that way. Even with audio, it was a struggle to get through. I didn't care about the characters. Without a connection to them, it is hard to muster up emotions about their journey.
Then there is the villian. I won't say who he is, but I'll give you a hint. It's the same one as the previous books, which was another problem for me. How many fucking times do we need to kill this guy?!? And then there is the horrid cliffhanger ending that you don't see coming. You don't see it coming because when it ends, the audiobook still has well over an hour of time left (which is obnoxiously filled with excepts from Kami's & Margaret's other books). But the thing is over and it is a cliffhanger from hell and I wanted to punch my computer when it happened.
I know I am OCD about finishing series, especially ones that I once loved, but I don't know that I will read any more of these books. Things for me starting going downhill in Beautiful Chaos and they have just kept rolling downwards. This was no improvement. I wouldn't say it's a bad story, but I've come to expect more out of Ridley and she just doesn't delivery. Maybe you'll love it to bits, but it just pissed me off.
****Thank you to Little, Brown Books For Young Readers for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****