Series: The Beyond #2
Published by Pocket Star on January 27, 2015
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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Two star-crossed souls discover that their fates are intertwined—for better or worse—in the second book in the Beyond series of paranormal romances that began with The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love.
Step into a world of angels and demons, where there are fates worse than death and love larger than life.
Ryan Love’s life is about to go up in flames—literally—when a mystical being named Sabelle appears, claiming to be from the Beyond, the realm of heaven, hell, and mysteries both awesome and terrifying. As Ryan’s family business and home are destroyed in a freak explosion, Sabelle saves him just in time. So why does Ryan feel like she’s the one who needs saving?
Sabelle is a Spinner, or agent of fate, whose sole purpose is to guide Ryan through his life choices. But the time is coming when she must part with him forever and entrust her job to someone else—someone who cares much less about him. And she can’t bear the thought, because each time Ryan touches her she falls more in love with him…
But maybe there is a way to stop the ticking time bomb. She’s heard rumors, and no one knows for certain if it works. It’s forbidden, of course, and dangerous—undoubtedly. Sabelle must leave the Beyond and bind herself to Ryan forever. But how will Ryan react when he learns what she’s done? And are their destinies forever connected, or can Ryan still pave the path of his future?
Okay, where do I start with this book. I was flipping through books trying to see what I was in the mood for. Next thing I know, I’m 50 or 60 pages in, and I don’t want to put it down! This is a good thing, right?
So I sat down and got really into this book. I even bought the previous The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love about halfway through, because it was just that interesting! But…things sort of stopped being that interesting. It’s hard to describe what bothered me the most, but there are 3 major things that made me almost DNF. The first one is the way the author chose to use sex in this book. The second is that Sabelle lies to Ryan a lot. But she’s super innocent, perfect, yadda yadda. So perfectly innocent and naive, so it’s not her fault. Third is that there were just so so many plot holes.
This book needs an editor who would chop words, or even whole scenes. It was way too long, and many of their arguments should have been consolidated into one. Ryan would be mad Sabelle is holding out on him. Sabelle, who is so innocent and perfect, would lie to keep her secret, and then they’d have sex. Then wash rinse repeat. Like 5 times. Each time she’d vow to stop lying. Each time something would be shown as a lie. But she’d never clarify, she’d just hang her head, and wring her hands, and tell him that he wouldn’t understand.
Sabelle is a seer/slave from The Beyond. Aisa is one of the three Fates, who uses the seers for their visions. Sabelle is told that the mortal she’s been fascinated with since he was a child is going to die, so she needs to escape to save him. She does, and it’s too convenient. So is someone pushing the hands of fate other than her? He’s obviously skeptical at the naked angelic woman who is naked and tells him he needs to leave with her so she can save him. But his bar and home explode proving her right, so he leaves with her.
Then that very night, she realizes she’s too afraid to sleep alone as she’s never done it, but at the same time, she’s always been kept isolated, no friends, etc. (see? plothole). So he (still not trusting her, or their incredibly strong attraction) invites her to sleep in his bed. I hated that they had sex. It felt like it was too soon, and not the way to make him trust her. This brings me to my issue about sex in this book. It was used by Sabelle as a distraction every time he was mad. At one point, he was furious that she wouldn’t tell him why she was really there, what her real purpose was, stuff like that. She seduces him and he says No several times. That made me mad. That was the first point where I almost DNF’d the book. I did throw it though. That made me feel better.
Then they take a road trip to whatever place that’s been calling Sabelle, and other than the two of them bickering and then seeing a couple scary things, there’s very little action. There was no romance, and I felt the lust was too strong, like it wasn’t real. It’s no wonder he felt bespelled by her. Look, I like insta-lust. But this? It felt like they were unable to control their lust at any point in time.
I wanted Sabelle to be stronger, but instead she just let everyone else fight her battles. At one point she realizes that she is as strong as the goddess…but she does nothing with that newfound power. If this were an Urban Fantasy, I’d be all gung-ho for the next book to show us what she can do! But this was a closed HEA, the next book isn’t about her. I’m sure she’ll guest star in it, just like Roxy and Santo were in this one, but seriously, so many plotholes.
Maybe what bothered me the most about this book is how good it almost was. The world built was really interesting, the escaped seer on the run from a goddess was exciting, the threat was real, but there was no tension. I think that Sabelle should have been the one to defeat Aisa at the end, not Ryan. It lacked closure for me. He’s human and he defeated a goddess, she’s half goddess and could do nothing but wring her hands? It was hard to care about her. And now where the Fates were is empty. There’s a power vacuum that wasn’t addressed. The main reason I finished it was I wanted to find out what would happen, but even that was a let-down.
This is where my dilemma lies. I gave it a 3 star rating since I did get fully invested in the world and the story. I liked the world, and minus the plot holes, I enjoyed the writing and the storyline, and since I did buy the first book, I guess I’ll read it? I sure liked Santo and Roxy way more than Ryan and Sabelle, so hopefully their story is better.
***ARC courtesy of Berkley