SCROLL DOWN FOR GIVEAWAY!DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT.
EXCERPT: I kissed Luke then. I kissed him. Like I hadn’t kissed him in more than a week – since before London, since before Hollythwaite, since Barcelona: when we’d been just a regular couple on a city break, wrapped up in each other. Through the kiss I heard his sigh, the release of emotion. And then he pulled me to him, onto his lap, and I kissed his lips, his jaw, his collarbone, his shoulder, and he kissed my lips, my earlobe, my neck, my –
My robe had slipped, exposing my back, and I struggled off him and wrestled with the fabric entangled at my waist.
He stood up. Put his hands on my shoulders. Said my name with so much tenderness that I had to stop. Had to look at him. The room was steamy, the glass doors occluded. No one could see. Only him.
‘Trust me,’ he said.
Slowly, he turned me. I steeled myself as he took it in, the brand I now wore. Non Serviam. I will not serve. Emblazoned on my back in the form of angry, jagged scar tissue.
When I felt his lips on the nape of my neck, I jerked in shock. But his hands on my hips held me still as he traced the path of the scar, one kiss at a time, from its very top to its termination just above my bikini bottoms.
‘Beautiful,’ he said.
I turned to him. He smiled up at me.
Sinking down so that we were both kneeling, I said, ‘How could you…?’
‘How could I not?’ was his answer. ‘I was there, Scarlett. I saw what you did for your mother. That scar: it’s beautiful.’
‘But it’s a punishment, Luke. Because I sinned. That’s not beautiful. It’s dark. Wrong.’
‘No! Don’t you say that. Trying to save your mother – that could never be wrong. If I’d had the chance, I’d have done it. My mum, my dad, Cara… I’d have saved them all. And you. I would always save you.’
His eyes were glistening, and I lunged for him and hugged him hard.
‘So stop hiding it from me,’ he finished, his voice muffled in my hair. ‘Please. Because I love that scar on you so goddam much.’
I nodded into his shoulder and he squeezed me.
It was calm in our little haven. Still. Warm. Nothing existed but Luke and me. We held each other for a long time, drifting in the haze.
And then Luke sat back and said, ‘So, you and me. We’re good?’
‘We’re good,’ I told him. Then I frowned and added: ‘For now. You know, Gabe, the Fallen: I have no idea what we’re getting into.’
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HALL WAYS REVIEW:
What an incredible conclusion to a unique and engrossing series. Anyone who's read my reviews of books one through four in this series (links at bottom of this post for those who haven't) knows I am a fan. I am so impressed with author Megan Tayte's writing and editing skills. What a joy it is to read a delicious story and not be distracted by oddly worded sentences, typos, and errors! Tayte carefully develops her worlds and relationships, yet the scenes and dialogue flow naturally and authentically -- marks of a truly talented writer.
Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully starts right where Devil and the Deep ended, and itdoesn't give readers a chance to breathe easy -- not for a minute. The story is fast-paced and presents massive amounts of information to link together, and there is plenty of action. The Fallen are explored as in-depth as the Ceruleans were in prior books, and there are twists, turns, and shockers, right until the end. And of course, there are more lies to be confronted and secrets to be uncovered. The book is told in three parts (pay attention to the titles), and it moves to a logical, yet clever conclusion. Once Elizabeth's attacker is revealed, I felt that readers needed more information about the attacker's motive for causing her harm. The big reveal didn't seem to merit violence as a response, but that wasn't satisfactorily explored or explained. Not a big deal, but it was something that stuck with me after finishing the book.
As far as the characters, readers are treated to more of Granny Cavendish and Cara antics, as well as getting to know more about Sienna and Gabriel. I will admit that I really didn't care for Scarlett for much of this book, and the fact that her friends and lover stood faithfully with her is a true testament to the depth of their love for Scarlett. She was often thoughtless in her pursuit of truth, and though she recognized her insensitivity sometimes, she didn't seem to make much of an effort to alter her inconsiderate behaviors. There were times I felt she really didn't deserve Luke. Fortunately, she shows growth and ends up the likable character readers know and love.
I've mentioned before that American readers need to be prepared for stylistic differences in the writing and unfamiliar but FABULOUS vocabulary to be learned from a British author. (Two of my favorite new words: bolshiness and pootled!) I recommend this series for older young adults since the main characters are all hovering around age twenty and are living on their own, as adults. As with all the books in the series, in this installment there is consensual premarital sex (not descriptive) and overindulgence in alcohol.
I am going to miss the small town of Twycombe, the cottage on the cliff, and the lovely group of people who surround Scarlett, but Megan Tayte has given me enough to be able to picture what life might be like there now. Thank you to the author for inviting me to be a part of the Release Day Party and for giving me an eBook in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.
About Author Megan Tayte: Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.
Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.
Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottinghamshire. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a paleontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream of baking something edible. Find Megan Online:
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!To celebrate the launch of Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully, Megan Tayte is giving away gold-themed trinkets from one of her favorite stores, Accessorize.
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