Before I begin, a warning: there will be spoilers for people who haven't read the previous books in the series. Anything spoilerish about this one will be under the spoiler tag, but the first three are fair play.
I've been avoiding writing this review for a while now. I can't even explain just how much I was looking forward to this book (checking every few minutes whether I was approved for the ARC is a fine example). So, when I finally saw that precious email, I was over the moon - and started the book immediately. And stayed up really late (or early if you prefer) to finish it. It was truly addicting. Now, back the first sentence of this review - even days after finishing the book, I still can't completely settle my feelings about it. But, I will do my best.
The Mistress continues where the Prince left off. Namely, after the kidnapping of Nora by a mysterious villain - who turned up to be King's sister Marie-Laure. Now, that was a surprise let me tell you. Anyway, we have Nora captured, the rest of the gang frantically trying to figure out where she is, and Marie-Laure gloating. Just a powder keg waiting to blow.
The events themselves aren't the focus of the story (at least IMO), but the feelings and memories accompanying are. As the official summary says, Nora is buying time by being Scheherazade, but the other characters do think back as well, so we get glimpses of the past. Unfortunately, even though I did enjoy reading them, they simply didn't interest me enough in the light of everything that was happening in the present.
The best thing about the book were, as always, the characters. Soren, my beautiful Soren, King, Nora, and a few others including Soren's niece, Grace (Zach's wife for those unaware), Wes (I think it's fairly obvious to everyone I'm not a big fan of Wes). My favorite, of course, is Soren. In this book, we see him shaken, but still as strong and domineering as well. I did enjoy the way we get to see him trough Grace's eyes - even with all the stories she heard about him, she could have never expected him to be all that he is. I LOVE SOREN! :-)
Then there's King - the events in the book hit him hard, his sister is actually alive (and completely bonkers), Nora is in danger, Soren in pain, all of it is not something that can be easily brushed aside. But he managed to prevail. I am looking forward to learning more about Juliette.
What I didn't like is the fact that there is not much of Soren&King together. I know that everybody is under stress and all, but I was spoiled after The Prince, and I expected to see at least a little of them. :-(
And then there's Nora. She is the way she always is, true a bit more scared, but still quintessentially Nora. She really should learn to keep her sharp tongue in check. We do get to see some of her past (I can't wait for the Priest).
One of the things that didn't exactly make sense to me, is actually a huge spoiler, so think before clicking on the tag. GRACE! I simply don't get the entire subplot. OK, she was a comfort to him and all, but did he really sleep with her (and what about his vow, and sleeping only with Nora and King)? It simply doesn't fit. And the ending? Really, that really had to happen? A BABY!?!
What I did love was the resolution to all of the relationships! :-) I was deliriously happy about it. :-)
There was a little detail that made me go all "Did that actually happen?", and spoiled the euphoria for me.
Oh, yeah, the ending really made me anxious to read a sequel, one that comes chronologically after this book. It doesn't really have to be an entire book, a novella will do, I can even work with a short story. I really want to see a bit more of that HEA. Big one: And to find out what happened to the baby, more reactions to it, as well as King's son Nicolas.
Before I wrap up this review, I just got to say just how much I love these characters and the way that Ms Reisz writes. I gobbled up everything she wrote, and liked it all.
I am looking forward to [b:The Priest: A Romance|16117368|The Priest A Romance (The Original Sinners, #5)|Tiffany Reisz|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|23748241]. Seeing how Soren deals with a young, rebellious Nora will be a treat!ARC received from Harlequin via NetGalley