My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Note to self: You liked this mostly for Val. The way he was written, the anti-hero’s devolution, the way his redemption was earned…all fell nicely in line with what we already knew about his flexible moral compass from previous books.
And the great thing is that Val doesn’t change by the end of the book, he simply meets someone he loves very much and does not want to disappoint. He’s almost a child in his deep and unhesitating need to be loved.
He also has certain moral lines that he hasn’t crossed yet, but without Bridget’s presence in his life he would probably (eventually) end up crossing them in his drive to gain more power. He simply doesn’t see why he shouldn’t. You liked this story because it didn’t give him a redemption arc, it gave him a reason to not cross those last lines that would squarely put him in the villain category.
However, I think, if he ever lost Bridget, he would most likely go right back to the downward spiral that he was on before her. She’s his conscience now, and that’s the true fundamental change she brought into his life: The ability to recognise that he doesn’t have a functioning moral compass, while she does. He’ll always try to take apart her judgement of right and wrong like a child discovering the mechanics of a new toy, but he’ll allow her to guide him through annoying questions of ethics and morality until they face a situation where his amoral perspective can get them out of trouble faster.
A maybe re-read, just to study how to write a sociopathic hero in romance/ End note.
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