→ I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.
→This review contains strong language.
→Graphics provided by Love Affair with Fiction
#SPOILERS #SPOILERS #SPOILERS #SPOILERS #SPOILERS
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We have been waiting for ‘Damien’ ever since ‘Dominic’ – which was 4 years old on the 17th. I absolutely loved this book. I imagined a dozen ways of how Damien and Lana would get back together, and it was always romantic and obviously exaggerated. It didn’t happen as I expected…it was better; hotter; sexier. It was romantic, but it was just so real. The last time we saw Alannah and Damien ‘romantically’ together they were teenagers and now they’re so grown up, and we can see that in this book.
I felt so bad for Lana in the beginning, she could not catch a break. Maybe I’m very biased, because I loved Lana, but from a woman’s perspective I understand everything that she went through, at least with the relationship aspects. The whole thing with Damien and Dante was very frustrating though if it didn’t happen it would be weird.
For this whole series the Slather’s brothers have shown themselves to be very possessive, their “Slather instincts” are strong, like Bronagh said in ‘Ryder‘ . So, when Alannah dropped the bomb that she was ‘seeing’ someone in ‘Branna’ I knew shit was about to go down. Damien and Dante’s fight was no surprise, but it didn’t take over the whole novel, they fought, got over it and moved on. It was just the right amount, otherwise it would have taken over the plot too much.
I was not even 30% in and I cried so much. It was when Alannah found out that her mother had breast cancer, and she confronts her father about cheating. OMG, the pain was real. I just felt so sorry for her, I can’t imagine the devastation that someone would feel when hit with this kind of news in real life. I was so pissed at Lana’s father, not only for cheating but for making his own daughter hide it and for using her mother’s cancer to do it.
Lana is such a loving character. She forgave the brothers and the girls for keeping the truth from her, and she was so sympathetic towards everything that they went through. However she wasn’t a doormat, she has her limits and when she reach that point she is completely bad ass. I loved how she stood up to Kane in the flashback and how because of it she now has the cutest relationship with him, and I loved how Kane validated her importance to him in the end. I also loved how she stood up to Morgan and confront him in the end and sort of made sure that he was going to leave for good.
Because of Morgan, AKA Carter Miles, AKA asshole, Lana doubted her value in the group, with a bit of reason I think. When he pointed out how she was the one always making the effort, I really related to that and understood what she felt like, and I could feel her doubt growing as I read, and I felt very sad and very nervous. Having gone through that sort of doubt myself; when Lana gets past it and forgives everyone, I had a #YASSQUEEN moment for her (((can you tell that I watch too much RuPaul’s Drag Race?))). To me Lana is one of the strongest characters in this series, and I think her mother had a lot to do with that. Like I said, it felt like she couldn’t catch a break at times, ever since ‘Branna’, so for her not be bitter towards anyone and forgive, even her dad, was amazing to me.
Lana, really surprised me when she admitted her fault with what happened in the past. I think that every time I saw her in this series after Damien, I still saw her as that 18 years old girl, and when she came clean with Damien and apologized for seducing him, showed me how much she has grown up. I thought it was quite interesting that I actually never picked up on that. I think that as a woman I felt scorned myself by Damien and completely overlooked Lana’s part in everything that happened. Shame on me.
What I really liked about this book it’s that it wasn’t only Damien apologizing and making amends. Damien has been apologizing to Lana since ‘Kane’, and has been trying ever since. This book was more about them two letting go. In Damien’s case his guilt, both for what happened in the past with Lana, but also letting go of the guilt he felt for what happened with Trent. It broke my heart when he said he didn’t feel like a one of the brothers, and in the end when Dominic, Alec, Kane and Ryder made him say that it wasn’t his fault, and that he was their brother was both heartbreaking and beautiful.
Morgan was an absolute dickhead to Lana, but I’m very glad that he told Lana the truth, I think Damien wouldn’t have told Lana the truth otherwise. When Damien started to lie to Lana, I was very pissed off specially because he said he wouldn’t lie to her. I think that Damien would really had struggled to tell Lana the truth because of his guilt and I got the feeling that he was ashamed of his past and scared that Lana would leave him because of it. I’m very glad that Morgan didn’t physically hurt Lana, I don’t think that after Branna getting hurt as badly as she did in ‘Ryder’ that any of us could take Lana being hurt like that. I don’t think that the brothers could take another woman being hurt because of them, so, I’m very glad that she didn’t go through that.
The one thing that absolutely broke my heart in this book more than anything else, was Alec’s suicide attempt that Damien told Lana in the end. I don’t think that anyone was expecting that. We all know that Alec had a hard time with the role that he was forced to play to pay for the life-debt but I don’t think anyone thought that it had gotten to this extent, at least I didn’t. This revelation made me respect him so much more.
I thought that ‘Ryder’ had the hottest sex scenes in this series, but I was so wrong. I think this book was as hot as it was because of all the tension that existed between Damien and Lana in the first place. L.A. Casey’s books are never overflowing with sex scenes, but they are always powerful, they are never just there for the sake of it. In every book in this series I could feel the bond that the characters have, so the sex scenes are always very sexy because of that.
This book wasn’t just sexy and hot, it was also hilarious. Lana and Alec and the best comic duo. I loved their fight about the Harry Potter mug in Branna. When Lana broke Alec’s mug, I felt a shift in the force and that shift was Alec. I cried of laughter of him chasing after Lana in the trampoline.
The only bad thing I can say about this book is that it ended too soon. Yes, I am a greedy reader, I always want more of the Slather brothers, but I felt that the ending was very abrupt. I know we are going to have the ‘Alannah’ novella, but in the other books of the series we sort of had some time to enjoy the happy ending with the characters and this book ended straight after it. I loved it nonetheless, but it felt a bit abrupt.
Ever since the delay of the publication of Branna, many readers out there put a lot of pressure on L.A. Casey to publish her books faster. At the time I was disappointed to, but I understood. Authors are people, with lives, families and troubles just like everyone else, and we need to stop putting pressure on them. I get very frustrated with people online who bombard authors with questions of when their next book is coming out. There’s a difference between giving authors support and putting more pressure on them, though sometimes many people do it without meaning to. For the past year or so I’ve been very careful of putting pressure on authors without meaning to. I’ve been trying to wait until a author says something about an upcoming release first, usually in social media, before saying that I’m looking forwards to it or something like that. So, lets all be readers that support authors without becoming a extra pressure on them.