Review: Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3) by Laura Thalassa

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“For Callypso Lillis, the fae magic that now runs through her veins is equal parts curse and good fortune. For the very thing that bonds her to Desmond Flynn, the King of the Night, also makes her vulnerable to the Thief of Souls, a man who wants to break the world … and Callie along with it.

But it’s not just the Thief whose shadow looms over the Otherworld. Des’s father is back from the dead, and he wants revenge on the son who sent him to the grave in the first place.

Des and Callie must figure out how to stop both men, and time is running out. Because there are forces at play working to tear the lovers apart once and for all … and unfortunately for them, death is no longer the worst thing to fear.”

REVIEW:

So I picked up Dark Harmony right away because I just needed to know how this series ended. While the strong points in this series remain, I was disappointed with how this book ended.

Dark Harmony starts off with a bang. Callie is dealing with the fact that she was on death’s door, but has now been brought back to life and made fae by the lilac wine. After a conversation with Des and coming to an understanding with Des, screams begin to erupt around the castle. The sleeping soldiers have awoken, it is an ambush. War has come to the Otherworld, and Callie and Des need to figure out how to stop the Thief of Souls.

Callie and Des’s relationship is the strongest thing about this series. I love that their relationship isn’t cookie cutter, there is a darkness to it. They are partners and you can feel their love throughout this book and series. However, their all consuming relationship actually hurts the plot of Dark Harmony. Don’t get me wrong, I love smut as much as the next person but Callie and Des go on a vacation while a war is happening. The Thief of Souls is targeting Callie. Callie and Des are the only two who are going to be able to stop him. Two kingdoms have fallen and the sleeping army is destroying the Otherworld, yet Callie and Des just keep going for random romps around the world. It just felt so completely unbelievable. I also couldn’t really deal with every time the Thief of Souls appeared, telling Callie all the ways he wanted to rape and torture her. Like we get it, he’s despicable.

The ending doesn’t really make sense, and feels like a cop-out. This might change once I sit on this book for a couple more days. There still wasn’t any character development for Temper. I wish we had gotten a bit more of the outcome of the Otherworld, now that evil has been vanquished. I do absolutely adore how the Epilogue ended.

Overall, this was a disappointing ending. There was so much build up into how all powerful the Thief of Souls was, that the final resolution didn’t live up. I still love Callie and Des, their relationship is the soul of this book.

RATING: 3/5

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Review: A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2) by Laura Thalassa

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn’t over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there.

When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues.

Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret.

But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn’t careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves—and her along with it.”

REVIEW:

It seems like once I pick up a book in The Bargainer Series, I can’t put it down. Just like Rhapsodic, I spent a couple of late nights reading A Strange Hymn. Just like the first book, the topics of rape, sexual assault, and abuse, in general, are recurring topics throughout this book.

A Strange Hymn picks up right where Rhapsodic left off. Callie has been rescued from the Kingdom of the Fauna, but now has to come to terms with the both mental and physical ramifications of her abduction. Callie also finds herself having to adjust to the fae world. Being Desmond’s mate means a lot of change for Callie, in a world that considers her an outsider. On top of that, Callie and Desmond still don’t have answers to the mystery surrounding the female soldiers trapped in an eternal sleep.

I really love Callie, she is able to be both strong and vulnerable. We really see her work through some stuff in this book, and I do think that Desmond is a good partner for her. I do wish he was a bit more forth-coming at times, but I get that he is a centuries-old fairy who has some trust issues. One of my big issues with the first book was that, for me, there wasn’t enough world-building. That problem was solved in this book. We were given a ton more detail about the Otherworld.

One issue did still lingers for me and it is that outside of Callie and Des, the characters aren’t very well developed. Temper is a big problem for me. She is Callie’s best friend, but she just feels like a caricature of a sassy best friend. Another issue was that I felt like this book moved a lot slower in the beginning. With Rhapsodic, I was hooked from the start. A Strange Hymn took a while to get to the action, but once the plot moved to the Flora Kingdom I was hooked.

Overall, A Strange Hymn is exactly what I’m looking for in a fantasy romance book. A strong heroine, a handsome romantic lead, and a good amount of smut. I have already downloaded Dark Harmony and will be reading it soon.

RATING: 4/5

If you have Kindle Unlimited, the entire Bargainer Series is available there!

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WWW Wednesday – December 23rd, 2020

Happy Festivus! It’s Wednesday which means another WWW Wednesday. I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share on your own blog!

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore. I was very excited to pick this up at my library since I read Bringing Down the Duke at the beginning of the year and loved it.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Air Awakens by Elise Kova. It is book one of the Air Awakens series. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I think it had some really great world building and I loved Vhalla and Prince Aldrik. It has some similarities to the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, but isn’t a carbon copy.

What do you think you will read next?

I think I’ll be reading the next in the Bargainer series, Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa. I loved Rhapsodic and completely devoured it. So I’m excited to see where this series goes, and see how Callie and Desmond relationship develops.

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