Wow. Just wow.
This was everything I'm looking for in a book: excitement, danger, fast pace, love, fear, sweetness, near-death peril, twists, complexity, etc. This was a modern fantasy with the M/M romance an equally large component. The book could stand on it's own without the romance, although it wouldn't have been as good. The story is complex, riddled with fae lore, some of it familiar, some a bit new, with a lot of twists and turns. I think Belleau did a ton of research and it shows. I think any of my friends who are fans of Urban Fantasy and who aren't homophobic would love this book.
The characters are complex, too. We learn a little more about Sean throughout the book, bits that explain his behaviors that aren't quite normal. He's damaged and hurting but strong and capable but mostly he is willing to do what he needs to do. He's also kind and good and brave. It isn't the least bit surprising why Cormac falls for him so fast.
Cormac is intriguing and kind in his own way. He is selfless and guilt-ridden but he is willing to put himself out there for someone who needs him. His emotional baggage is killing him but he doesn't stop trying to do what's right. I understand why Sean eventually wants him, too.
But there are more characters who are equally important, including Michael, the love of Cormac's life who disappeared ten years ago. Cormac blames himself and can't get over it. He was meant to be with Michael. So comes the complexity. I wasn't sure until close to the end who Cormac would end up with.
I desperately wanted Cormac to tell Sean what the reader finds out: that Cormac feels that things with Sean are better than they ever were with Michael. Sean needs to hear it, needs to know that they get together not because Michael and Cormac changed but because Sean is the one Cormac wants. But we don't know if Cormac ever tells him.
The one thing I really didn't like near was at the end: I didn't like the way Sean went home. I didn't like how he planned to stay there until Cormac comes for him. I wanted more of an explanation for why. Very briefly there's a mention that it's because he didn't know if how he felt in Ireland were real because of the danger, but I wanted more of that information, I wanted more introspection and missing Cormac. When they did get back together, it felt anti-climactic. I wanted the "God I love you, don't ever leave me again," stuff but it never came. I'm hoping it's a HFN because there will be more in a sequel.
I personally don't like books that stray into weird dreamlike places where anything can happen. I think it's too easy because the author can make anything up and we can't fault it because it's not real. We also don't know what is real and what isn't. But I think the authors handled this very well and I was okay with it. I was also relieved that the second foray into fairy land was shorter, although the final battle was a bit short and anti-climactic. I didn't like how the humans really didn't have a hand in any of it at all. I wanted the to save the day.
Overall, this book was amazing and I loved it. There were things I really didn't like but the things I did like overshadowed those negative parts, kind of like bad stuff: 3 stars, good stuff: 8 stars. So I'm giving the book 5 stars over all. If you like urban/modern fantasy with the Fae and you like M/M romances, you'll love this book.