by A. C. Gaughen
Release Date: Available Now
Spoilers for book 1! Ye have been warned!
Review for 1st book here: Scarlet
Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
Oh, sweet Lady Thief. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Heck no. Because summer days are all nice and pretty and evoke lots of happy feelings of puppies frolicking in the summer grass. I want the puppies. This book does not have the puppies.
Loved it anyways.
Let's get this straight - this book isn't all cupcakes and roses. Things don't just conveniently appear to make the situation a little less sucky. No timely tunnel appears to give an easy way out for the characters. There is no prince charming that swoops in and saves the day. This book is real. Crappy things happen (lots of crappy things) to Scarlet and our boys and they take it in stride like the bosses they are.
Scarlet is just trying to make it in this dog-eat-dog world. She's got such a heart and is loyal to a "t". Her tenacity and fierce can-do attitude, even when she's afraid, is something to be admired. But what never ceases to amaze me is her underlying belief in hope and faith. She may not be perfect, something which she readily admits (and yet another inspiring trait), but she continues to strive to be the best she can be. She is selfless and even when incredible hardships come, she retains hope in the belief that one day, it will be better.
And Rob. Oh, how I feel for you. Rob is suffering from PTSD (something close to my heart and a reason for me studying psychology), and it's taking it's toll. He's having a hard time being the hero everyone wants/needs him to be, and it doesn't help any that his lady love can't be there to help him. And yet, though he is suffering, he never waivers in his determination to help the people of Nottingham. It is this selfless attitude and utter loyalty that makes Scarlet (and me) swoon.
John and Much are as awesome as ever. Though I wanted to punch John in the face, the choice he made was totally understandable and even incredibly admirable. Still wanted to punch him though. And Much! So adorable and wise well beyond his years and always there with a helping hand (HA! see what I did there? I'm funny.).
And the stakes are as high as ever in this sequel. This book focuses more on Scarlet in a court setting. Gisbourne is holding bait in front of her: he'll annul the marriage if she acts as his wife while the (annoyingly childish) Prince is there. Sound all kinds of sketchy to me, and Scarlet too, but she's willing to try if it means she ends up with Robin (which, believe me, we all want).
And the ending?! GAH! As soon as the "secret" was hinted at, I knew. But I didn't know for sure so I waited with baited breath. SERIOUSLY!? And then the ending? WHAT?! You can't do that!!!!! And, no offense, that was an idiotic move on Scarlet's part. What did she think would happen? Normally she's relatively smart and always has a plan, but I was definitely questioning her plan on that one.
But, I don't want to say too much more because I'll give things away but here's the rundown:
Scarlet: Knife-weilding, smart-talking girl determined to save the day.
Rob: A PTSD suffering fella who's determined to make it through anyways.
John: Big brother, big annoyance, big heart.
Much: Always there with a few wise words and a helping hand (ha! Seriously, I'm incredibly funny. Punny?).
Gisbourne: Ahhhh, I see that you try to make us feel some empathy for him Gaughen. Failed! Well, maybe not completely.
Prince John: I'd like to kick him so hard where it hurts that he'll be singing soprano for a month.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Awesomeness. She wields people like they're part of a chess game.
Ending: SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!! CLIFFHANGER! THE FEELS!
Overall: This book sucker punches you in the throat then gives you a big ol’ hug while saying everything is going to be okay. Hopefully.