Ms Romig has thoroughly fucked with my faculties. I'm unable to concentrate on anything but my deliberation of this angst-filled story. My indecision about its heroes and villains both confounds and thrills me. After reading the first book, I held an unforgiving conviction that Anthony Rawlings must die a very horrible death. Book 2 beat this conviction out of me, suspending me in a bipolar flux. What is Anthony Rawlings? An adoring enemy? A manipulative lover? A charming madman? A brilliant avenger? This man has so many dimensions I want to spend an eternity with him, ripping him open and dissecting every molecule that makes up his mercurial personality. And the plot, sweet lord, the plot is brilliantly planned and impeccably laid. I know this is a vague assertion, but any event or character detail would spoil the magnificent machination that makes this story so memorable. There are a few odd writing technicalities that distracted me, such as the shifting backwards in time (when I put the book down it was during these flashbacks), the movement between viewpoints within the same scene (the narration seemed to bounce between an omniscient voice and deep third), and the transition-less ending left me rubbing my aching head. (The afterward in book 1 is actually the ending to book 2. Does that mean the afterward in book 2 is the ending to book 3? Why would Ms Romig give away the ending to the series?) Nevertheless, I suspect the final leg of the journey will be more twists, more heartache, and more passion, which is why I can't rave enough about these books. I relished the addition of Amber and Harry in book 2. Without Harry's companionship, I'm not sure I would've been able to suffer through the devastation of the Anthony-Claire whirlwind. Claire continues to wring my sympathy and awe as she reinvents herself time and again with a single-minded determination to keep those she loves safe. Her choices are painful, and her decisions equally so. You feel her constant headaches and the wrenching pain in her heart even as you breathe in her strengthening poise and resolve. And in the end, you're left...wanting. If the third book came out tomorrow, the wait would be too long. Ms Romig, if you're looking for a beta reader, a critique partner, an ARC reviewer, put me out of my misery. I'm at your disposal.