I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Forevermore by Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London #7
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Published by Hachette Audio, Forever on June 28th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
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Miss Layla Starling, the young, beautiful, and extremely wealthy heiress, is the talk of London. Until now, she's managed to evade the marriage noose. Despite the fact that she is unfortunately American, she's received a staggering number of offers. And turned down every one.
St. John Evernight does not want to admit the relief he feels every time he hears that she has rejected one of her suitors. Which is unfair of him. Layla deserves to be happy. But he can not offer her happiness. He will never be normal, never be anything but a freak in her world. So St. John resolves to keep his distance, until he is recruited by the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals to guard Layla. For she is in grave danger, and he is about to learn the full extent of his powers.
Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series as been a 5-star ride for me from the beginning to the near end. While Forevermore wasn’t a 5-star for me it was pretty damn close. What kept if from the perfect rating? The additional of the whole series cast. I can see where some of the earlier characters needed to make an appearance but a few felt like they were just thrown in because the series was wrapping up and it was their last time to make a cameo. That’s my only complaint about Forevermore and the end of the Darkest London series by Callihan. I felt like St. John aka Sin and Layla lost a little page time to Archer and I’m not sure why Archer needed as much page time as he got but it all worked out in the end I suppose.
I wondered why St. John was called Sin by his friends and family in earlier installments and I got my answer…
He glared down at her. “First off, it’s not Saint John. It’s pronounced Sin-jin.”
“Why on earth would you pronounce Saint John as Sin-jin? It does not make sense. My name is L-a-y-l-a, and you pronounce it Lay-lah. Just as it ought to be.”
He snorted. “Lass, if you had a look at how the Irish spell most of their names, it would do you little head in.”
I love that we get to see Sin and Layla grow up together. Well, we get to see them when they meet as 10-year-olds when she moves from American to Ireland and then a glimpse of them as teenagers before the are torn apart. Best friends as children and a budding crush later become a full on attraction, when they see each other years later as adults.
Layla grew up knowing nothing about the paranormal world or about her true origins, but once the paranormal cat is let out of the bag, she takes to it like a duck to water. Forevermore is all about giving Sin his HEA with Layla and his three sisters that were featured as leading heroines in previous books. As we get Sin to his finish line along with the series we get one last heroine that is strong, caring and the other half of our hero. Layla helps Sin heal from his horrible past as a blood slave and Sin helps Layla stand on her own two feet in the paranormal world. They are a perfect example of a couple being each other’s equals and a true partnership in love and life.
Forevermore should not be read as a stand alone but as the last book in a fantastic series by Kristen Callihan. If you are looking for something that’s a bit historical, bit paranormal with characters and plot lines that are a pure delight you need to start with the first book Firelight.
Now that I’ve listened to Moria Quirk narrated two of the installments I can highly recommend the series on audio. I love the voices that Quirk developed for Sin and Layla. She puts just enough of the Irish in Sin and is totally believable with Layla’s American accent (Quirk is British). Moria throughs in Irish, Scottish, American with the British accents in Forevermore and all the voices work for the characters. Moria Quirk has made it to my very short list of British narrators to listen to more in the future.
One might think being an immortal was a blessing, never grow old, never grow sick, never die. At one time in St. John Evernight’s life, he considered it a blessing too. He would be around long after the simple humans who surrounded him were nothing but dust. They could stare all they liked at his “strange” hair and frosty green eyes. They could gossip and speculate about him until they lost their voices. It didn’t matter. He was untouchable, and they were but fragile sacks of blood and bone.
How naive he’d been. Because living forever merely meant a lack of escape from the desolation of regret and loneliness. He knew now that he could walk down Jermyn Street endlessly, see the sands of time shift and rearrange before him, and never be a part of life.
“Brooding, Mr. Evernight?”
Sin almost jumped at the sudden sound of Augustus’s voice by his side. Damn, the blasted man loved to startle him. He gave Augustus a passing glance. Dressed in conservative brown tweed and a bowler hat, the angel appeared every inch the English gentlemen, save for his dark coloring that marked him to be from Southern climes.
“It’s really quite the trick, popping up like a soap bubble whenever you choose, Augustus. You must teach me how one day.”
The man’s mouth twitched. “With your luck, you’d pop up in the middle of a parliamentary session.”
Yes, Sin had abominable luck. Or perhaps it was more a matter of making abominable choices.
“You’re brooding again,” Augustus remarked.
“I’m not brooding. This is simply my face.”
Augustus snorted but remained silent as they walked along, past Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall.
“Care to tell me why you called me here?” Sin asked, when they came upon the grounds of Westminster. For the past year, Sin had been in Rome, soaking in the warmer temperatures, drinking espresso in cafes along the Piazza della Rotunda, under the shade of the ancient Pantheon. He’d eaten simple but delicious food, and listened to the rapid fire of Italian, and felt…well, not peace, but a measure of contentment.
Until Augustus had sent for him. Returning to England sat like a stone in his gut. But he would obey. Augustus was his mentor, and the man who’d given him salvation. The price was a lifetime of servitude. To be fair, his role was for justice, not evil, which was a nice change of pace.
A massive dray rattled past, kicking up dust and sending a fug of stale manure into the air. They hurried past the cloud and headed for Westminster Abbey. Sin hadn’t planned on visiting today, but here they were all the same. He wondered if Augustus somehow had led him to their usual meeting place or if Sin had merely headed that way because of the man’s sudden arrival.
He’d like to think the latter. It did not sit well with him having another control his actions. Not since a certain evil fae had kept Sin as a blood slave for years. Even now, the memory made his stomach turn.
Not a soul acknowledged them as they walked through the abbey and into the cloisters. Here, a rare bit of sunlight peeked through the constant cloud cover and cast lacy shadows along the walkway. The sound of their boot heels clacked out a steady rhythm as they strolled along.
“Layla returns to London tonight.”
At the mention of her name, Sin’s heart stilled within his breast. He’d tried his best to ward off all finer feelings, to remain numb, detached from life. And yet he could not, for the life of him, remain immune to Layla Starling. His childhood friend. The one woman who could take his breath, his reason, simply by laying eyes upon her.
Stuffing his shaking hands into his trouser pockets, Sin forced himself to keep an even tone. “So then I am to begin watching over her?”
God, but he did not want to. It would be agony, staying so close to her and never being allowed to show his true feelings. And yet a thrum of anticipation went through him at the mere prospect of seeing Layla once more.
“Are you ready?” Augustus asked, though his expression told Sin he fully expected an affirmative answer.
So Sin told him the only truth left to him. “I will not fail her.”
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