The second installment of the Royal Pride series explores how a tortured man finds redemption. It’s not an easy path and that becomes clear right from the get go. There are chases, fights and crucial decisions that have to be made in a split second but one of those quick actions ripples through the rest of the entire book. It’s a plot conflict that flavors all of the characters’ actions throughout most of the hero and heroine’s growing relationship.
Unlike the first book in the series, this one has a larger internal conflict: his, hers and what they do and say between each other and with other secondary characters. Whereas the first book was more story than sex, this one is more sex than story. The sex scenes are various and it’s clear the physical side of Devin and Lena’s romance is not a problem. It’s one of the things that is very strong and well defined all throughout with clear descriptions and solid writing.
Devin is a character I initially cared for from the first book and indeed, I was very happy to hear that he was going to get his happy ever after. The delivery wasn’t what I’d hoped for however. Yes, he’s strong and he survived a lot and he is described in yummy fashion and most certainly he knows how to make Lena’s body sing but that’s not enough for me to be a happy reader. He even makes a lot of mistakes so he’s not a perfect hero. I was okay with that because it made him more approachable and I wanted him to heal and find happiness. No, what made me unhappy about this story wasn’t the hero, it was the heroine.
Lena drove me nuts. The word stubborn doesn’t even come close to describing her. As the story gets told, I learned more and more about why she was so hesitant to trust and I can agree it’s a sound reason. But her excuse/reason/justification got old. It was repetitive and by the three quarter mark of the book, just plain annoying. Devin deserved better. In fact, Lena needed to get out of her own way. If the book were shorter, perhaps her curtailed whining ways would have meshed better with the flow of the book. As it was, it was “sex, whine, sex, be confused, be affronted and huffy and angry but have sex again” on and off almost until the end of the book. That kind of internal conflict can only carry a book so far. Okay, so a few hyenas were thrown in for external plot stirring but even that didn’t engage me. I adored Jazz as a heroine in the first book because she was a strong female character and I really liked getting to know her. I can’t say the same for Lena. She had her good points, like loyalty, quick thinking and the fact that she calmed Devin but her good points simply didn’t outweigh her faults.
Even with saying what I have about the heroine, there are many appealing storytelling aspects of Beautiful Mistake that made reading the story worthwhile. Like I said before, when Lena and Devin do get into the physical side of things, it’s hot, well written and potent. I continue to be fascinated by Kade, Xander and now, Vader. Ms. Corrigan remains sturdy in her ability to hook a reader with her secondary characters so that I absolutely do want to read about another one of them in a next book. I swooned for Rafe in Unexpected Find so I know the author is capable of some high powered storytelling with a meaty plot. I guess the romance was the focus in this novel and usually that is fine, but there was too much reliance on the internal angst. Although it slowed the story down, it didn’t kill it. I still enjoyed reading this book and was very happy to have Devin find peace and his happy ever after. I wanted him to be contented and I got my wish.
As for meaty plots, there were quite a few dangled threads presented in this installment of the series that beg to be answered because they were not addressed in the course of telling this tale. Some were a mechanism of getting the ball rolling and others provided questions, and curiosity that was left unsatisfied. I am hoping either Kade or Vader tackle those and then there is the dilemma of Molly and Gwen. There is enough fascinating world building going on even in this second book that sparks imagination and wonder. And those are also more reasons to want to read more in this series.
Beautiful Mistake was a good read. For erotic romance readers who are looking for a heavy dose of sensuality and satisfaction, this book provides that in spades. For readers who see a man who is damaged and who lost hope and want to see him finding his ‘one’ and embracing happiness, this story can be beautiful. For the scenes of action and real drama, they’re well written and effective; I just wish there were more of them. All in all I’m glad I had a chance to read this book because not only did I get to see a previous secondary character I liked get his HEA, I got to catch a glimpse of Rafe and Jazz’s continued happiness. That sure made me happy too.
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