4.5 DESPERATE STARS
This story picks up the morning after the end of Storm Ravaged . Gabriel and Elizabeth still can't get on the same page. He believes he has the right to do whatever it takes to protect her and their son, Andrew. She believes they have nothing if he can't talk to her, be honest with her and take her needs and wants into consideration.
At the same time, Gabriel's brother Edward is back and there are a lot of emotions there that are unresolved. He's lost five years with the person he was closest to growing up with a sadistic mother who hated him and loved his brother. Gabriel has a lot of anger and Edward talks him into talking to someone. But true to form, he doesn't talk to and discuss what's going on with him with Elizabeth, which brings more strife in their marriage.
Elizabeth loves working for Sebastian Payne's company and her new boss, Trevor Howard. But Gabriel still can't come to terms with it until Elizabeth makes the ultimate gesture to quit her job to make him believe he isn't sleeping with Sebastian.
Brian Sullivan from her old company of Smith Cannon is back and he's stoking the flames of doubt for Elizabeth, showing her pictures of Gabriel with another woman, telling her she will never measure up to what he needs in a Countess. But his creepy behavior works against him, keeping Elizabeth from completely believing him. Going so far as to tell Gabriel that he's obsessed with her.
"The bool's of the rose by now, isn't it? I grew up in England so I know a thing or two about how the upper crust thinks. With your American mutt pedigree, you haven't a prayer love. In the eyes of the peerage, you're not good enough to assume the role of a countess. You'll never measure up. By now, he probably regrets marrying you."
~ Brian Sullivan
I really loved the end to this series. I loved getting another fix of Gabriel and Elizabeth, and the Winterleagh family. I would have loved a little more of Royce, and to get to know Edward a bit more. But what I got was good. I swear I laughed so hard I almost gave myself a headache when Brianna got mad at Gabriel over telling Elizabeth she couldn't work.
The only reason I didn't give it a full five stars is because I feel there could have been a bit more background on Brian Sullivan or something that would have explained his obsession with Elizabeth. He made veiled comments about Elizabeth that made her think he knew about her upbringing and her time as a party girl, but we never got to know if he researched her, if he knew her from before she worked at Smith Cannon, why he was so obsessed. Also, that little nugget Magda gave us about who Bri's real mother could potentially be. Maybe for the next book?
I highly recommend this series. Its sexy, funny, heartbreaking and mysterious all at the same time. I can't wait to read more about the family when we get to know what happens with Brianna and Jake in Storm Conquered .