Though I will still champion this series, I find myself terribly disappointed with book two...and hey, we're going to compare them.
Pros: The superb, suck-you-in writing style is still there. The fantasies are very hot. I'm still dying to know what becomes of Cassie. It doesn't lack for drama. I also still appreciate that these women are getting what they want, on their terms...no shame.
Cons: I said above that with each step Cassie took, there was a purpose, a deep moment of awakening in her, and it was clear what that was. Readers learned with her. Each step had a revelation. Not so in this one. With Dauphine, it felt like...just sex. I wasn't sure what she was learning in the steps. Matter of fact, she got four charms immediately after an incident. She didn't even earn them. Not really. No more fantasies. (Did the author run out ideas??) And when her steps were complete, while I'll admit she was a more confident person, her choice had me thinking she perhaps just replaced her problems with sex and a man. No deep enlightenment this time.
And that whole ending was just....rushed and...I didn't buy it.
Cassie...I didn't much like her this time around. All the pining for Will I could understand. He was such a driving force and the hero of book one, but what she does to Jesse....makes her no better than Tricina. She's doing the same thing... I felt as though she was a user and already she has forgotten the meaning behind the charms she earned in book one. She's also supposed to be Dauphine's guide, but they rarely interact.
And then we were left hanging again. I hope book three doesn't have her pining for Will and using Jesse again. Please, let's move on.
So...although the writing style had me riveted, I felt this book was lacking. The deeper meanings weren't there. The entire story with Dauphine was rushed and left me going "What in the world? That's it?"
Something I appreciated: the discussions/theme of what makes women sluts. A woman should be entitled to enjoy her body, her sexuality, her freedom, without being slut-shamed.
"That word has been used a weapon against women all around the world, since the beginning of time, to keep us feeling unworthy and separate. It can have especially tragic consequences for young women. Some shut down, some lose their confidence; some lose their desire to explore their sexuality; and still other end their lives over sexual shame."
I received this via Amazon Vine.