The conflict in this one had some serious stakes, and the bad guys were seriously creepy/scary. The authors pair that really well with the relationship conflict Curran and Kate are having. This is probably the most action-packed of the books so far (and *action* packed, cough wink).
The book opens with Kate being stood up on her first date with Curran. She doesn’t take it well and things go downhill from there. A standard call for help to a bar outside town turns into a crisis, when a murdered man turns out to be infected with magic-strengthened sentient syphilis. Yup, you read that right. It seems there’s a magic user in town who spreads or magnifies disease, and that could be disastrous for Atlanta.
I continue to be really entertained by this series, impressed with the worldbuilding, love the found family and friendship vibes, and conflicted about the tightrope line the authors are walking in regards to Curran’s alphahole-ness. Possessive love interests with tempers are never going to be my favorite thing, but I have loved a few of them because of good characterization, and because of how/why their love interests loved them. So far, I like Curran and nothing he’s done has really twigged my sensors, but the whole idea that all the shapeshifters would be possessive like that, sort of makes things better because it spreads the weight over their, what, culture? Would that be the right word? It also helps that Kate fights back, and isn’t drawn to those negative characteristics. She likes him in spite of them. So anyway, those are my thoughts, presumably they will continue to evolve.
I’m glad anyway that the authors got them together less than halfway through the series. I always like seeing what authors can do with romantic pairings when the getting together isn’t the ending.