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    Slow, but Improved Over Time

    Warning: the story involves self-harm (by pinching, until bruising and pain) So, I came straight into this one after reading Book 1 and was a bit confused. I couldn't figure out where Heathborough came into the Traitor Lords saga. Who was he? What part did he play? What connection did he have? Well, it was cleared up immediately, but also confused because Lord Heathborough is also Laurence Nelson, who is also the son of Lord Burfield, who was one of the Traitor Lords. With me? Yeah, I was confused, too. Why so many names for one person? Anyway, it didn't start off well. Page 1 was basically one entire paragraph...of run-on sentences. My two pet-peeves, and neither of which were in residence during Book 1. It almost felt like a completely different author wrote that opening chapter...and then the whole first 50% of the book. For me, I found the first 40-45% of the book to be really boring. And I hate saying that, because what came in the second half was brilliant. Much more the style of Book 1, that I'd really fallen in love with. So, when the first half of the book bored me so much I kept putting it down, distracting myself, and didn't feel eager to pick it up again - despite being obsessed with Book 1 to the point I had to force myself to go to sleep at 3am - I was afraid Book 1 was a fluke and nothing more. There wasn't anything really wrong with it, but it just didn't have the same impact. The first 40% was sloooooooow. Like, I was waiting for something to happen, constantly hoping it would pick up the pace, that it would have that same excitement of Book 1, and it happened, but man it took a long time. <img src="" width="40" height="100" alt="description"/> it got to the 40% mark, it got SO. MUCH. BETTER! <img src="" width="40" height="100" alt="description"/> The story began with far more lust and attraction than any real chemistry, but that became understandable after the 40% mark, where you began to realise it was much harder for them to be open with their chemistry and attraction because of their status, and being gay. The intrigue was lacking until the last 15%, and the political aspect of the story didn't really pick up until VERY late into the story, which was a real shame. For me, the reason it was so slow was because the entire political aspect was ignored for that entire first 40%, despite it being so prominent in Book 1. I didn't really see the need for it to take so long, and I could have easily have done without about 15% of the first half of the book, without losing much. However, once it got past that halfway point, the story was great! The two MC's - Laurence and Robert - really came into their own, their chemistry got hotter and more natural, and the pace picked up A LOT. It really became a BEAUTIFUL chemistry/love story, when the painting came into it, and I loved that they bonded through that. It was only slightly annoying that I had to keep looking up cravats, because there was such a heavy emphasis on them, and the knots used. And there were almost twice as many sex scenes as Book 1, which felt a big heavy-handed to me, and probably filled a lot of the story gaps. I would rather that time had been spent on progressing the first half, but fine. Altogether, I enjoyed the second half so much that it made up for a little of the first half's deficits. The pace was slower, for no real reason I could see, and it took a while for the chemistry to pick up, but once it did, I was happy with how the second half progressed and the eventual resolution. I'm struggling to see where the next book will go, because I think the series fails in one aspect - it doesn't introduce the next main character in any meaningful way, before their book comes along. For me, that's the entire point of a series. To see a little bit of the next main character, and be eager to read their story. This series doesn't do that for me, which I feel is a real loss. Book 1 was fantastic, and I did eventually come to like Book 2, but I feel that the standard is slipping and I'm going into Book 3 with tempered expectations.

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