Only the Good Die Young

I can’t remember the last time I felt this frustrated at the end of a book, but here we are.

I’ve finished reading “Only the Good Die Young” and I don’t know why, but I thought this was only a trilogy. Imagine my surprise when I am told that Crimson and Jazz will return in Dream On.

With a title like this one, I think I can be excused from expecting that Jazz would die. To be honest, there are only two ways it can go for a mortal who is in love with an immortal creature. They either get turned, either against their will or more regularly for love (because writers understand agency especially when it comes to their characters better than most politicians do come election time) or, they die. Whether from violence, natural causes or choking on an olive.

In this case, the scene is already set. Jasper has said no, he does not want to become a were spider. That leaves only his death. On that cheerful note…

We return to the newly escaped couple in their one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica where Jasper desperately is trying out any job he can to make money. He happens upon a paranormal investigation job with Crimson’s niece which nicely complements his prior experience as a hunter.

New into the scene in this book is Leon, Crimson’s intended fledgling. He’s shown up in Santa Monica and after a brief discussion where Crimson gets his consent to turn him (see, agency – take note politicians) Jasper gets to come home and yell at Crimson for dropping the proverbial “I brought a kid home for us, honey” conversation.

I especially enjoyed the touches of domesticity included in their characters. Jasper getting irritated over Crimson suddenly deciding to paint the fireplace/chimney and coming home to a disaster. Crimson picking him up and dropping him off at work with takeout for his meals.

Jasper and Crimson sure aren’t lacking when it comes to safe houses either. Every time they need to hide somewhere, at least one of their friends has a really nice, grand, private hideaway for them to essentially have a vacation. It makes sense, that people who can utilize mind control and are around for a couple of thousand years can stash up money.

The theme of naming each chapter after classic rock song titles continues in this book and it tickles me every time I see it. Maybe it’s because of my familiarity with the source material, but I enjoy guessing how the songs tie into what’s happening in the chapter and it really sets the scenes in a detailed and evolved way.

Something that echoes in this series that I absolutely love (and it took me three books to realize it) is how effectively the authors establish found families outside and inside of blood for the characters. Everything good you would find in a social relationship with someone else is expressed in these interactions like having dinner together or playing board games and so forth. It brought a heartwarming element to these books which reminds me of how good slices of life are supposed to feel.

Speaking of found family, it seems like the authors are hinting at Jasper possibly being Crimson’s reincarnated love. I found that interesting, and I wonder how it will play out in the end. I say this because when it comes to reincarnated love, the pair either finds each other and it ends in tragedy, they find each other and it ends in happiness, or in the case of Crimson and Jazz, one of the soul mates has been stuck in one form and one soul and one body, begging the question of how do you end the cycle of Jasper being reborn unless the soul is released somehow to its conclusion?

Something I’m looking forward to is finally finding out more about Jasper’s heritage in the upcoming books because I always felt like I just didn’t know ENOUGH about him or where he got his abilities. I did see one of the authors mention they would be trying to address Jasper’s heritage, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Props to the authors for making such interesting and complex secondary characters as well. This felt like a D&D quest where more players started hopping in to storm the dungeon real quick except the dialogue and mannerisms and everything were so entertaining and fleshed out. I have an image in my head of all of them and I love it.

My favourite character in this book is easily Angie because she’s so enthusiastic and nerdy and welcoming and it killed me a little when she didn’t make it. Also the backstory into the lucksmith character, Felix Felicity, was hands down my favourite part of the book. Max becoming a surprisingly powerful wizard? I AM HERE FOR IT. And Leon becoming Retribution Crimson? *chefs kiss* 

Important note for those who may need the trigger or content warnings, there are torture scenes, hostage scenes and some graphic violence mentioned especially when the spiders go hunting.

If you want a romping, entertaining, action-packed read with a cute couple and some grittiness, this is it.

Now please join me while I twiddle my thumbs waiting excitedly for the authors to finish the next book.

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