Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: Keep me. Be mine. Make me yours.
Layla Starling, toast of the London stage, has come home to rest. She is tired of the endless singing engagements and constant traveling. When her guardian informs her that it is time for her to marry and that her long time crush and childhood friend, St. John Evernight will be acting as her bodyguard, Layla is caught off guard but soon agrees. As Layla dances her way through the ton, seeking her future husband, her thoughts continue to focus on only one person-St. John Evernight-and what it will take to make him hers forever.
St. John (Sin) has pined for Layla from afar for years. Due to his position in the supernatural world and his tangled past, Sin knows he is not good enough for Layla and strives to keep her at arms length. When the SOS reveals that Layla is in grave danger, Sin will put everything on the line to save the only woman who has ever held his heart and soul.
Forevermore is the seventh and final installment in Kristen Callihan’s sensual and action addictive Darkest London series. From the first book, Callihan has taken readers on a fantastical adventure of epic proportions as she slowly built a world within a world as we are given an intimate look into the supernatural entities that live, love, and fight for survival in London, England during the 1800s. One word of warning. This series MUST be read in order. It is ongoing, with intense bleed over from one installment to the net.
As always, taut suspense, delicious deception, and dangerous antagonists combine to create a fascinating read that captured me from page one. Strong layered characters have driven this world, each installment using the exploration of one couple’s romantic journey to love as the key element on which this series is built. Each book flows smoothly into the next, bringing more life and surprises to this already complicated arc without losing the reader to unnecessary static and fillers. Light and dark narrative blends effortless, keeping you firmly engaged as Callihan continues to add to the adventurous spirit of the characters and world.
As this is the final installment, Callihan takes great care to build an emotionally fluid romance with ribbons of angst, fear, and humor running through it while assembling all the remaining puzzles pieces into order to offer up a masterpiece which answers all our questions. Forevermore brings us the most complex and secretive character to date-St. John Evernight. Brother to Poppy, Daisy, and Miranda Evernight, Sin was hidden from his sisters by their mother at birth. When he is finally discovered, his sisters are devastated by their mother’s deception and by what he has become, causing them to turn their backs on him. In Evermore, it is revealed his situation is anything but what it seems but there is still more to be told.
This is his story.
This is his redemption.
This is his forevermore.
Forevermore begins in the past. Augustus has come to Boston at the request of his long time enemy and soul mate, Lena. When he arrives, Lena informs him she has given birth to a child and requests that he take and raise the child. Augustus is angry and hurt that she has chosen to give to another man what he coveted for so long but in the end, his love for her has him agreeing. From here we travel 20 plus years forward into the present; learning who that child was and the reasons Lena abandoned them.
Layla and Sin have a complicated history, made more so by destiny, deception, and betrayal. Layla and Sin spent their childhood together in Ireland but when Augustus takes Layla away, both their hearts were broken. We soon learn that this simple act is the catalyst that starts Sin on his road to perdition through Mab, Queen of the Fairies. Sin’s time spent with Mab has left him a bitter shell whose feeling of worthlessness and despair weigh heavily upon his shoulders. He sees himself as disgusting and dirty, and with his recent ascension to a Vengence Angel, he feels Layla deserves so much better than him.
He tried his best to ward off the finer feelings, to remain numb, detached from life. And yet he could not, for the life of him, remain immune to Layla Starling.
Layla is a strong, intelligent, resourceful woman; like all of Callihan’s heroines. Though she has had a picture perfect life, she has had her own struggles with inadequacy and self doubt. She has loved Sin all her life and refuses to allow him to push her away. She flirts, cajoles, teases, and outright taunts Sin in her quest to make him understand that he is hers and she is his.
Because you, St. John Evernight, are mine. Whether you wil it or not. Your heart and soul have been mine since I climbed up in that bloody tree to drive you mad. Mine to protect.
As Sin battles his desire for Layla, her parentage and birthright comes to light, leaving Sin to decide if he is brave enough to defeat his past in order to battle for a future with her. A series of subplots surround the main conflict, alluding to all previous characters and interestingly enough, focusing on the fate of the one man who it all started with-Archer. We learn the true extent of Augustus’s and Lena’s centuries of meddling and the convoluted nature of the ties that bind all the Evernights and their friends and lovers together. Callihan finally shows us what has been up her sleeves all along and I applaud her ingenuity and skill.
Are we flying or not?
The conclusion is a dramatic, action-packed finale that leaves the reader delighted, relieved, and satisfied. We are left assured that all those we have grown to love have achieved their heart’s desires and will indeed embrace whatever the future holds for them. While I am sad that this is the last we shall see of Callihan’s Darkest London, I am pleased with the solid send off Callihan provides. Forevermore delivers what it promises and fans will be pleased.