I was slightly obsessed with the first book in this saga, okay maybe a little more than slightly. By the end of the first book, I was so invested in the lives of the characters in this story that I just absolutely had to read the second one when it came out. In fact, I freaked when given the opportunity to read and review it. I mean, I almost literally jumped for joy before diving headfirst into this book.
Give me a second while I bang my head against a wall....
Okay, that done, I LOVED this book even more than the first. There is so much more depth in this second book compared to the first. I mean, we are dealing with how the main characters' relationship will hold up due to distance and situations that occur throughout the story. Some more dire than others. Will they bow down to the pressure's around them and break things off, or will they finally be able to live a wonderful life together. A life that they both sincerely deserve considering all that has happened to them.
This book is also much darker than the first. While Banished Love did have some slightly sad elements to it, such as the treatment of Clarissa by her stepmother and various other relatives and citizens of Boston due to her choice in men, and even the sadness of Gabriel leaving at the end, it mostly focused on Clarissa and Gabriel's budding love for one another. This second book brings in two deaths, a terrible attack which changes one of our main characters almost completely, and a decision to leave home. It doesn't sugar-coat, and I like that.
When reading books, I love to get aggravated. I love to get angry at the "villans" of the story. I want to feel something. And believe me, I definitely felt quite a bit of that in this. We get more of a taste of Clarissa's stepmother in this book. So much more. To the point where I just want to go in the book and smack her upside the head. Oh, Goodness!! I am rolling my eyes now just thinking about her. UGH!!! Cannot wait to see what she has up her sleeves in the book. She is just one of those characters I love to hate. I would be highly disappointed if she were otherwise. She just helps make the story.
Along with her stepmother, Clarissa's former beau, Cameron, also makes even more appearances in this one. AND his true intentions come out. Albeit near the end, but they come out nonetheless. Now he is a character that I could definitely live without. But he also makes the story what it is, and it would not be what it is without him making at least a few appearances.
Now while there is a bit of darkness to this story, there is also just as much light, maybe more. Florence gets to change her past, and a family is reunited after so many years of being apart. Children are born and friendships are forged. It is what makes this story worthwhile...all those good moments.
I absolutely am in love with this saga and the books that have been written so far. It is just one of those stories that seems so timeless and so beautifully written. I can feel the age of the books, the time they are written in, and the characters are like friends (and enemies) to me. I just...*deep sigh*...can't help but smile at the thought that maybe this isn't over yet.