Reviewed by PizzyGirl
TITLE: Love and the Stubborn
SERIES: Gods of War: Book II
AUTHOR: Xenia Melzer
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
LENGTH: 348 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 13, 2016
All is fair in love and war. By now, Renaldo has found out the hard way how utterly stupid this statement is once you’ve met your match. And Casto won’t give an inch in their ongoing war for love.
After a tumultuous start to their relationship, Renaldo and Casto seem to have finally reached calmer waters. But just when Renaldo starts getting comfortable and thinks he can relax, things get out of hand again. His old enemy, the Good Mother, is dangerously close to defeating the divine brothers by reaching out to what is most dear to him. Casto still clinging to his stubborn pride is all the plotters need to drive him and Renaldo apart. Burdened by the secrets of his past, Casto fights with everything he’s got not only to save his life, but also to secure his future happiness. Facing the destruction of everything they have built together, Renaldo and Casto must choose between pride and love.
I have read and reviewed this at my previous blog so this review is a rehashing of what I said before with a bit of new content to reflect my second time with this story.
OMG I am loving this series. Just a reminder that this is one big epic story broken up into parts so you MUST read the first book before starting this one. Also, I apologize for any spoilers that may be in this review.
I loved learning more about these people. Not only Renaldo and Casto, but the Emeris as well. I was a bit disappointed that the remaining Emeris did not get as detailed a history as the ones in the first book though. I felt like I learned about Kalad, Aegid, and Hulda enough to understand them. But the remaining four described in this book were just given a quick tale that was more of a story than a history. I wanted to understand them a lot better than I do. I wanted to know what made them deserve to be Emeris, but never quite understood anything other than it was fate.
I do have to admit that I got a bit tired of not understanding the rules of this world as far as etiquette was concerned. I had a hard time following when Casto actually did something that deserved punishment or why these people could not understand forgiveness. I also got a bit tired of all the self deprecation and apologies for any perceive slight. It became eye rollingly over the top after a while and really took away from my enjoyment at times.
I am very glad the evil magic was broken in this story as Renaldo’s poor treatment of Casto was bordering on a DNF from me. I almost put this one down because Casto deserved way better than what he was getting from Renaldo. And I absolutely hated that this same behavior transferred over to another pairing later. Noran’s treatment of Sic was abhorrent. My heart broke for Sic and I truly wanted everyone dead for how they treated such an innocent person. Yes, he made a mistake but Norman failed to see why Sic did what he did and instead abused him unforgivably in my mind. Can you tell I was truly invested in this story and attached to some of these characters? Man was I sucked into this world! Fantastic!
Even though bits and pieces of this story bothered me, when taken as a whole, Love and the Stubborn was mesmerizing. This was LONG but so worth it because even with the almost DNF, it turned out I HAD to read this one to its conclusion. I HAD to know how Casto and Renaldo would turn out. I HAD to know how the evil would be defeated. I HAD to know who Casto truly was. I HAD to know if Sic was ever vindicated and got revenge for his abuse. There was just so much about this story that was mysterious and fascinating that I could not put it down.
The ending was abrupt again leaving me with too many unanswered questions. I need book 3 right now because to be honest I could care less about anything else right now except knowing if Sic gets justice. Yes, I want to know about Renaldo and Casto, but Sic has become my main focus and I NEED to know that he gets to shove his vengeance down Noran’s and Renaldo’s throats. I hope he turns out to be the hidden Emeris and get to be like “Fuck you you fucking fuckers!” OMG I know I sound blood thirsty but Sic has just evoked such strong emotions in me that I would become blood thirsty if it meant Sic could be happy again.
I totally recommend this series to everyone. Even if you are not usually a Fantasy fan, give it a try. This world and its characters are just so amazing and this author has me hooked!