I thought Part I was crazy smutty, but this one was even more so and I loved every minute. I also felt like the plot was developed more in this book, and it really brought this duet full circle for me.
We start this book with the Losers “kidnapping” Jess for the weekend and some awesome scenes on their trip. Once we get back to Wickeston, we get more plot development almost immediately, because Reagan, Manson’s dad, has been trying to stir up trouble and problems for the Losers, and he has been coming to their house even though he knows they have security cameras. Jess is still having problems with her mom, and she has to spend every night at her own house or else her mom gets upset. As the book goes on, Jess apologizes individually to each of the boys, and she also tells them each that she loves them. Of course, there are some scary moments as Alex (the guy that bullied Lucas and wants Jess) and Reagan try to ruin the Losers, but Jess sticks firmly with them through all of it. The plot comes to a head when Alex and his friend Nate hurt Jess while she is on a hike with her friend and she can barely walk. Vincent stays with Jess while Lucas, Manson, and Jason go to get revenge and they end up knocking Nate out in an alley and carving “I ABUSE WOMEN” into Alex’s back. After the boys leave, Reagan approaches Alex and they go to the Losers house while they are sleeping. Jess wakes up to use the restroom and lets one of the dogs out, but the dog won’t come back inside, so Jess goes out after it. Alex then tries to cover her mouth and take her somewhere, but Jess sees Reagan go into the house. The dog returns and sees Alex trying to hurt Jess and goes after Alex, biting him, breaking his arm, and causing Alex to jump onto the trash cans to get away. Jess runs back into the house and Reagan is dumping gasoline everywhere. Reagan tries to strangle her but Manson hears the comotion and comes downstairs and chokes his dad out. Lucas calls the police and Alex and Reagan are taken away in handcuffs for attempted murder. The story ends with the Losers moving to New York with Jess after she gets hired full-time from her internship and everyone cementing their relationship even more with a collar and plans to expand their family in the future.
Not going to lie, I enjoyed almost every single part of this book. The individual relationships within the MCs really thrived, bringing me to care about each of them even more than I originally had. Specific parts that I enjoyed was the discussion surrounding Lucas’s mental health and his decision to see a therapist. I am a huge advocate for therapy, but I think it has to be every individual’s choice to talk to someone, because that is how it is the most beneficial. In a similar vein, I loved that Jess and the boys all know that Lucas has a hard time expressing or hearing positive things about himself, and they are able to respectfully and tactfully push him but not make him irredeemably uncomfortable. Of course, the smut was great and I had a lot of my favorite kinks displayed in different ways. On the other side of the coin, I had a couple of parts that took me completely out of the story, specifically when Lucas said “yellow” with Manson in the car. I love how it was handled, that Manson was respectful and helpful but still firm, but I think the inclusion of another check-in from Manson, making sure that Lucas felt “green” again before continuing, would have been more in line with Manson’s character and his feelings for Lucas, and it would have exemplified one of the ways to positively navigate a similar situation should a reader experience that. The other part I found hard to read was at the end, in the hotel room with the watersports, but that has nothing to do with the book or writing, it just isn’t one of my own kinks so it doesn’t do anything for me, but I appreciate the inclusion.
I absolutely love reading Harley’s books, I think she writes really compelling stories with a great amount of sexual content, and I am excited to continue to read what she puts out. Like I said, this book was phenomenal and a great way to finish this duet, so I have it 5 out of 5 stars. While there were some things I didn’t like about this book, the things I did enjoy far outweighed those and I would absolutely recommend this duology.
How did you feel about Lucas and his complexities as a character? Were there any quotes or moments that really stand out to you?