Cara Elliott wraps up her Lords of Midnight trilogy with this second-chance-at-love story featuring the "Hellhound" Cameron and Sophie, the sweetheart of his youth. When they were teenagers, Cameron had hoped to marry her, but she refused, forcing herself instead to honor her obligations to her ailing father and two young sisters. Circumstances forced Cam to leave to town immediately after she said no, and they have not seen each other for all these years.
It's only by chance when Cam and Sophie cross paths again. He accidentally stumbles on a meeting she is having with a blackmailer. Seeing her leaves him powerless to walk away and he insinuates himself back into her life by helping her with her blackmail problem. And in the course of doing so, their old attraction returns... and it grows into something much more.
In their time apart, Cam turned into a rake and a high-end thief. He is very cynical about love and sees himself as no-good. Sophie, on the other hand, considers herself staid and quite boring. But reuniting with Cam makes her want to break out of that shell. She regrets giving him up before, and she won't allow herself to live with the regret of missing an opportunity to be with him again.
I liked both main characters, though it got old to hear the heroine keep referring to herself as "simply Sophie" or the like, driving home her plain, dependable nature. Even worse were all the Hellhound reference for Cam... about dogs and paws and hounds. What started as a play on words was driven into the ground and it stopped being cute ages before the puns were finished. These issues aside, however, I did enjoy the book. The characters were consistent and both grew over the course of the story. The arc surrounding the blackmail and Cameron's legitimacy was solid and engaging. And the romance worked both emotionally and sexually. There's a good sexual undercurrent between Sophie and Cam from the beginning and the consummation delivered on its promise.
This is book three in the series, but it works easily as a standalone.
Rating: B*ARC Provided by Forever via NetGalley