Let me start by saying this is not a standalone book. You do need to read book one, Fish Out of Water, in order for this book to make sense. Picking up where book one left off, we venture again into the lives of attorney Ellery Cramer and his coworker/boyfriend, Jackson Rivers.
Still on the trail to find Owens, the duo tackles task after task to complete their quest and remove Owens from polite society, one way or another. Multiple subplots wind and wend themselves around and through the main storyline, adding nuances and expected pieces along with 180-degree turns that knock the reader off kilter.
Jackson experienced the most character growth in this book, learning that he is not alone, realizing that he is loved and is worthy of that love. This was a great growth, but there were times when Jackson frustrated the daylights out of me through his unfailingly bleak outlook of himself. The struggles with his mother, however, were handled beautifully, and the fights he had with himself to grieve what wasn’t were very touching.
The existing peripheral cast is added to in this book, and that showcases the author’s talent for putting the strange and the normal together into completely plausible situations. Ellery’s mother continues to be my favorite of the peripheral characters – smart, sassy, snarky, and so loving.
The ending is a Happy for Now. The very words of the final sentence announce that there are more books to come. I’m rating book two at three stars. While I enjoyed this book, it didn’t connect with me as strongly as the first did, but I have found that to be my particular norm for the second book in any series – your mileage may vary. That said, I liked it well enough that I do look forward to seeing what the pair gets up to next. Give it a read and see for yourself.