Series: Up in the Air #4
Published on October 14th 2014
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I’ve been remade four times in my life.
It is a distinct feeling. Impossible to mistake. The very marked sensation of being unraveled and reknit into a new thing, a new person. It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, but above all, it is unstoppable.
I was remade when my parents died, went from a happy childhood, into navigating a very dark world, with endless responsibilities, surrounded by enemies, and despairingly alone.
It happened again at the hands of a cowardly predator. I’d become angrier with that one, more cynical, and it undoubtedly turned me into the kinky f**k I was today.
The third happened swiftly. One day I looked up into a pair of pale blue eyes and saw the other half of my soul. Checkmate. I went from a completely controlled existence, a life where I made every decision with cold calculation, to a man overcome with feelings and emotions that were foreign but somehow wonderful.
And all too soon after that cataclysmic change was this fourth one, this one where I begged a God I’d never entertained to spare the life of a woman that I could not live without.
Follow all of the characters from the Up in the Air universe in the years after the trilogy, with POVs from James, Stephan, Frankie, Tristan, and Akira.
This book is intended for readers 18 and up.
“I saved her life. She saved my soul.”
4 beautiful stars
In my experience, male POV books are hugely hit or miss. Authors either get it totally right, or they risk tainting a much loved book with either too much repetition, an excess of information that we didn’t really want to know, or by changing our perception of a much loved character to the point where you’re really not sure if you like them anymore. I am happy to say that RK Lilley has done a great job with this book, getting us into the head of the elusive and controlling James Cavendish, and the wonderful Stephan, and giving us a well-rounded finish to the Up In the Air series that I absolutely loved.
I had just finished a reread of the Up in the Air books, so James and Bianca’s tumultuous, mildly obsessive and intense love story was still very fresh for me, and at no point did this book feel like a retelling. Yes, there are some key scenes from the series revisited from a different POV, but most of the content is new.
The book is not really written in story format, more like a collection of scenes that flick between the past and the present. We see the depth of James’ attraction to Bianca from their first meeting, and his deepening love for her over their time together.
I was lost. I was found.
I, James Cavendish, unrepentant dominant, sexual deviant, and prolific slut for more years that I cared to count, was in love.
I’d taken her virgin body, but just as surely, she’d taken my virgin heart.
We also see more detail of the aftermath of the big climax inGrounded, and see snippets of the years that follow – the good, the bad, the swoony and the smutty (so, so hot!!!!!), and up to and beyond the epilogue we’ve already seen with a sneak peak of James and Bianca’s future (kids included), and it’s beautiful!
True love was a language, so many looks, touches and one word references that told the other more than full sentences of paragraphs, more than full outpourings of speech.
Our language was extensive and beautiful, and over a joyful lifetime together, we stayed fluent in it.
As a bonus, we get the mini-love story of Stephan and Javier from Stephan’s perspective – their first meeting, some sexy time, falling in love, more of the reconnection that we have already seen, and their happy ever after. There’s also a bit more insight into Tristan and Danika’s story with James and Tristan opening up and supporting each other through their romantic dramas.
A love like that makes you better, even if you lose it all, even if it was for one precious moment in your life, you can’t be sorry that you had it. Trust me on this.
And as much as this is a love story (or multiple love stories, really), it also delves deeper into the relationship between Bianca and Stephan, showing truly heartbreaking scenes from their past from Stephan’s POV, we come to understand what bound these two together from a young age. There is also lots of both Stephan and James reflecting on the closeness of the BFFs and their importance in each other’s lives. It’s an amazing relationship, the way that they are there for each other is gorgeous, and the way that their partners accept that relationship is beautifully (and sometimes hilariously) shown.
“We are fundamentally connected. We met when we were broken seeds, when we were still being formed into something. We had to grow together to survive. Some part of us will always be like that, connected, growing together. We’re different flowers, but we were nurtured from the same damaged root.”
The kindle edition of the book actually finishes at 66%, and the rest of the book is made up of teasers from RK’s other books and bonus features from this series and the Tristan & Danika series. Scenes from the Up In The Air books from James’ POV, and bonus scenes from the POVs of Tristan, Jared (From T&D), Frankie and Akira, from both series (so make sure you’ve read them all first!), it’s a little treasure trove for mad fans of these books.
While the Up in the Air books do finish beautifully, I’m really pleased that I read this book. It’s a beautiful way to round out and finish the series, and a true celebration of the relationships that feature in the story.
The real romance in life didn’t come in that first sweet taste of love, as profound and life changing as it was. There was love then, yes. Obsession, passion, infatuation. All of that and more.
But the true romance came from the slow lapse of time, the inexorable passing of days, weeks, months, years decades.
I’d hold onto her with the last breath in my body.
Beautiful – 4 stars.