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The curse between Scarlet and Tristan has shifted, reversing the effects. The bad part, is that now Scarlet feels pain when Tristan is too far away. The good thing is that Scarlet remembers where the Fountain of Youth is. She also remembers the price that the fountain has to gain access to it's waters, so maybe that isn't so much of a good thing afterall. Now Raven has kidnapped Heather and Gabriel in a ploy to get Scarlet to give her the map to the fountain. Scarlet must rescue Heather and Gabriel and then lead her friends to the fountain. They have to beat Raven there, or lose out on everything. But knowing the price the fountain requests, there will be no happy endings.
This book was just as wonderful as the previous ones. It's usually really rare to find a series where every book is just as strong as the one before it. This is the type of novel an author needs to aspire to write. The pacing, the twists and turns, the characters, everything stays in tip top form from beginning to end. You can't choose a "favorite" book in this series because it's just not possible. The whole series blends and connects to one another perfectly.
Tristan, Scarlet, Gabriel and Heather all stayed pretty much the same as they are in the previous books. It was interesting to see what kind of a man Gabriel was in the beginning of the curse, compared to what he is now. Tristan continued making you want to slap him for doing things to try to "save" Scarlet. I hate it when guys think they know what is best for you. Heather got a chance to be more loveable. She got to show her vulnerable side, which was really nice to see. I felt like this novel was brilliant for Nate and Raven though. You got to see so much more of Nate and his personality. Raven was also given the limelight at times. I love that she was written as this villain, but she wasn't horrifying. She wasn't the type to give you nightmares, but you did want to see her die as the novel went on.
The story was much different than I expected. The plot itself in this novel is actually rather short. It spends a lot of it's time in the past. You get to see things from Gabriel and Tristan's side during the lulls in the curse, as well as getting to meet Scarlet in her past lives. While it was weird to be in the past for as long as you are, it was nice at the same time. I loved being able to see how things were between the three of them as a result of the curse. You get to understand more about why the brothers are the way they are, and you get to fully learn about the secrets Scarlet was keeping in her last life.
The climax was heart-wrenching. I saw where it was going to go at about 70% in, which I found unexpected because of how strong the writing was, but at the same time, I think I needed to see it early. I don't know how I would've been able to handle it, had it been dropped like a bomb on me. I needed the time to get used to where it was going to go. Even knowing what was going to happen, the climax was written with so many additional things that I didn't expect happening, that I sobbed like a baby for a good twenty minutes before I could read too much farther. It made sense to end things the way that it did. It was the perfect ending for everyone in my eyes. Still sad, but perfect.
The ending was wonderful as well. I love the signs of what will happen, character relationship-wise. Can't say much there without massive spoilers. The epilogue was simple. I partly expected it, but I also don't know that it was needed. I can't say it was a perfect way to end things, but at the same time, I think I would've missed it had it not been there.
Bottom line, this was a fantastic ending to a fantastic series. Five stars straight across. I recommend this series to everyone. In fact, I have been recommending it to everyone. Stop holding back and go read it.