While the first book focused more on introduction (to the characters, the world, and all the intricacies thereof), the second focuses on forming the relationship between Scarlet and Liall as the two come to know more about each other. In many ways, we already know Scarlet, who he was before meeting Liall, who he became after meeting Liall, and who he transformed into as he accepted the love in his heart for Liall, choosing to act on it and follow Liall. In the second book, we are further introduced to Liall, learning more of his past and the dark secrets he guards from even Scarlet, whose opinion is the only one Liall truly cares for anymore.
There’s some obstacles the two must navigate, besides the literal sea they journey across, as they grow closer and open up more to each other, each facing their pasts and weighing their feelings against imposing odds. Not every moment is sweet between the two as tempers flare and often get the best of them in delicate moments. But when it matters most, their true feelings of love outweigh all others (primarily fear for the circumstances and events to come), and all the waiting comes to fruition as they finally connect, emotionally and intimately. Yes, Scarlet and Liall do have sex, explicitly depicted twice toward the end of the book. It’s entirely sweet, really. During both encounters, especially the second, we see the depth of love between the two and how trusting they are of each other. But seriously, the way that they acknowledge their feelings is sincerely sweet:
“They had been lovers in many ways since they first met, and Liall’s heart had been lost to Scarlet since the moment he saw the proud red-coat. No, amend that: since Scarlet spoke, and Liall heard something in the young, willful voice that begged an answer of him. Scarlet’s fiery spirit stirred a dormant soul that Liall had put to sleep decades ago. Just being near Scarlet made it painfully obvious to Liall that he was incomplete, and finally his own iron will rose up, demanding that he wake and reclaim his life.”
I can’t wait to read book 3 to see their next adventure and how it will surely bring them closer.