Series: Grimm's Circle, Book 2.5
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Length: 821 Locations
More a Coda Than a Short Story
Ren is still hurting from losing his best friend and century-long occasional lover, Elle, after she and the man she loved, Michael, reunited. That pain is adding stress to the pressure of the darkness that is never far from his mind lately. Leave it to their boss (for lack of a better term) Will to send him back to Elle and Michael to wait for another task that the three Grimm must handle.
Seeing Elle is like salt in a grievous wound, and even her kindness causes pain. As an empath, he knows she feels his pain. As Elle, he knows she'll try to ease it. What surprises him, almost unmans him, is that Michael is surprisingly amenable. And the truth, the one that neither Ren nor Elle can escape, is that both still bear wounds not yet healed, and each needs the other for the love of their friendship and the hope of some peace.
For those unfamiliar with Shiloh Walker's Grimm's Circle series, this is not the place to start to become familiar. This short story is more of a coda on the end of the second book in the series, No Prince Charming, and should in no way be considered a self-contained short story. There almost no explanation of the events in the book preceding it, and little exposition on the world in which it occurs. For those who haven't read that second book, this short story could seem little more than a salacious bit of gratuitous erotica.
In truth, though, it's closure for two people who desperately needed it, and though the focus is on Ren, whose story is up next in the series (yay!), the events are just as important to Elle. Her death was such that it scarred her in ways that aren't important to list here, but with this little tale, those scars were tenderly addressed.
I'm not entirely convinced it was necessary to be handled in this format, though, and I was disappointed that the sole focus was on the sexual scene. The "job" Will sent them on was completely ignored except in passing. It did make this little piece of fiction seem a bit unnecessary and salacious, even to me, who is a fan of this dark and unique series. It wasn't bad, but it isn't enough to draw in new readers - may in fact give them the wrong impression of the series, and it isn't quite enough to entertain beyond the sexuality for those who are familiar. I'd recommend it only for those who are Grimm's Circle fans.