An excellent end to the series. This brought the trilogy to an exciting head. As this is written to overlap with the other two books in an entwined story covering three (four) couples, there are moments of clarity that you only get when all three books are put together. I prepared for this by listening to the previous two books.
I loved meeting up with the others again, especially Clem (who was just adorable in the way he took his nephew under his wing) and Justin, and meeting Tim in more than passing.
As for the romance in this, I adored the gruff pragmatic Mark, and Pen, yes Pen spoke to my soul. There aren't enough Q representations in the LGBTQ spectrum and Pen's experiences and feelings resonated with me.
It was all Pen wanted out of life: for people to let him to be himself, Pen Starling, nothing more or less or different. He didn’t want special treatment, only what other people had, which was to walk down the street without having to dress up as someone else.
That sometimes seemed absurd, on the days he enjoyed the set of his shoulders and wondered how he’d look with a beard. It was only clothing.
The plain fact was, Pen’s mind didn’t always fit his body. Jaw, beard, shoulders, prick: they all said one thing, and it wasn’t him. He couldn’t change what parts his body had—and he wouldn’t have wanted to, because the other set wouldn’t have been right either—but he could change how it looked. Long hair and eye paint, jewellery and scarves: he put adornments that said woman on a body that said man, and together it added up to something else. To him.
All that meant nakedness felt difficult, sometimes, and Mark hadn’t demanded it, or touched where he hadn’t been invited.
I was worried about how KJ would bring this to a close and still get these guys a HEA, but I needn't have worried. The outcome was perfect for all concerned.
I'm sad that these books have come to an end but I have all 3 audios (Matthew Lloyd Davies does an excellent job) and I'll be listening to each and every one of these time and time again.