Madre de Dios!
Yes, that gets thought a lot by our hero. Sadly, after a really good installment with Midnight Awakening, Lara Adrian slipped up a bit with Rio's story.
I did like the leads, but there were some major, unnecessary logic blips that bugged me throughout. Mainly -- how could Dylan not tell Rio immediately that her mom had told Gordon Fasso about the crypt? Bizarre. And she even thought about Fasso in the context of hearing about other people getting their memories scrubbed. It wasn't necessary to make her TSTL to keep the plot moving.
That and Rio getting the brainstorm that maybe Dragos's hidden offspring was keeping the ancient and breeding it. Huh? What caused you to come to that conclusion with absolutely nothing pointing in that direction whatsoever? Madre de Dios, Rio, you're a genius! Again, not necessary. Give 'em a clue to go on and I'll be happy to follow and believe.
And what dunderheads would leave the guy who's more than half out of his mind with grief, betrayal, brain injury ... inside a mountain cave with a bunch of C4 and expect him to come home when he's through?
While I'm complaining, why do ghosts have to be so cryptic? Is it in the job description of the spectral visitor? You must not say anything beyond that which will drive your visitation target insane. Except for that moment when we're getting kind of close to the end and we don't have time for ambiguity, in which case you can be as specific as it takes to skip over all that dreary deciphering and save the day.
That said, I did like the couple's chemistry, and I'll move on to the next book. I thought it might have been the wrong choice for Adrian to do Rio's book so soon, actually. It felt rushed to me and I thought we could have seen Niko or Chase before we got to Rio. After I read on, maybe I'll see how it was important to do it this way, but right now I feel like there wasn't enough time from when the betrayal and injury occurred for him to be ready for a romance.
I appreciated the emotion -- I did get choked up a few times -- but I got the icky feeling that Mom was sacrificed so Dylan could go to the Order unattached sooner rather than later. In fact, I'd though it was a lovely thing that Rio was going to stay with Dylan for her mother's last days (or I'd thought they might bring her to the compound where she could get hospice care but they'd be together and safe, too), and then he'd go back to work. But no, she was dispensed with rather quickly -- another plot point that felt rushed.
At this point I'm rambling and I'll stop, but Madre de Dios
, Rio deserved better!