Rating: 4.25 stars
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“True love is not about ending differences, it is about making diversity work.”
Ayden and Angus have been dating for three months, and while their relationship must remain secretive for the sake of propriety due to their location in Provo, Utah, they both yearn for more.
Ayden is a man of action – always one to act before thinking. He has a high-risk, demanding job as hostage rescue for a private security company. While it works well professionally, Ayden’s personal life is suffering. While he and Angus have grown close, Ayden’s need to help the helpless in place of spending time with Angus seems to cause arguments between the couple more often than not. For a reason Angus hasn’t given, he shies away from any physical contact with Ayden beyond kissing and some touching. Ayden can’t help but think that Angus is pushing him away, but he can’t figure out why.
Angus is a man of thought – analyzing every little thing before acting. His past has proved that thinking things through will keep him safe. For Angus, danger hides in acting before thinking. A horrible encounter over a decade ago at his high school prom changed his life. Although he wants to have a physical relationship with Ayden, he’s not sure that it will ever be possible with his past haunting him at every turn.
When Ayden is sent on a dangerous mission that almost costs his life, he realizes what is truly important to him. Determined to open the lines of communication with Angus, Ayden searches for a meaningful gift to take back to his boyfriend. In his search, Ayden happens upon an old lady who gifts him with a rare locked amethyst book with a promise that it will be the perfect gift for Ayden’s special someone. Given specific, riddle-like instructions to accompany the reading of the book, Ayden makes the trek home with the mystery gift in hand.
Finding the mysterious book is only opened with a ring that Angus’ grandmother left him is only the beginning of the odd happenings. A book with a mind of its own, magic amethyst rings, and a new dimension add to the mystery. Accepting each other for their differences, instead of trying to change one another, turns out the key to unlocking not only the mysteries surrounding the rings but also unlocking the love and happiness for Angus and Ayden. When Angus’s past comes back to haunt him, he finds that trusting Ayden with his secrets and his heart may be the only way to truly be safe.
Amethysts of Wisdom is the second installment of Serena Yates’ Gemstone Chronicles – a collection of love stories spanning multiple sub-genres of romance. The only thing the books have in common so far is the Collector and his world. Whereas each individual book does not have a connecting storyline, to understand the reason behind each story and to follow the collector and his story, I recommend reading them in chronological order.
This is a wonderful love story highlighting that differences in a relationship, when accepted, can strengthen that bond. This story combines contemporary, mystery, adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy in a way that was surprisingly not at all confusing or frustrating. There is so much going on in this story, I’m not sure where to start.
I adored the main characters – especially Angus. Angus survived a rape twelve years ago without any going to the police and without therapy. He had the love and support of his grandmother to help him through it, but she was his only support at the time. He has lived the best way he knew how. His past has ruled his life and only with the addition of Ayden does Angus feel the need to move beyond trying to protect himself, and instead placing his trust in someone else’s hands. Angus is not dependent on Ayden, but Ayden’s support makes Angus stronger, braver. He is his own man improved by the love he receives from Ayden.
Ayden has lived his life only having to worry about himself. As a man of action, he’s never had a reason to consider another person’s feelings until Angus. He is headstrong and confident. I liked that he was such a strong, hulk of a man, yet gentle and caring. He could fight off a team of kidnappers then turn around and comfort a little girl or open himself up emotionally to the man who is holding back on him. He wasn’t so headstrong that was unwilling to change or compromise. Ayden not only accepted the differences he had with Angus, but he learned from them, as well.
The story is exciting with several unexpected twists and turns, mystery and adventure, and new worlds and beings. There is not only the world that Ayden and Angus live in, but the author also created three other worlds – the world of Amethysia and the glowing clouds of energy beings known as Amethysians; the world created inside the Book of Wisdom with a living table of contents; and, of course, the Void Outside Space and Time is again expanded and added to. All of which are beautifully detailed and wonderful to imagine.
Along with the story of Ayden and Angus, Yates continues the story of the Collector who is now on a journey of trying to understand his identity. It seems that the time in the Void for the Collector is turning out to be a time of self-discovery, a time to figure out what his previous life was missing and maybe, eventually to correct it. I have hope for the Collector and a possible love interest sometime in the future of this series. I enjoy his story line within each of the books so far.
My only problem with this story lies within the issue of Angus’ rape. The first several times in the story it was described in a way that the word “rape” was never used, though it was obvious that it was what happened, and it was made to sound as more a mistake that Angus made than an attack. Even when it is described to Ayden, I felt that the emotional response from both characters was more accepting than angry until the antagonist enters the story. And when Angus has the chance to confront his rapist, the subject of the rape never comes up and the issue was never resolved. That was somewhat disappointing to me.
Overall, I have enjoyed the Gemstone Chronicles thus far. I really like that it is a series of variation. Amethysts of Wisdom is a sweet love story that I truly enjoyed. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series in the future.