Steadfast marks the third and final book in the Character Bleed series by K. L. Noone and again brings us right back into the action where the second book left off. It goes without saying that one should read this series in order. With a little bit of a firmer grasp on their relationship, Colby and Jason now must fight to bring about a happy ending to the film they are making. Colby wants to get approval from the man who wrote the original book to proceed with changing his ending to one of hope and a reuniting of the main characters. Together, the two lovers seek out the author and get the needed go ahead, but not until after Colby finally spills the beans to Jason about his being a script doctor and the main writer on the film the two are making.
Jason’s initial reaction is one of hurt and anger, which causes Colby to shut down, frightening Jason. I won’t tell you what happens after because it is the main conflict of the novel, but suffice it to say that it is a definite bump in the road for the two of them and their relationship. Between that and a figure from Colby’s past who suddenly rears their head, there are some trying times ahead for the two men. But be assured the happy ever after the film needs is one this novel gets as well. Essentially, this last installment mainly deals with the final days of production and the film’s premiere and puts the icing on the cake, so to speak, in terms of just where Colby and Jason’s relationship is headed.
I do wish that this novel saw the two men more settled in terms of being comfortable with Colby’s past trauma and more able to move beyond the constant “weather checking” to see if Colby is okay to be intimate or even touched by Jason. Of course, we are reminded that they have been together for only a month, so I do understand that things are still actually quite new for both of them when it comes to their relationship. However, building three novels on so little ground gained in terms of easing the constant self-doubt by Colby and inner worrying by Jason can grow a bit tiresome, in my opinion. I wanted them to move beyond their worries and just be, as a couple, and that never really happens until the epilogue. So, once again we get lots of sex with more elements of D/s thrown in and lots of worrying. It became frustrating to see old ground covered once again in this third story.
Those that love this couple and have watched them evolve will, I think, definitely be satisfied with how the author ends this series. For me, the tension that is produced by the two “problems” that arise in the novel are too easily dealt with and too readily dismissed, making them fairly inconsequential. Also, we never really get a full accounting of exactly what was done to Colby in the past—only shadowy hints at the past abuse. Still, with the final novel, the series ties up nicely and I am glad I saw it out to the end.