Note: This book deals with themes of pregnancy loss that are also discussed in the review. Please be aware if this is a sensitive topic for you.
When Sebastian Drake meets Peregrine, a half-starved and disregarded omega in the cloister, he knows the man is meant to be his. Sebastian’s family’s disapproval and the fact that Perry is considered a Disgrace do nothing to stop Sebastian’s need for him. Sebastian knows that he and Perry are meant to be together, and even if Perry never turns out to be his official mate, there is no one else Sebastian could ever want. For his part, Perry is swept away by Sebastian, finding the incredible gentle side of a man who seems big and imposing to everyone else. The men fall hard and fast for one another and their lives seem headed for nothing but bliss.
Five hundred years later, Perry and Sebastian are still madly in love and perfectly matched. The only thing that has marred their idyllic lives together is that Perry has struggled with losing multiple pregnancies. Though he has birthed two clutches, there have been many more that have been lost. When Perry finds himself pregnant again, this time with a dragonet (or dragon in human form), he can’t help but be fearful that this time will be like all the others. It doesn’t help that trouble is brewing in the form of an omega from their past, one who hurt Perry long ago and seems to be set on tormenting the Drakes once again. But Perry has Sebastian by his side, as well as a loving extended family determined to see him safe and healthy. With Sebastian’s love and support, Perry knows he will find his way through it all.
Peregrine is the fourth spin-off in the Forbidden Desires series after the original trilogy. While the spin-offs tend to be a little more distinct from the plot of the main series, there is definitely an over-arching thread here with the threats against the Drakes, not to mention that Perry and Sebastian have been prominent side characters all along, so you really want to be familiar with the basics before jumping into the one. I have loved Perry since the beginning and adore his pairing with Sebastian. I am a big fan of the “grumpy one is soft for the sunshiney one” theme, and this story really highlights that dynamic. So I was thrilled to see the authors were giving us a story for this couple, particularly since it includes their backstory.
The book takes place in two time periods: back in 1508 when the men first men, and then in the present day. We get POV chapters from both men in both time periods, and the story jumps back and forth between them. I found this worked really well as it gives us a lot of insight into these men as a couple and how they first came together. The authors do a really nice job blending the two storylines, bringing together connections and themes across both time periods to tie things together well. We learn bits and pieces of things in one time period that then play into what is happening in the other, and it is all done really well. We have always seen Sebastian as the hulking, kind of scary Drake brother and he intimidates just about everyone, but from the first moment he meets Perry, Sebastian is sweet and adoring. The two make a lovely couple, complementing one another and bringing out the best in each other. Perry softens Sebastian’s rougher edges, and Sebastian cherishes Perry and encourages his strength and independence. They are so clearly meant for one another and from the moment they meet, things are electric between them. This book has a bit higher heat than some of the others and I really loved the dynamic between the men.
The story deals with two main conflicts. The first, and most prominent, is the toll losing multiple pregnancies takes on both men. The issue comes up in both time periods and is handled very carefully, but also fairly explicitly. I am fortunate enough to not have first-hand experience in this area, but I felt like the authors handled the issue with sensitivity and really captured a lot of the emotions here for both characters. We see their fear, their sorrow, their attempts at holding out hope for the future, and the way they turn to each other for support. As I noted above, those with sensitivity surrounding pregnancy loss should use caution here, as the topic is explored as a main focus of the story. But I do think it is really nicely done and showcases both the struggles a couple can face, as well as the intense love these men have between them.
The second conflict surrounds an omega called Raven, who causes trouble in both time periods. This character has flitted in and out of various stories over the series and it is clear things are coming into focus (particularly as his book with Bertram Drake is coming next). I am enjoying this thread and seeing how it all connects and comes together and it adds some excitement to this story as well. It is clear that Bertram is trying to stop Raven, but is also very protective over him, which complicates things as Raven threatens the Drake family. I did find things to feel a bit muddled at times, as we get bits and pieces of information, but no clear picture of what is happening yet. And the brothers all seem to go off to do some mysterious “work” for the Council that seems related to this issue, but is never really spelled out. I am guessing the authors are keeping things vague as the answers will play out in the next book, but it did leave me feeling a little confused about this part of the storyline here.
That said, I just adored this book and think it is tied for my favorite up there with Mate. I loved Perry and Sebastian together so much, and this book is unbelievably sweet and sexy at the same time. Watching these men just so intensely in love is wonderful and the authors get just the right balance of some darker edges to really make the love and the light between them shine through.