Okay, I need to explain something first. Bear with me.
I LOVE reunited lovers story – most especially when the lovers are not parting amicably and there's still anger, hurt, and pain but they still love each other. Then when the ex-lovers meet, the feelings are still there and there's strong tension ... oh, for me that is just so delicious.
Now, when it comes to reunited story, Adrien/Jake from Adrien English series is the best and my most favorite. Especially in book 4 (Death of a Pirate King) when the pain was still raw before they found their way back to love. That particular book has every single thing I want in a reunited story trope, which is why they're my TOP reunited couple. I can read that book over and over again; and this come from someone who doesn’t exactly re-read books! Every single reunited couple I will compare with them. So far, nothing even comes close to the vicinity of Adrien and Jake.
Until Jackdaw .
Yes, this story is a strong competition for Adrien English. Because it had EVERYTHING I ever wanted from a reunited story as well. The story was taken from Ben Spenser's perspective. Here was a man, whose life was completely ruined by his lover, Jonah Pastern, when Jonah ran away after the police found out that Jonah was a thief. Not only professionally but also personally. Ben was jailed. He suffered from the thing police officers suffered when they entered gallows. His colleagues shunned him. His family as well. Ben had every right for revenge!
And that what happened in the beginning – we had the raw, revenge sex when the ex-lovers met again (it was hot, slightly almost like dub-con, but with OH ALL. THE. GLORIOUS. FEELINGS!). However, Ben realized he still loved Jonah, and everything after that was SO F*CKING delicious for me to read.
See, it was all about the *feel* and everything was so sharp and vivid and OMG so gripping. I already have K.J. Charles firmly sit in a position of being one of my favorite MM authors and she just makes me come undone with this story. I'm feeling all of the Ben and Jonah’s turbulent relationship even now, months after I finish it (I first read this few months ago).
What I also loved from Jackdaw was that it was basically a classic story of redemption. We found out more about Jonah and why he did what he did, why he betrayed Ben that way. Jonah and Ben are the kind of couple that are so right for each other, despite the hurt and betrayal. They totally make the other person's better. For Jonah, he finds reasons to stay on the ground; Ben is his home. And for Ben, his feeling for Jonah shapes him to be someone more well-rounded, who sees things beyond the surface. Jonah is Ben’s source of heartbreak --- but he is also the love of Ben’s life. The one scene where Jonah and Ben finally acknowledge their feeling with words just choked me up – and yes, I had tears *damn it*
As always, K.J. Charles also wrote riveting action sequence – if you are familiar with her works in A Charm of Magpie series that is – one in particular was quite movie worthy that I was dying to see in a big screen. I could just picture it in my mind’s eye. It would be an absolute cinematic experience!
In the end, let me just say this... Adrien and Jake, meet Jonah and Ben. They are currently residing with you on the top position of reunited romance story. Their story will be a beloved reread just like yours are. And I love all four of you so very much!
PS: We have Lucien Crane and Stephen Day as cameos :)