Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
I think it’s important to recognize that there is nothing profoundly heroic about Skye Warren’s heroes. By definition, they are anti-heroes. They are mobsters, hitmen, burlesque club owners, hungry billionaire businessmen, and soldiers of war turned mercenaries. By their definition, they seem unloveable, detached, stark. Yet, Warren’s heroes are heroic in their love and adoration for their heroines. That is what allows them to make more moral choices than before, what challenges them to live better even when their lives are shadowed in darkness, what changes them. It’s their danger, their bravado, their stalwart facade of rejection that draws you to them because you know…you know, that they will fall hard, and while their life choices won’t change, their hearts will. And therein lies the danger of a Skye Warren romance: you find yourself enthralled by the characters you should detest. That is the conundrum and the deliciousness of a story like Silver Lining, the final book of the Diamond Trilogy.
Skye Warren ended this trilogy so well, interrogating Elijah’s sense of self in ways that convey the consequences of early life traumas. Through Elijah’s characterization, we find the lack of vulnerability and the brokenness that comes with abuse. This book, the actions that take place, become an illustration of Elijah’s second “well” moment, for those of you familiar with this series. With his first well moment, Elijah had to make a decision that would be difficult for most to make out of his need for survival. He finds himself again in a similar situation, and against the odds (his first well moment, his relationship with the colonel, and the complications of the aftereffects of that relationship), he must resolve to choose love to fight against thinking that could derail him. I love the complicated construction of Elijah as he adds the grit to Warren’s Silver Lining.
As the heroine, Holly exists to counteract Elijah’s brokenness. In her, Warren crafts a woman who in earlier books was searching for purpose, but she steps fully into her power in Silver Lining. In her want to deliver Elijah from the shackles of his situation, she becomes the true hero of this book. She is decided, applying the same strength she uses in saving her sister to saving Elijah. And there is where they both find freedom.
If I have any criticism of this book, I’d say it’s the additional points of view of Adam and London. While they are crucial in helping to resolve Holly and Elijah’s journey, connecting them directly to the story through chapters from their points of view muddies Holly and Eljah’s story. Personally, I would have preferred a novella for their story separate from this book. Their chapters in Silver Lining simply interrupt the forward motion of the main plot, and they would have been better served as ancillary characters aiding in our hero and heroine in a Holly or Elijah chapter.
When you finish a Skye Warren duet or trilogy, you feel like a survivor. In her romances, you find, end to end, messages about trauma and the healing capacity of love. The Diamond Trilogy is another delicious helping of that message, and each turn of the page in Silver Lining satiates a hunger for the darkness of Warren’s brand of romance. While I’m sad to see the end of the North brothers, I can only hope that there might be a bonus epilogue in the near future, a veritable icing on the cake of this decadent dessert.
In love and romance,