*This scene is just a flash but Roman’s control in this moment is such a triumph and such a sharp contrast to the way he’s been feeling and acting this entire novel. In the second book Michael is awestruck by Roman’s power to destroy and here Lathan is awestruck by Roman’s ability to tame the fire inside him. Roman’s sensed that the more he ignites, the harder it gets to control the blaze. Eventually that kind of power means nothing if you can’t control it. But what he doesn’t realize yet is that the more capable he is of controlling his power, the more capable he’ll be of controlling his rage and the destruction it leaves behind. This moment is an important one because it reveals that Roman can be more than just a destructive force. He can be a protector, a shield, a hero.
*According to Bryn’s grandmother lies are necessary between loved ones. To some extent, I agree. I don’t like dishonesty and I think that there are certain preventative measures that can be put in place in order to avoid being dishonest, such as not making stupid mistakes, not making selfish decisions, etc. But I also believe that humans are extremely sensitive and emotional beings and sometimes lies shelter us from unnecessary pain. Unnecessary being the key word. Bryn lies to her mother because she doesn’t want to hurt her and Bryn’s mother lies to her for the same reason. Their intentions are good and in the grand scheme of things sometimes people are better off without knowing the whole god awful truth.
*There was a point towards the end…when my mother stopped letting me go into my father’s hospice room. She didn’t want me to see him deteriorating…dying. She didn’t want my last memory of my father to be of his corpse. Even though I’d already seen so many awful things she’d saved me from something even worse and I’m grateful. When I was writing the scene where Roman finds Bryn’s grandmother the original draft shared the entire experience with the reader. We followed him into the yard, we found her body, we saw the death. But no matter how much I re-worked that scene I couldn’t get it to feel the way it actually feels to find something so awful. So I stopped trying to describe it. I stopped trying to paint this horrible picture of death. And instead I decided to have Roman extend to Bryn the same grace my mother gave me.
*Not only is Roman’s fiery rage becoming harder to control but the more he stokes the flames, the more addictive they become. Writing the scene where he attacks Drew was like writing from the perspective of a heroine addict. He’s past the point of being driven by anger and instead is consumed by this maddening hunger, which makes him even scarier.
*Insert another ticking time bomb. Bryn has always tried to prove to Roman that he’s changed; that he’s good. This scene is one of the most heartbreaking because she’s still fighting even though the rest of us know it’s too late. But when is it too late for Roman to be honest? How long can he hold onto this secret before it destroys them both? Because it’s really only a matter of time before Bryn realizes that the Roman from her dreams and the Roman from her nightmares aren’t all that different.
*I love how the Rogues use a tour of the morgue as a cover story as if that makes them any less creepy.
*Bryn eats a lot of cinnamon rolls and we share in that tradition. When I took leave from school to stay home with my dad while he was sick we used to buy these giant (literally the size of your face) cinnamon rolls from the market and eat them every morning together.