Love is an emotion that is often difficult to understand. While deep and abiding, love doesn’t always dwell with one person. Love of a family member, love of a friend and love of that one special person meant just for you, often get twisted, especially when making choices in youth.
Such is the case for Emma, who in the beginning, Fallen: Book 1 of the After Trilogy, hooks up with a team of ruffians to rescue herself, her daughter and a group of orphans. When she is finally rescued by her husband and returned to her own home, she finds she has lost a piece of her soul, held captive by the man she sought for help.
In Traci L. Slatton’s Cold Light: Book 2 of the After Trilogy, Emma has come to terms with her loss. She loves her husband and her children need her. Yet she knows deep in her heart, the love is different. The yearning continues. Yet life decides to intrude and throw her another obstacle. Her oldest daughter Beth is kidnapped during a raid, and she knows that if she does not go after her, Beth’s life will become a nightmare. Because of her prior experiences and the strange gift she has received from the mists, she is more capable then her husband to mount the charge. Haywood must look after Mandy, she has already been through much and they both understand one of them must stay.
The safe zone were they have made their home is no longer safe. The mists have been coming nearer, and the people are afraid. Emma has a strange feeling about the returning mists; only one person seems to hold the key, and she left him on another continent. Beth is only nine and her main concern now. She must go into the unprotected zone; there is no one else. Can she find her before it is too late? Can the strange sighting of the mists have something to do with her other life and Arthur?
Slatton has given us another stellar example of life after the fall. Emma is brave and bold and attracts people due to both her personality as well as her power. Yet she must be careful; she does not want to be known as a witch. The characters that begin to surround her are gregarious and mysterious. When she runs into her old nemesis and love Arthur, tension only gets stronger. Slatton brings in all the heat and heart that keep you warm, even as danger and darkness descend.
This is a wonderful second part to her series, keeping you looking and hoping for more. There is such difficulty due to her depiction of the main male characters; you root for them both to be the final winner of her love. This is a difficult task, yet she does it with aplomb.
If you enjoy end of the world novels full of adventure and romance, this will be the work for you. The characters are likable and the story holds both romance and loss. Slatton has found the key to lock the two together.