Locke and Sabetha get a lot of practice at being star-crossed lovers this week. In Espara, Baron Boulidazi unwittingly comes between his ‘noble cousins’ at every opportunity. In Karthain, Patience would rather the would-be lovers kept their mind solely on the Five-Year Game. Will the pair ever find a time and a place to put aside their tempers and pursue their passion?

I’ve done a reasonable job of staying on top of my NetGalley eARCs, but I have quite a haul direct from authors and publishers that are prickling my conscience. And that look amazing. So hooray for ARC August, the perfect time to get on top of them. My goal is to read 4, because I’ve got other commitments too (not to mention a lot on at work!) with a stretch goal of 6.

Aboard a ship with an excellent chef and some well-made manacles, Locke and Jean must figure out a way to get back to Karthain. Some years earlier, the Gentleman Bastards get their first taste of false-facing as nobility when they discover their contact Moncraine has been imprisoned. Can Locke and Sabetha find a way to beguile the angry nobleman who holds the key to his freedom?

It’s all go this week – all the simmering plots boil over at once as Cathy persuades Max to hunt down the missing members of the book club; Margritte realises she may not have the stomach to take revenge; and Sam gets the biggest surprise of anyone. Over half way through the third book it seems a little redundant to say this, but: expect spoilers.