Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson

Lord of the Last Heartbeat

by May Peterson.

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Stop me. Please.

Three words scrawled in bloodred wine. A note furtively passed into the hand of a handsome stranger. Only death can free Mio from his mother’s political schemes. He’s put his trust in the enigmatic Rhodry—an immortal moon soul with the power of the bear spirit—to put an end to it all.

But Rhodry cannot bring himself to kill Mio, whose spellbinding voice has the power to expose secrets from the darkest recesses of the heart and mind. Nor can he deny his attraction to the fair young sorcerer. So he spirits Mio away to his home, the only place he can keep him safe—if the curse that besieges the estate doesn’t destroy them both first.

In a world teeming with mages, ghosts and dark secrets, love blooms between the unlikely pair. But if they are to be strong enough to overcome the evil that draws ever nearer, Mio and Rhodry must first accept a happiness neither ever expected to find.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 2 September, 2019.

Length: 351 pages.

Series: The Sacred Dark #1.

Genre: Fantasy. Romance. QUILTBAG.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.

My Thoughts

Lord of the Last Heartbeat is a detailed fantasy story focused around Mio, a sorcerer whose power lies in his voice. When pushed to his limits by his power hungry mother, Mio escapes to the first place they would look, but the one he would be safest – the house of Rhodry, a cursed Moon Soul.

Focusing on Mio and Rhodry the story follows of the pair as they fight their attraction to each other and the mysterious force at work within the house. Expect twists and turns as the intricately weaved love story of Lord of the Last Heartbeat takes you on a journey filled with mystery and magic.

The novel jumps right into things with an exchange between Mio and Rhodry that had me intrigued and wanting to find out more about these two mysterious figures. As the story continues I began to understand more about this world filled with ghosts and curses.

Chapter by chapter the larger mystery was chipped away as Mio and readers come to truly understand the nature of the curse surrounding Rhodry. I really enjoyed Lord of the Last Heartbeat as not only was I emotionally invested in Mio and Rhodry but I was kept guessing until the very end.

Outside of this intricate plot, Lord of the Last Heartbeat is filled with interesting characters that played upon my heart. While painted in a tough light, Mio’s mother none the less played on my emotions, eliciting conflicting feelings about taking control of a world set against her, to that of her love for her children. Maybe conflicting is too soft of a word because the ending had me wanting to know more about this character and the repercussions of their actions.

The full cast of the novel were all varied and unique and I am very interested to see where the second book in the series goes. I am hopeful Mio’s brother, Tibario (or Ginger Snap as he is also known 😋) makes another appearance as I quickly fell in love with this nuanced character.

Without spoiling anything, what I really loved about Lord of the Last Heartbeat were the gender and sexuality discussions by and about Mio. It was really refreshing reading such an honest and real discussion about a characters genderqueer feelings. In light of all of this, I cannot wait to read more of May Peterson’s series and find out more about this world!


I really enjoyed  Lord of the Last Heartbeat and found Peterson’s writing style to be engaging and interesting. The main draw card of this book was not only the amazing story but the characters. I found myself really invested in each of the characters and can’t want to return to this series.

I would recommend this for anyone who is a fan of the fantasy romance genre because it is an amazing example of excellent and unique world-building.

I would also recommend Lord of the Last Heartbeat for anyone looking for a intricate and detailed QUILTBAG fantasy novel. Or anyone wishing to read a romance featuring a genuine and positive representation of a genderqueer character.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you think I’m used the wrong language in regards to Mio, I was going to use non-binary but felt genderqueer was a more personal. I don’t identify as non-binary though and mean no offence, so please feel free to leave a comment.

Please note: I received a copy of Lord of the Last Heartbeat from NetGalley.

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