The Bettarinis and Forellis have found rich fulfillment together in medieval Italia. But after fighting off countless enemies, they now must face the worst foe of all. As the Black Death closes in upon them, threatening everything and everyone they hold dear, Lia and Gabi–and the knights they love–must dig deep within to decide how they might remain safe…and if they need to risk it all in order to truly live as they’re called. Quoted from Goodreads
So if the first three books are Gabi's story, the last few (they keep changing it, putting two novella's into one and calling it a book, so last two?) are Lia's. The story's really split into two sections. The first half we get more Bettarini time travelers to save, plus Lia's wedding. It's not until the second half where you hit the plague. The novel itself skips something like three years between the first and second half and could have easily been two novellas. I almost wish it would have been. The first half is happy. We get new locations and characters (they go to Venice!). There's the aforementioned wedding, and a separate adventure that is reminiscent of the first few books.
The second half is completely different. Half of me is glad the author explored the Black Plague. I enjoyed knowing who lived and who died, especially since it's been a point of worry in every preceding book. But part of me hated it. She killed of some people I was really sad to see go, so now I can't un-know exactly who died and who survived. Even the survivors struggle with what's happening, so we get all their depression with watching so many die on top of our own.
At the end of the day, though, if you're a fan of the series, I would absolutely read this book. We get lots of adventure, romance, and all the great characters we've come to love. I loved the new obstacles, villains, and locations. We get alternating POV between Gabi and Lia, which means more Marcello and Luca, which is always a plus.
Besides how sad part of the book is (and really, you can't complain, since you know what this is going into it), my only complaint is the epilogue. It's told from Gabi and Lia's kids POV, without any reference to their parents at all. Sure, it's great to know that their kids grew up in relative peace and are close to each other and brave and strong, but I wanted to see more of the characters I loved, and we didn't get any. Even if Lisa T. Bergren wanted to keep it from the kid's POV (which I'm fine with) I at least wanted them to see their parents, sort of let us know what's been happing in the last 15 years or so, but we don't get any of that.
Still, this is a fun, tragic adventure for characters I've grown to love. I'm giving it a high 3.5 stars (and rounding it up to 4 on Goodreads). If you're a fan of the series, you really should read this. Even if you're not, go check out the first book. Despite the horrible "teenage slang" the author throws in there, it's an exciting, breathtaking, romantic read.