I have to start with a confession. I probably would have given this book a very different rating. But, being the curious little creature that I am, I was checking out some discussions on this series and I found out that there's a short story called The Alpha Alternative: JZB Sex Scene. Because I'm me, I had to check it out. And I did. While I wasn't very impressed by it (I wanted the dirty details, what can I say? *shrugs*) it helped me see Barrons in a very different light. So, even though we get the events from Mac's POV, I know that there's always something else behind Barron's behavior (usually his tendencies to act like a jackass). So yes, he's not as bad as he seems or like he wants Mac to believe. He's still a mystery to me, but he's not so... insufferable as before.Mac is as sarcastic as ever and I like that about her. Sarcasm is always good in a character. And I like that she's still scared of the world, even though she knows what's out there. But there's something else I see in her. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. She seems a little... naive at times. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's the feeling I get. But yes, I do like her all in all.Besides that, I liked that there's more mystery surrounding the world. I liked that there's also more darkness and more tendencies towards horror than in other paranormal books. It's one of the reasons why I like the series. Oh, I still don't know what to make of some of the things that happened, and V'Lane still gets on my very last nerve, but the horror, the frightening feeling some of the scenes have are what keep making me want to go on with the series. Speaking of V'Lane, I know a lot of you like him and I've had people telling me to be patient, that eventually I'll get to liking him. I'm still waiting for that to happen. Honestly, I have yet to see something "likeable" in him. Maybe his "death-by-sex fae" status is what makes my expectations so high? I don't know, but I have yet to like him. He actually made me want to smack him in one scene in this book.If you asked me if you should read this short scene before going on with the series, I'd say I have no idea. I know it changed my perspective. It depends on how you saw the first book and how you want to go on seeing the characters. I don't have an honest answer, but I do know that my view of Barrons is a lot changed. And I know that I will keep reading the book.