One thing that I don't think served any of the relationships in Lover Enshrined was the time lag between it and LU. I'm not sure why there had to be a gap of months between the books. Personally as a reader it meant that Phury's relationship with Cormia somehow remained in limbo even though it feels like it essentially picked up directly from the end of LU. And the attitudes of the Brothers to Phury feel overly harsh because we can't appreciate his decline. So time has moved on (quite a way) between the two books, but the action feels static. (Hope that makes sense.)
He was never one of my favourite Brothers, was always a pale reflection of Z - up until the moment he carved into his face and cut off his hair at the end of Lover Awakened. Considering this is his book, he's perhaps not best served by it. But the style of the series is changing and given his circumstances I'm not sure it could have gone down any other way.
Phury has an addictive personality which when focused postively allows him to achieve the impossible - finding his twin after Zsadist was lost for a century. But this also leaves him vulnerable when he loses that focus. This is one reason why he's actually an excellent choice for Primale. It's a responsibility that he will be more than able to cope with - now he's worked out a way to make it acceptable.
At the beginning of the book what Phury needs is another Phury, or maybe even a Darius figure. (Remember at the end of Lover Awakened it was JM who stopped him taking the heroin the first time). Instead Rhage, Butch and Vishous are notable only by their absence. Wrath doesn't seem to know how to handle the situation and Zsadist is far too messed up - if he tries to save Phury he risks being pulled under himself and he's got Bella and the baby to worry about. Essentially it appears that they wash their hands of him.
I would rank Cormia as equal to Bella in this series, only behind Beth and Mary. She sees through Phury.
Don't lie," she snapped...She won't let him get away with lying to her. Him or anyone else. When JM slips up and confesses he's mute, she calls him on it.
If Butch and Marissa were an attraction of opposites then Phury and Cormia are soulmates. She could choose not to return to the other side when he takes another First Mate, but like Phury she's got the self-sacrifice and martyr thing down pat.
There is strength in her though, there is backbone, and if she can't admit her feelings to other people she at least has the courage to be honest with herself.
She did not want to be one of many.
Not with the Primale. Not to him.
And not to herself.
Four months is too long for someone who is this self-aware to have been hanging around the mansion not doing anything.
This is what Phury has lost, this is the part of himself he can't or won't face - the ability to look at yourself and not flinch at what you see.
Phury & Cormia
For most of this book when Phury says or does something, he's actually saying or doing something else. ( :) - remember this is my interpretation).
At the beginning of the story he's drawing Cormia, consciously he may be trying to draw Bella, but Cormia is fighting through - that's why he thinks the eyes and the hair are wrong, when in actual fact they're right.
When he talks about the Puccini lovesong he's talking about Cormia - his dream of Bella (his castle in the air) is replaced by hope (Cormia).
Whenever he says I can't do this...I'm a virgin...I've been with a prostitute. What he's really saying is - I'm a drug addict. And it's not until after he confesses his addiction to Cormia that they really make love for the first time. After that confession before he decides to take Cormia as his shellan, if he had chosen the traditional path of the Primale, the only Chosen he would ever have loved would have been Cormia.
The scene where he confesses his addiction to her and tells her he loves her is actually my favourite scene between the two of them, because it's honest, painful and beautiful. That's the moment that made their relationship work for me.