Tag Archives: Fae

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Book Review: No Man Left Behind, by W.R. Gingell

I pre-ordered a copy of W.R. Gingell‘s No Man Left Behind. Reviews for the previous books in the series can be found here and here.
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Revenge. Restoration. Romance. A few deadly wishes.

The Glass Elder wants wishes. Three, to be exact. Athelas wants a way in, and those wishes may well be that way—but giving the Elder what he wants means putting Camellia in harm’s way. It also means that YeoWoo will have to choose between trusting Athelas one last time, and taking a bite at suddenly hot revenge that could swiftly go cold if she misses her chance.

Now that revenge is within reach of her teeth, will YeoWoo manage to tear out one last, bloody heart? Can Athelas put aside his own ends for long enough to protect all those dearest to him from threats outside—and from himself?

Can a family that began in blood survive one too many wishes and a far-too-wily Elder, or will the world as they know it fall apart into the chaos of wishes-gone-wrong?

my review

This was a full, fabulous five stars. The whole series is a redemption arc, picking up from the end of The City Between series’ ending. You see it coming and anticipate it. But getting to see it all finally coming together with everyone who needs closure, revenge, forgiveness, or acceptance receiving it is wonderful. The character growth! The found family! The banter! All of it, *Chef’s Kiss* I will legitimately miss these characters now that the series is over. Gingell has quickly become a favorite auto-buy author. I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Fighting Destiny, by Amelia Hutchins

I picked up a freebie copy of Amelia HutchinsFighting Destiny way back in 2015. Since then, it has come to my attention several times, either in an ad or just scrolling my TBR, etc. I finally just decided to give it a read.

fighting destiny cover

Have you ever heard of the old Celtic legends of the Fae – beautiful, magical, deadly and a love of messing with humans just for kicks and giggles?
Welcome to my world.

What started out as a strange assignment, leads to one of the most gruesome murder mysteries of our times and my friends and I are set and determined to find out who is killing off Fae and Witches alike.

Couple of problems in the way – I hate the Fae and the Prince of the Dark Fae is bound and determined that I work for him. He’s a rude, overbearing egotistical ass with a compulsive need to possess, dominate and control me. Oh – did I mention that he is absolutely sex-on-a-stick gorgeous and he makes me feel things that I never ever wanted to feel for a Fae…every time he touches me or looks at me with those golden eyes seems to pull me further in under his spell, despite my better judgment.

My friends and I can’t trust anyone and nothing is as it seems on the surface – not even me.

my review

Meh. The writing here was fine. But I simply did not like the book. Mostly, I did not like the love interest. Yes, I understand the idea of dark romance and enemies to lovers, etc. Here’s the thing, though: even in dark enemies-to-lovers romances, the reader needs to feel that no matter how dark and dangerous the male lead may be, the heroine is ultimately safe from him. I never got that sense here. Plus, there has to come a point in the book in which the male lead goes from enemy to lover and redeems his previous actions. I never reached that point in this book. They went from not having sex to having sex, but not to lovers. Even at 85%, he was still doing things I could not forgive him for. And at 99%, the author was still submitting the heroine to things I could not forgive her (the author) for.

What’s more, the whole book skimms over the fact that the fae are rapists—all of them. The author plays loose and fast with this fact, but it’s an unavoidable truth of the species as written. And, given the coercive contract and fae ability to subsume someone’s free will, I never felt the heroine had the autonomy to choose to engage in most of the acts she did. I understand dub-con and non-con stories. I do. I even enjoy them on occasion. But it’s a difficult sell, and a book that doesn’t manage to walk the thin line of a hero who is willing to engage in non-con acts while still being redeemable compromises itself fully. This was exacerbated by how willing he was to threaten the use of further rape (while pretending it’s something else) but to do so when it is literally her greatest fear in life, based on extreme past trauma.

fighting destiny photoSure, I’m interested in the mysteries. But I’m not willing to read another however many pages of story in which the author ignores that the very characters we’re supposed to engage with are remorseless (and probably frequent) rapists. Let me be clear before someone comes at me with, ‘Don’t read dark romance then’ or some such. It’s the fact that the author is writing certain world and character traits while simultaneously pretending she isn’t and expecting the reader to do the same that is at issue, not the dark elements themselves. I will not be continuing the series.

Other Reviews:

Vicarious Book Reviews: Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins

Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins – Book and Audio Review

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Book Review: Behind the Curtain, by W.R. Gingell

I pre-ordered a copy of W.R. Gingell‘s Behind the Curtain. The drop day snuck up on me, though. So, it felt like a perfect surprise when I noticed it. I read the first three books in the series earlier this year. You can find the reviews here.

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The world Between is full of dangers, shadows, and reflections. Athelas knows the dangers, is one with the shadows—and has finally encountered a reflection could be just a bit too much like himself for comfort.

The house master has come back. Nobody will quite say who he is, or why he owns the house. And to Athelas’ growing irritation, no one will talk about the oddly powerful influence the house master seems to have over Camellia.

YeoWoo knows exactly who and what the house master is—and she knows exactly how much danger Camellia is in. The question she can’t quite seem to answer is: How much safer is it to put Camellia into Athelas’ power than it is to leave her in the house master’s power?

There are nightmares skulking in the corners. Pieces of curse lingering beneath the couch. And soon Camellia will have to make a choice between two evils.

To add insult to injury, the teapot has gone missing…

my review

Last year, The City Between took me by storm, and I binged the whole 10-book series. This year, I’ve been inching my way through the follow-up series, one book at a time, as they become available. It’s torture. But I’ve loved watching Athelas, YeoWoo, Camellia, Harrow, and the crew become a family. Gingell has a way with soft, subtle reveals, and I am here for it.

I’ll admit that there have been times that I wasn’t entirely sure what the subtlety of language was hinting at, or a character would say something along the lines of “I see…” but I do not, in fact, see. These are rare moments, though, and hugely overshadowed by how much I love every one of these characters, especially now that Harrow speaks (and, oh, the things he observes).

I cannot wait for March and the next book. But for a binger like myself, this read, wait, repeat is hell.behind the curtain photo

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