Tag Archives: Fae

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Book Review: The World Behind series (#1-3), by W.R. Gingell

I purchased e-copies of W.R. Gingell‘s The World Behind series. Well, I preordered the 3 that are currently available to order—A Whisker Behind, Behind Closed Doors, and Wet Behind the Ears. (Goodreads says there will be 5 in the end.) However, I somehow forgot that the third one wasn’t out yet when I started reading book one (and then two). So, I held off posting this until I could review all three together.

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Searching for redemption in the shifting realm between the human and fae worlds, not-so-reformed fae steward Athelas seems likely instead to find death, dismemberment, and deadly magic…

Exiled, excommunicated, and with a bounty on his head, Athelas is lying low in Seoul for exactly one reason: he has a wedding to attend. Whether or not he’s welcome is another matter.

Luckily for Athelas, several bodies have turned up with their soft insides gnawed out, whether by magic or Behindkind—and the latest of those bodies is at the very wedding hall he has been staking out. The Behindkind investigators suspect one of Athelas’ housemates: YeoWoo, a gumiho with a thirst for revenge and an even greater appetite for soft underbelly than Athelas. To buy herself time, YeoWoo barters alibis with the suspiciously quiet fae sharing her house, but to remain free, she must find the real murderer.

By joining the investigation, Athelas has exactly the chance he needs to prove that he is now a repentant, changed, and selfless fae, bent on atoning for former deeds…no matter how many Behindkind and humans he has to cut through to confirm that impression.

my review

You know, I didn’t think Gingell could top The City Between series with a spin-off, and I don’t know if I’d say this tops it. But man, is it right up there with it! I love what I have read so far, which is the first three books (all that are currently available).

The series does start out kind of slow and takes a little while to truly get invested in, even knowing and loving one of the main characters. But once it happens, there is a lot to love here. For me, the best part is the gruff, prickliness of both Athelas and YeoWoo that hides an absolute gooey center that both would deny until their dying breath…probably with their dying breath, actually. I ADORED them both! And seeing each paired with people who see right through them is a joy.

I do think there are a few phrases used too frequently (fancy and my dear come to mind). Though the humor and language are great, sometimes I wasn’t wholly sure what was happening. For example, a character would think, “Oh, I see,” and then the narrative would move on. But I was left going, “Wait, what do you see? I don’t see.”

Lastly, I very much enjoyed the glimpses of previous characters but was admittedly frustrated that those glimpses are all we get. All in all, I can’t wait for more. I admit, I originally thought it was going to be a trilogy. (I don’t know where I got that idea.) So, I’m both disappointed not to have reached a climactic conclusion and thrilled that I’ll get more time with these characters in the future. I have pre-ordered book four, Behind the Curtain.

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Book Review: Blade & Thistle, by Jacinda Hale

I accepted a review copy of Jacinda Hale‘s Blade & Thistle from Enticing Journey Book Promotions. The book was also over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there, where the author provided a playlist, score, and book trailer.

Her father’s army came to conquer their homeland, but the barbarians of the Harrows will be the ones to conquer her.

Vasenia has hated her life in Eretamia ever since her father, Imperator Supreme of the Sadoran Army, forced her to join him on his military campaign. The cold, gloomy, backwater colony provides none of the high society of the capital. When her betrothed retrieves her for their wedding in the imperial city, Vasenia assumes the gods have finally shined their favor upon her.

Until her caravan is attacked along the forbidden, northern border and Vasenia finds herself in a hell far worse than Eretamia at the mercy of three ruthless warriors. No, not warriors–Harrow demons.

Barbarians. Savages. Harrow demons. Warriors Marek, Gaeb, and Ryfin know their people, the half-fae Itheni, are known by many names. Few who live south of the magical border that protects their home understand the Itheni, least of all the Sadoran invaders.

But when the three warriors rescue a Sadoran woman on their trek home, they discover she’s more than just another invader. She’s half-fae too, a descendent of the lost women whose connection to their people was severed by a curse a thousand years ago.

When an ancient bond links her to them, Marek, Gaeb, and Ryfin realize they have no choice; they must bring their enemy home. But if they want to keep her, they’ll have to claim her and reconnect her to the fae by the only means they have: pleasure.

my review

I liked this quite a lot, but I didn’t love it. I think I might have loved what it could have been if it wasn’t Porn With Plot. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Porn With Plot. I read a lot of it. I picked this up knowing that’s what it is. But in this case, Blade & Thistle has quite an interesting world and mythology sketched out, and by the end, when I had honestly gotten bored with all the sex, I found myself disappointed not to get more of it.

And really, that same sort of complaint paints several aspects of the book for me. I liked the characters a lot (most of them, anyhow). But all we really know of most of them is their caricature and what they are like in bed. I liked that Vasenia is self-sufficient and scheming. But eventually, it started to feel redundant all the times she reminded herself she was only doing what she was doing for the intel.

This is the first book of a series, so there’s a chance that some of the development I wanted will come in time. But the lack here did leave me wanting.

Now I want to have a little semantic rant. Let’s talk words. The writing here is lovely. I enjoyed it. But I want to complain about the word cunt. And before you imagine I’m clutching my pearls, let me assure you that’s not my complaint. I’ll admit it’s not my favorite, but it has its place in erotica. However, it is usually used in gritty scenarios to confer a certain admirable filth to a sex thistle and blade photoscene. But here, the Itheni consider sex and orgasm sacred acts of joining their goddess. So, the edginess of cunt felt horridly out of place in context. If it had been once or twice, I wouldn’t give a paragraph of a review to it, but it was frequent and pulled me out of every scene.

All in all, despite these complaints, I liked almost everything else about the book. I liked the openness of the Itheni. I liked the world. I’m invested in what happens next. So, I’ll be on the lookout for the next book.

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Book Review: Wilde City, by Evie Marceau

I won a copy of Evie Marceau‘s Wilde City…on Instagram, I think.

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One job application turns into me falling for my wickedly hot *fae* boss…

When Willow answers a mysterious nanny ad, she’s shocked to learn the employer is the handsome and reclusive billionaire Severn Wilde—and even more surprised when he reveals himself to be a fae prince in disguise.

Willow never dreamed that the fae bedtime stories her mother told her as a child were real. Now, Severn grants Willow the fae sight, allowing her to see the hidden magical world of the Gifted Ones. But as wondrous as his realm is, rival fae courts, witches, and shifters make it fiercely dangerous. Willow and the children she’s been hired to care for are targeted by Severn’s Los Angeles-based rivals and their merciless leader, who will stop at nothing to strike Severn where it hurts most—those closest to him.

Swept up in a dangerous new world, Willow discovers that the greatest risk of all might be falling for her arrogant, cold, achingly handsome employer—the one person she can’t have.

Review (with spoilers)

I’m not going to go so far as to say this book is bad. The writing is perfectly fine. But I will say there’s absolutely nothing new or interesting here.

Young, innocent virgin is hired by hundreds-of-years-old, powerful paranormal. By virtue of (literally) nothing more than her ability to say no to him when no one else in his life can, he becomes enamored with her. And, despite never previously choosing love or a relationship, he does so for her. (Because she’s special.) Based on seemingly nothing but his beauty and toxicity, she falls in love with the walking red flag. She is then kidnapped by his enemy, who she also Wilde City coverfeels drawn to for reasons. There the book ends.

See, there’s nothing new, which makes it predictable. And since it was originally written for Vella, it is full of filler and thus far longer than need be, on top of it.

The interests of a reader who hasn’t read as widely in the genre might have been held more than mine. But I was just kind of bored by it. So, I’m calling this a ‘Meh.’

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