Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin - Book Review

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahrin
Publication date: September 3, 2019
My rating: 4 stars

I shall write this review in the form of a list of the things I liked (and things I didn't like, which is literally only two things, and only my own personal opinion, really, because I LIKED THIS BOOK A LOT).

Things I liked (no spoilers):
I rose and gestured to my small frame. “You really think I could knock two fully grown men unconscious?” My husband’s reply came instantaneously. “Yes.” Under different circumstances, I would’ve been flattered. Now, however, his unwavering faith in my abilities was damnably inconvenient.
  • Lou and Reid's dynamics!Despite the seriousness and craziness of the situation they both found themselves in, their dynamics was just so fun from the start. I couldn’t wait for those two complete opposites to finally fall in love. And when they did it was just... 🧡

“Why are you dressed like a man?” “Have you ever worn a corset?” I spun around to face him, reattaching my mustache with as much dignity as I could muster. “I doubt you’d ask such a question if you had. Trousers are infinitely more freeing.”
  • How Lou is just unapologetically herself. Granted, I was sympathizing with Reid when she was cursing because much like Reid I'm also a prude 😂 but Lou just had such a vibrant personality and she never tried to make herself different for anyone's sake. I loved that about her. And I loved her.

  • Reid. I love Reid too. Aside from a very annoying thing he did, but we'll get to that in the things I didn't like. Aside from that though, I loved Reid! I related to his prudish personality a lot, and I think the author definitely managed to sell me on the whole "serious and stoic" love interest. Who needs a bad boy when you can have a Reid who will honor and protect you forever? 

  • STICKY BUNS 🧡 I am not usually the type to be taunted with foods in books (even though I LOVE food and especially sweets), BUT OMG was I taunted here! I want a sticky bun, the author found my weakness! 

  • At one point during all those revelations at the end, my heart was beating out of my chest and I literally had to put the book aside to compose myself. 

  • Lou and Reid together are just so precious and I want SO MUCH MORE of them in the next book. 

Things I liked (with spoilers):

  • The gang! I just loved our gang at the end, their dynamics was such fun. I'll be so sad if they part ways in the next book because I just love all of them together - Lou, Reid, Ansel, Coco, Madam Labelle, Beau (yep, Beau was a surprise because I didn't think I'll like him but now I really like him!)
  • Madam Labelle being Reid's mother - so cool! I liked that he started caring for her in the end, and I hope to see him come to care for her more. I know they have a long way to go, but I hope they do because it would be so precious. I was so scared at the end there when it looked like she died, and PHEW that she didn't!

  • Reid killing the Archbishop. Okay, so I didn't want the Archbishop to die at the end. Granted, I wanted to punch him in the face repeatedly in the beginning, but after we found out he was Lou's father it was just... O_O . But wow wow wow wow, Reid killing him to save Lou's life SO DARK and also HECK YES at the same time? I don't even know, but I'm just glad Reid is willing to do anything to save Lou. Love it.

  • Which brings us to, Reid is a witch! He wasn't just born to a witch, he can do actual magic!We still don't know how it works - can he really do it all the time? Was it just a one time thing because Lou almost died and so he almost died too? Is it something that awakened in him in those moments of darkness? I personally hope it's something he'll still be able to do in the next book and not just a one time thing!

And my wife—the fucking love of my life—was the daughter of La Dame des Sorcières. The heiress of Chateau le Blanc. The goddamned princess of the witches. 

  • Reid cursing like 3 times at the end of the book 😂 Never thought I would be so delighted by a character cursing, but boy this was good.
Lou glared at him. “I like you, Ansel, but this had better be something good. Emilie and Alexandre just had a moment, and I swear if they don’t kiss soon, I will literally die.”
  • Lou reading that book about those two lovers from warring countries! Loved it! And how it was like a nod to us readers to our own fangirling situation with Reid and Lou. 

Things I didn't like (with spoilers): 

There are only really two things that I had personal issues with.

  • The whole "past love interest" trope. And yeah, I'm talking about Celie and Reid. I mean, it's not that I don't understand what Reid found in her. It makes sense that he would fall in love with someone like Celie, especially since they've known each other since they were children. But it just made the whole "falling in love with Lou" a bit less realistic when he was technically still in love with Celie in the beginning of the book. It is a bit jarring that he could just move from his so called love to Celie and right to Lou. Don't get me wrong, I'M SO HAPPY he fell for Lou, the love of his life, so I'm assuming when he said he loved Celie, he did love her, but he probably wasn't in love with her for some time now. But in general, yeah, I always had trouble with the past love interest trope, when one of the protagonists is still half in love with said past love.

I loved her. Despite everything. Despite the lies, the betrayal, the hurt. Despite the Archbishop and Morgane le Blanc. Despite my own brothers. I don't know if she returned that love, and I didn't care. If she was destined to burn in Hell, I would burn with her.
  • Reid rejecting Lou when he found out she was a witch. Haha... yep, that moment. I nearly threw the book aside when Lou was just about to tell him she's a witch in their room and they were interrupted in a classic interruption scene just when someone is about to reveal something really important 😂 I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but I just knew then and there Reid was going to find out Lou is a witch in the wrong way. And yep, he did. And yep, he BROKE HER HEART. AND I WAS SO MAD. SO MAD I TELL YOU. I understand. I understand Reid was practically brainwashed since he was born. You can't just erase brainwashing of years and year, DOESN'T MEAN I STILL CAN'T BE MAD THOUGH.I am glad, however, that he apologized at the end. That he even cried and blamed himself. At the very least he's repenting about it. So I'm glad. 

In conclusion (with spoilers): 

What will happen now! Our gang is so not our of the woods yet. If anything, they're in even deeper woods. Madam Labelle and Beau are said to go talk to the king, persuade him not to act rashly. As for Lou, Reid, Aansel and Coco, they must seek sanctuary with Coco's aunt, now that they're all fugitives. Everyone would want Lou dead, especially her mother - who is still alive and probably the biggest threat - and everyone saw Reid kill the Archbishop, so he's wanted too. And Ansel, of course, who aided them both. Not to mention Coco, who also aided and is known as a witch. 

How will Reid deal with the PTSD he probably just got from killing the Archbishop, finding out the love of his life his a witch, he's the son of a witch and probably has magic too, and his wife is still threatened by practically everyone?

Now I really want to read Blood & Honey. 

Fun times ahead, people ;) 

Besides—didn’t all men share some sort of unspoken camaraderie? A mutual understanding of their own collective importance? 

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