Of witches and their hunters…Serpent & Dove, written by Shelby Mahurin | ARC review

Of witches and their hunters...Serpent & Dove, written by Shelby Mahurin | ARC review
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and dove by Shelby Mahurin

Publication date: September 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 528
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

– My Thoughts –

“Wicked are the ways of women — and especially a witch”

I first read Serpent & Dove as an eARC and I was mesmerized by the way the author combined some of my favourite tropes – enemies to lovers romance, Marriage of Convenience – to create a wonderful fantasy set against the backdrop of 17th century France. 

After I got the physical ARC, I read it again and here are my final thoughts…

In the land of Belterra, witches are burned at the stake and the witch hunters or the Chasseurs along with their leader, the Archbishop are ruthless. Lou, a witch, has left her coven two years ago and is now trying to survive in the city of Cesarine either by lying, stealing or even killing. After remaining undetected for two years, a burglary goes wrong and it sets her past enemies after her. When Lou ends up in a “compromising” position with Captain (of the Chasseurs) Reid, the Archbishop comes up with a solution: go to prison for the rest of her life or marry Reid.

“Conscious of the Chasseurs’ eyes on me, I forced a smirk and bumped my husband’s hip, pretending that it’d all been a show. A laugh. That I’d just been goading him to get a reaction.

That I wasn’t a witch in Mass, standing amongst my enemies and worshipping someone else’s god.

Lou agrees to marry Reid, a witch-hunter, as he can also offer protection from those who are hunting her. Reid, despite his initial scorn towards Lou, agrees to marry her and protect her. 

It was fun seeing the progression of their relationship; their good-natured bickering and Reid slowly welcoming Lou into his life. This slow-burning romance climaxed into an explicit sex scene which made me wonder why it was categorized as YA. The characters act mature enough and the themes justify this book to be placed under NA rather than YA.

There wasn’t much world-building to speak of and this is what I missed during my first read. Sure, the writing is magical and so is the romance; there are well-placed plot twists and lots of well-timed action that made this book very addictive. However, it could have been more magical if there was good world-building at play. The magical system was very unique; some witches used blood while others offered some sort of sacrifice in exchange for using magic. Since this is the first book in a series, I have high hopes that the world is going to expand and we’re going to get a deeper look into the world of Lou and Reid.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you love enemies to lovers, slow-burn and marriage of convenience tropes; fantasy about witches set in 17th century France, smartass and badass female characters, amazing female friendships, morally grey characters, an intricate magical system, and engaging writing.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

Shelby Mahurin

Shelby Mahurin grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn’t fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Twitter feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral toddlers, two dogs, and one cat. 

Shelby’s favorite books include A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and, of course, Harry Potter.

Her debut novel, SERPENT & DOVE, will release from Harper Teen in Fall 2019, with a sequel to come the following year. She is represented by Sarah Landis of Sterling Lord Literistic.

For more about Shelby, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Serpent & Dove? Is it on your wish-list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Five Marriage of Convenience books you’ll love

Hey everyone! Today’s India’s Independence Day and on that note of freedom, I’m presenting you a list of books with one of my favourite romance tropes, Marriage of Convenience. If you’re unfamiliar with Marriage of Convenience or are baffled at why I including many readers are addicted to tropes like these, then let me explain.

Marriage of Convenience is marrying someone out of necessity; either one of them is in danger, or in need of money, or need of citizenship..anything goes. Now, does Arranged Marriage equal Marriage of Convenience? Not really, the lines are blurry between the two. Of course, this is not the ideal foundation of a happily married life but sometimes in fiction and even in real life, love develops in mysterious ways. Love ensnares you when you’re missing someone’s smile or their nagging. Without any further ado, let’s scroll down and view what books must be on your radar if you love reading about Marriage of Convenience..

Five Marriage of Convenience books you'll love

Marriage for One

Marriage for One by Ella Maise

I can’t tell you exactly what their “convenience” is but you NEED to read this book!! The hero Jack is super Grumpy Mcgrumperson but he soon develops to Mcdreamy as the book progresses. The romance is slow burning but you’ll love it, I promise. Oh, and guess what the heroine’s name is? It’s Rose.. get it? Jack and Rose..

Serpent and Dove

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and Dove will be out next month and you should absolutely read it!! Here the heroine Lou and the hero Reid (I even love his name) get married because they were caught in a compromising situation. I would say it’s more of an NA historical fantasy rather than YA.

The duchess deal

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Big fan of Tessa Dare’s books! just thought I’d point that out.. Anyway, our hero is war vet Duke of Ashbury or Ash and he needs an heir ASAP. ok, I don’t know why I just laughed So, for the heir business, he needs well, you know..a female “worthy” of a Duke. However, it seems that most of the noble ladies are extremely vain so imagine his surprise when his bride Emma knocks on his door in a wedding dress, no less!!

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Mariana Zapata’s books are like chocolate to me. This book was like one of my favourite milk chocolate. The hero is broody or as I like to say Grumpy McGrumperson but there is of course, a slow burn romance that will melt you but you’ll still love it. Our heroine Vanessa is frustrated at her job and after she quits said job, she finds her boss at her freaking door offering to marry her.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Technically, there was no “marriage” but there was an intent of it. Esme is brought over to the US by Khai, our hero’s mother. She wants Khai to get married and give her grand babies but unfortunately for her and Esme, Khai won’t marry anyone because he doesn’t do love. Diversity rep + unique view of immigration problems + autistic rep + single mother..I could go on and on why you should read this but here’s my full review.

Here are some other recommendations that I think you’ll love:

Thank you for reading this far! Let me know if you’d like me to any other list of recommendations. If you have any other recommendations for this list, then let me know in the comments below!

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