Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

Holy crap. Count me in on being a fangirl over this one.

This book was just everything I love. Romantic tension. Personal stakes that echo real life. The christian tones that felt so familiar to my heart. I love it because there was much in it that resonated on a personal level with me, not just in an “I had a good time” way, thought I did have a good time, but on a bigger applicable scale.

Louise – I say this in my review of Janella Angeles’s Where Dreams Descend (review not published yet because that book is so far from publication) but, it bears repeating. I love seeing a badass female character, but even more I love seeing a real person. Louise acts out of spite and loyalty, but also out of fear and anger. Her actions vary but I never felt like I didn’t understand why. I loved how multifaceted she came across.

Reid – I loved his character like I haven’t loved a male character in a long time. I’m so eager to see where he ends up from where he began. His roots are devout, prudish and focused. In the end he is still all of those things… but different. I want a spoilerific discussion of his character’s arc. I could really analyze it. And his last scene had me just lol-ing.

Coco – BFF goals. I loved this friendship. There is a complexity to her point of view within the world that I really really enjoyed. I like what it brought to the table. I also cannot wait for where book two might head with her.

Ansel – omg. For most of the book I just wanted to reach in and take him by the chin and tell him it was all going to be alright. The story really shows how two people with the same upbringing (Reid v. Ansel) can come to the across the same piece of information and process it completely different.

Hot Takes – Mild Spoilers

I wouldn’t call this enemies to lovers really. It certainly has opposite side tension, but because Reid doesn’t know she is a witch when he is falling for her I sort of… find it less enemies to lovers. I wouldn’t come into this book thinking it’s enemies to lovers. It is more like hidden secrets, rivals or something. But it definitely brings in the angst, so if you enjoy that, then you will enjoy this.

I also… hesitate… sort of, to say this, but I really don’t feel this is YA. Upper YA maybe, but I’d label it new adult for me. I know there are a bunch of feelings on this topic, and I won’t get into the nuance, but my definition is that if they are over 18 and have graphic sex on the page, then it isn’t YA. Again, there is nuance to this conversation. But that is my line and I’m sticking to it for now.

Recommended for SJ Maas fans (can totally tell why she blurbed it) and for Claire Legrand’s Furborn series fans.


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