Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: starting at about 4pm I’ve had at least 1.75 bottles of wine. Its 11pm. Roomie nights are the best.
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.
Spoiler-free Overview: this is a witch story during what is sort of like the inquisition. The church is out to get witches. Our witch finder Reid, golden boy of the church, stumbles upon Lou, our leading lady and a witch during a botched robbery. One thing leads to another and they end up fake married. Lou is on the run tryna hid under the nose of her enemy. Things, inevitably, go from there.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I keep wondering how a book with some of my favorite tropes ended up being so boring. Fake marriage? Bangin. Witches? The best. Strong female leads? WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO ASK FOR??? And yet… this book is so damn boring. It has like one, maybe two, good moments. And then everything else feels like set up.
Characters: Lou is… fine. At this point I know what I want my women to look and feel like and she feels fake. There’s this bit where Reid gives her his literal favorite book, a romance, and she squeals because it probably has sex in it. That made me lol. But everything else with her just seems so forced. Reid is just as bad. He was written as this cookie cutter character. Oh em gee, all witches are bad, I can’t believe anyone would feel sympathy for them. PLEASE. We allllll knew that would blow up in your face even if we didn’t know Lou was a witch. Also, who the HELL thinks that hiding your magic from your magic-hunting HUSBAND is gonna work? Their banter is the couple’s only redeeming quality. It feels like two people forced to be with each other. It feels like they learn from one another. And it’s absolutely hysterical. BUT THEN we get the villains. They. Fucking. Suck. They’re so predictable. There’s little to know back story in to their motivations and it just seems like they’re bad because their beliefs tell them to be? I mean, I know that’s sort of how the world works right now, but damn did I hate it.
Plot: it’s a whole lotta poorly written angst. Lots of missed eye contact and lingered gazes and GAG ME. Nothing. Actually. happens.
Writing Style: I’ll tell you what. This author knows how to write foreplay. Not many authors do. This one? She does. Other than that, it was a whole lotta boring.
World Building: I feel like I don’t need any more to make the story work, and that’s not what you want readers to feel at the end of book 1 in a series. I might be wrong (I’m not wrong).
What to pair it with: what’s the blandest booze you can think of? The only thing that comes to mind is a spiked seltzer. It literally tastes like nothing.
Rating: 1.5/5 shots
COMMENT DOWN BELOW: What are some of your favorite auto-read tropes? I will always read a fake marriage book.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,