Review: Gods & Monsters (#3) by Shelby Mahurin

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Evil always seeks a foothold. We must not give it one.
After a heartbreaking loss, Lou, Reid, Beau, and Coco are bent on vengeance more than ever before—and none more so than Lou.
But this is no longer the Lou they thought they knew. No longer the Lou that captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.

Okay, this series has been an absolute rollercoaster. I loved the first book. It was one of my favourite books of 2020 and I fell in love with the characters so much. Blood & Honey though, was a bit of a let down and even though I liked some aspects I did find it a little disappointing.

I feel like Shelby Mahurin did a great job to bring some of the focus back to the relationships. Although there were some aspects of the relationship in Blood & Honey, there was more of a focus on found family, which I did like. My favourite aspect of the first book was the relationship between Lou and Reid, and some clever plot work in Gods & Monsters gave a new perspective on this one which felt like falling in love with the story and the pair over and over again.

Fear was inevitable. We all made our choices, and we all suffered our consequences. We all felt fear.

Although we still had quite an intense plot in this one, it wasn’t all about the action and the plot which made for a nice change. We had some downtime too, and I loved those slow and rambling moments. There was a specific scene in this book which made me very emotional, and it was actually a sex scene. I’ve always liked how Mahurin writes sex scenes as they always feel quite emotional, but there was something about this one that made me tear up. I loved how there was a strong emotional connection between the two as they made love, and it really surprised me how emotional it made me feel.

Although this one one was a little up and down and I didn’t love the entire thing, the second half was much more enjoyable than the first in my opinion, and once I got into the story I really liked it. What I loved about this book was how unpredictable it was, and both Alex and I (who were buddy reading it together) were a little nervous about where the book was going to end up.

The trick was learning to live with that fear, to continue forward in spite of it.

Overall, I did really enjoy this series and I’m so glad I’ve finally finished it! This one fell between Serpent & Dove and Blood & Honey for me, but the series as a whole I liked a lot.

4.5 out of 5 stars


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Review: Blood & Honey (#2) by Shelby Mahurin


Goodreads | Waterstones

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.
To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

I’ve heard a lot of mixed (and frankly bad) reviews for Blood & Honey, and I was a little hesitant going into this one. Serpent & Dove was my second-favourite book of 2020, and re-reading it recently reminded me of just how much I loved the opening of this series.. However, Blood & Honey is a little different.

I can see why people dislike this book, because it is just very different from the first one. I think expecting less from this one because of other people’s reviews definitely helped, as I went into this not knowing what to expect from it. Whereas the first book focuses a lot more on the developing relationship between Lou and Reid, this one moves away more towards the action focused subplot of book 1.

What you are now is not what you’ve always been, nor is it what you always will be.

From the very start, this book was action scene after action scene. It never let up and became darker and more rushed. Each scene felt unpredictable and stressful and I never knew what was going to happen – which I really love about these books. I feel like nobody is safe and anything could happen – and Blood & Honey proved that!

I do wish this book had made me more emotional, I feel like some of the scenes should have made me cry but didn’t. Although I do love the characters and I feel like there is a real feeling of found family in this book especially, I did miss the character development and focus on the relationships and friendships we had in the first book.

You are a snake. Shed your skin if it no longer serves you. Transform into something different. Something better.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where Gods & Monsters goes after this one! Although I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as Serpent & Dove, I think the main thing to keep in mind is that these are two very different books. It’s just a shame that this one was missing some of my favourite parts of book 1!

4 out of 5 stars


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Review: Serpent & Dove (#1) by Shelby Mahurin



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.

If love makes fools of us all, this book damn well made a fool of me.

Wow. This just ticked all the boxes. I admit, I’ve wanted this book for so long because of how beautiful the hardback edition is. I’ve also heard so many good things about it and…it has witches. What more could a reader want? But I never expected this book would become, well, one of my favourite books ever.

I picked this up because I was unsure about buying the Blood & Honey Fairyloot box without reading the first book, so I started it so I could make a decision. Immediately, I was gripped. By the time I reached the patisserie on like, page 25, I was in love. Serpent & Dove is set in the beautiful city of Cesarine, which I imagine to be Paris. It feels like a fantastical Paris, and it fits so well. I’m a sucker for fantasy set in a beautiful city, and the way Mahurin talked about the landscape just took my breath away. I was immersed from the start.

There are some things that can’t be changed with words. 

And then there’s the romance. I can’t. This has every trope going, love to hate, slow burn romance, love triangles are even thrown in…but I loved it. Most of the time, cliche tropes will make me roll my eyes, but this just swept me along for the ride. I loved the characters and just wanted them to be together.

Which brings me on to…the characters! Ah, Lou. How I loved your badass spirit and determination, with a soft heart underneath. Reid, with your gentle, loving soul and bravery. Ansel, with your loyalty and resolve. They were broken and real and tormented and I adored them all.

Everything about this book just took my breath away. I wanted to read it constantly and I was thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it. I would read it first thing in the morning, last thing at night. I was reading 100+ pages a day without even batting an eyelid.

Some things have to be seen. They have to be felt.

One last thing to note is I would definitely count this as New Adult rather than YA! It is on par with Sarah J Maas with the…ahem..quite steamy scenes.

As you can probably tell, I loved this book so much. If magic/witches, fantasy in a beautiful city and a slow burn romance sounds like something for you, you need to read this book. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J Maas!

5 out of 5 stars


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