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text 2018-01-20 13:13
REVIEW BY DEBBIE - The Druid's Gift (The Nameless Gods #1) by Dante Silva & Vanessa Mozes
The Druid's Gift - Dante Silva

After facing betrayal, Nuné undertakes a pilgrimage into the mountains at her druid sisters' behest. Plans of washing away her sorrows at journey's end are dashed when she falls prey to the night elf warrior, D'leer. With her magic in danger, Nuné must make D’leer see reason lest others befall her fate. 

Tyrinden D'leer always knew he would advance to highest rank one day, but not like this. Caught between adhering to his superiors and resisting the tenacious druid, he finds himself in an impossible position, but when Nuné saves his life, he can no longer ignore his feelings. 

However Tyrinden D'leer isn't the only man to come from the mountains, and the danger that lingers threatens to take him from the woman he can't let go of.

 

@SilvaMozes, @debbiereadsbook, #Fantasy, 4 out of 5 (very good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/debbie/thedruidsgiftthenamelessgods1bydantesilvavanessamozes
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review 2018-01-07 13:26
well written high fantasy
The Druid's Gift - Dante Silva
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. She was supposed to on a pilgrimage, being kidnapped for sacrifice was not in the plan! I gotta be honest here, and you'll know when I gotta talk about my feelings about books, I'm nothing if not honest! When asked did I want to read this book, it came with a link, and of course I looked at it, and my first reaction was nope. That cover did nothing for me, but the blurb grabbed, so I said yes. NOW, I've read this book, and feel I should say this. That cover is right and proper for this book!! It fits Nune and Ty's story so perfectly! And it is a rather good book! Nune is a day elf, a Druid, and Ty a night elf. They usually never cross paths. Nune is on a pilgrimage and Ty is on an initiation to move up the warrior ranks, I forget what the name he used is, sorry! Nune was supposed to be his sacrifice for this initiation, but after befriending each other, they question why Ty suddenly has to do this, when it's never been required of warriors before. It is, quite simply, brilliantly written high fantasy. I really find myself engrossed in Nune and Ty, and their path towards finding out just what is going on in Ty's village, and why things are changing so rapidly, to the detriment of the day elves. It's told from both Nune and Ty's point of view. It does carry some difficult subjects, kidnap, elf sacrifice but these are dealt with very well. Its not overly explicit, indeed, I thought it might actually come out clean, but Nune and Ty do get naughty on. Again, well written. Not overly graphic either, what's here is right for this book. And there is a MUCH bigger picture that I'm still not seeing. Ty's brother is missing. There's the reason why the Nameless Gods are being summoned. And Ty still has to face his superiors about his failed quest when he gets home. A step out of my comfort zone, but a very nice step. I hope I get to foloow Nune and Ty on their quest. And an apology to the author for not spelling Nune with accent on the e, I don't know how to put that on! 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2018-01-02 00:00
The Druid Next Door
The Druid Next Door - E.J. Russell The Druid Next Door - E.J. Russell The Druid Next Door is an amusing continuation of the Fae Out of Water series.

In the second of the Fae series we get to see the story of Mal, Alun's middle brother, and what happened after he came to his brother's aid and was struck by the Fae Queen's geas.

For a fae who'd lived centuries by the sword as the Queen's Enforcer, living with a disability is a curse worse than death. And there are Unseelie after his ass, a newly discovered (hot) druid named Bryce who lives next door and is playing environmental watchdog, giving Mal hell for not sorting paper and glass correctly, and - oh yeah - a deal he made with another cursed Fae called 'Steve'. To say that Mal is in over his head is an understatement!

The book is full of humour, imagination and hot sex. We get to see Alun and David again; and David's Druid auntie meddles in things as the hot Druid's mentor/teacher. Poor Mal, he's so screwed... but at least he'll enjoy it!

Definitely enjoyed this book😊
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review 2017-11-29 00:00
The Druid Next Door
The Druid Next Door - E.J. Russell The Druid Next Door - E.J. Russell Book – The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2)
Author – E.J. Russell
Star rating - ★★★★☆ (3.5)
No. of Pages – 360
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, dual POV
Would I read it again – Probably
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, Fae, Contemporary, Romance


** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine



I fell in love with this series the minute I read Cutie and the Beast. The characters have real warmth and realism, even for supernatural creatures, and it made me eager to read the rest of the series. For me, however, this one is a little lacking in certain aspects that worked so well in book 1.

First off, I felt that the book dragged in the middle. It felt like 300+ pages, which is a problem I find with long books. Either 300 pages will whiz by before you know it, because it's so great and flows brilliantly throughout, or it drags and really feels like 300 pages, because it takes so long to read. This one, unfortunately, was the latter. There was a little too much plot here, though it all came together in the end. Bit it felt more like three shorts linked together by the overall plot, because there was so much going on that each sub-plot felt like it lasted a really, really long time.

I have to admit, I felt that way about the blurb, too. I read it again before reading the book and it felt like I was about to dive into something really complicated. It talked of the relationship, which made sense, then about Bryce being a druid, which I thought was complication enough for the relationship, but then there was the addition of being tied together, then a mysterious stranger. It all felt a little much, but I thought that it would link together the same way the plot of book 1 did, with everything weaving together. Not so much, in this book. It was a bit more choppy with the druid revelation starting the story off, then the relationship beginning because of insta-lust, then the mysterious stranger entering the picture, and then even more loop holes and trials to face, after that fact. It really felt the same choppy, divided way that the blurb was told in. It was a little too plot-by-numbers, in terms of matching the blurb, than I expected, because it all happened in individual chunks, not a flow of interlinking sub-plots. Where book 1 had the clinic and Alun's work to centre the story and link the supernatural world to the human, there wasn't anything in this book that offered that much needed connection.

The relationship worked. That's brilliant, because I really liked Mal in the previous book. He was so mysterious and interesting and I loved that he changed in this book, not instantly but organically, because of the events that happened in book 1. I really liked Bryce, too. He was this stiff-upper-lip guy who had the fire and the attitude to fight for what he believed in, but was also a bit of a geek. I loved that mix and, together, they had some great chemistry.

My problem with the relationship was two-fold. First, that there was just So. Much. Sex! I mean, a huge amount of sex. Maybe there wasn't that much overall, but it felt like a lot. I felt like the entire middle of the book was just these two having sex all the time. Secondly, I took exception to Mal calling it a D/s relationship – what they had was more of a Master/slave thing, without that conscious submission/domination. There wasn't 100% free will involved, they didn't enter into it willingly, with knowledge of what it meant or of how to behave with each other, so I felt that it misrepresented the relationship a little.

I loved seeing David and Alun again, seeing how their relationship had progressed and grown since the end of book 1. I also loved seeing more of Gareth and learning more about his background, in preparation for the next book.

Seeing Mal struggle with his new life was great. I was worried it would all be ignored or that he would try to pretend it hadn't happened. But it did and he really acted like someone who had suffered a traumatic loss, a disability that changed the way he lived and functioned. The way the injury affected his mental health was realistic, but I loved how it affected his view of his previous life, how it stopped him from being who he had once been, and how that had a knock on effect in his mental health and behaviour. I loved Bryce, and how he adapted to his druid heritage, and his ability to share that growth with Mal. The push and pull between them really worked, but most of all, I loved that they took time to get to know each other, through the lust and the sex.

Overall, while I really enjoyed the story, I found that it was a little too complicated, a little too long, and too physically focused. There were some minor editing/grammar errors (spelling, missing words etc) but not too many. There was a nice quick rundown of the events from the previous book, so that if anyone picked it up out of sequence, they could follow the majority of the story without a hiccup, though I'd still recommend reading it in order. I just couldn't stop comparing it to the perfection that was book 1. In light of that, it failed to keep my attention as easily, it didn't feel as natural or as well balanced, between plot and characterisation, nor within the flow of the plot. I wouldn't say I was unhappy or let down, just a little disappointed because my expectations had clearly been biased because of book 1. I still look forward to reading book 3.

~

Favourite Quote:

“I’ll go now and call Aunt Cassie. I can’t guarantee she won’t show up here later anyway, to check on Bryce’s homework, but—”
“If she can fix this fecking bond, she can move in for all I care.”
He grinned. “I’ll tell her.”
“Don’t you dare.”
David stood on tiptoe and kissed Mal’s cheek. “Serve you right if I did. I know you’re hiding something from me, but I’ll bide my time. I’ll get it out of you eventually. I always do.””
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-17 04:38
Disappointed
The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water) (... The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water) (Volume 2) - E.J. Russell

Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling? Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101. All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse. Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever. Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.

Review:

Dear EJ Russell, I quite liked the first book in this series (as evidenced by my review here) which dealt with older of three Fae brothers Alun finding love with David and having some dangerous adventures in the Faery Land. As a result of such adventure, Alun’s middle brother Mal lost the use of his right hand. Faery Queen told him that the curse will disappear if they would be made whole, but the way Mal interpreted this was not too hopeful for him going back to his magical life anytime soon.

So now we see Mal living full time in the human land in the house that David, kind and grateful guy he was bought for him. Mal is also bickering with his new neighbor on a regular basis. Bruce Macleod is very conscious about the environment and Mal being a Fae even in the temporary exile sometimes does things that may seem reasonable to Mal, but annoy Bruce a great deal.

One day after another face to face altercation Bruce accidentally hurts Mal a little and this leads to David and his aunt Cassie appearing in Mal’s house to help him. Well, David appeared at Mal’s house before, but his aunt didn’t.

Surprise! As we know from the first book Cassie is a powerful druid and can recognize other druids. Apparently Bruce is one too and his love for nature was one of the indicators of that. As we also know from the first book Cassie is a woman of action, so acts she does.  She offers Bruce the internship with her (and when I say offers I mean insists that he should take it) AND decides to bond Mal and Bruce together so Mal could give Bruce a crash course in all things magical before he would start learning all things druid .

I want to be very clear here – the bond Cassie imposed on them was not sexual *yet*. To be quite frank I was puzzled as to why the bond was needed in the first place. However as the book proceeded I interpreted the bond to be an artificial and highly irritating plot device needed to make sure the second bond between the characters would happen.

It was just so weird to me. I am usually very hesitant to use the expression “lazy writing”, because I usually start questioning myself right away, thinking my writing skills and knowledge would never be strong enough to have a right to call writing professional’s writing “lazy”.

However, sometimes this is just how I feel and this is one of those times. Let me expand on what I mean by “lazy writing” in this book.  I feel like the writer could not be bothered to write an actual development of the relationship and instead imposed that weird bond on Bruce and Mal which did I am not even sure what it did.

So after Cassy bonded them, they have sex and ended up wanting each other more and more and it became some kind of D/s bond when Mal who never bottomed wanted to bottom and kneel for Bruce all the time and Bruce who never topped wanted to. Okay, I am perfectly happy to read about D/s relationship if it is executed to my satisfaction but both men instead constantly questioned whether what they want is the consequence of the bond or their own desires.  I could not understand how we got from Point A (we find each other hot) to Point B (we cannot live without each other). I could not understand how the relationship was developing?

And while on the publisher’s page the book warns of dubious consent, it is not as if Bruce even wanted to force Mal to do anything. I mean the first two times he did not know that the bond was activated, but then he constantly fights the desire in his mind to give Mal *any* orders, so I could not even read the book as having any true dubcon/ non con scenes that may work for me sometimes. It was just very weird.  

"“Our bond is different. You’ve never used the power voice on me, and trust me, I’d know. Maybe you have to pass your druid O levels before you qualify, or some shite.” “Are you positive? Have you behaved that way before? Begged someone to allow you to blow him? Begged to get fucked? Promised a guy anything? Everything?” Mal wouldn’t meet his eyes, and if that didn’t tell Bryce what he needed to know about consent, then none of Mal’s glib words would hide the truth. “No,” he muttered. “You’re the first.” “A first time for me too.” Bryce was suddenly too hot in the sun, despite the cool breeze on his back. He ripped his hat off and threw it on the grass. “Aren’t we just so fricking special?” “You’ll not convince me you’re a virgin.” “Hardly. But I’ve never—” Why was this so hard to admit? “I’ve never topped anyone before.” Mal’s mouth fell open. “You’re joking. Nobody can aim like that. Not their first time.” Bryce sat down on the grass, facing the slough. “Guess I’m a fucking prodigy.” He let his arms flop over his knees. “What the hell are we doing, Mal? I’m so turned around and irritable this morning, it’s as if my clothes are lined with sandpaper”

 

 

 

Cassy behaved weirdly from the beginning, because guess what? She could have told Mal to tutor Bruce without bonding them and Mal would have done the very same thing. Then after she started all that she lectures them how to mitigate effects of the bond or not mitigate the effects of the bond. It was just bizarre.

Same as in the first book, in this book the men also have to go on the quest in Faerie land and I enjoyed it more than in the first book because the story was more suspenseful and at the end made more sense to me than in the first book. However the storyline was also a major disappointment to me because I felt that it was a a missed opportunity for the men to actually work together and get to know each other better instead of one of them trying to get some information out of Mal and Mal constantly sabotaging himself and lying to Bruce as to what was going on.

I was not mad at Mal, because he did not have much choice, but I was still disappointed. I am not trying to grade the story that was not on page, but let me be very clear that what was on the page did not work for me at all, even if it was well written and as far as I could notice copy editing was pretty good.

Grade: C-

 

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