They can never be together. The notion is laughable. Humans are inferior, a scourge on the Fae and on the magic passed down to them by angels millennia ago. And if Keen finds himself drawn to the tiny human female,
he keeps it to himself. He won’t add to the half-breed problem that threatens his people’s existence.
Reese can’t stand Keen. He criticizes her clothing, won’t answer a straight question, and is too handsome for her peace of mind.
Her entire life, people have pegged Reese for a shallow, ditzy blond. She won’t accept the stereotype from the large, arrogant Fae too. But after Keen saves her life, she begins to question what truly lies beneath his stoic demeanor.
Forced together, Keen and Reese fight to survive among enemies, and Keen makes choices Reese couldn’t have predicted. She glimpses a side of him that is protective and dangerously seductive.
But Keen refuses to acknowledge their connection.
Until he’s faced with the decision to betray his people, or lose Reese forever.
*This mature YA series is intended for readers 17 years and older.
**Each Halven Rising novel features a different couple and may be read as a standalone, but an overreaching story arc connects the series, so it’s fun to read them in order.**
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review
+++This is listed as Mature YA, but I would definitely put it in the New Adult range. Explict scenes.
Reese is hardcore. She’s confident, bold, a fighter, and not afraid to speak her mind. She challenges and gives back and much as she gets. She’ll never let anyone force her to do something she doesn’t want to. Her bravery is intense. She is clever and happy with herself despite her past hurts. Reese has sass for days. Her dialogue is funny, emotionally charged, and she’s a master at those fighting words.
Keen is set in his ways. He has biased views of Halven and solid ideas about a woman’s place, but Reese throws him off-center. From the minute he meets her, she changes his world and he opens his eyes past his prejudice. Keen is sexy, flirty, and completely commanding. He brings the heat and together with Reese, it’s explosive.
The love hate is strong. No matter how hard they try to deny themselves, the stronger the attraction grows. They nag and badger each other. They say horrible things. They fight, sometimes physically, but the chemistry is insane. Their romance is a battle they’re happy to lose.
I would have liked stronger back story for both of the main characters. Keen’s story is particularly intriguing, sad, and super dark and yet, it’s pretty much glossed over. The politics of Halven and each of the kingdoms would have been better defined had Keen’s relationship been more clear. The drama between kingdoms, their unique features, the kind of fae who reside in each realm, all of that was tucked into the story offhand and barely elaborated on. A little more world building would have added to the severity of each threat and explained the animosity between groups.
The pacing was staggered. After the initial adrenaline rush and uncertainty of the first scene, it takes a while for things to develop. The time Reese spends training and whatnot goes by so slow, despite the budding chemistry between her and Keen.
Other Books in the Series
RITA-nominated author Jules Barnard began her publishing career in 2014 with Deep Blue, the first book in the contemporary Blue Series, hitting bestseller lists on Amazon, iBooks, and All Romance. In 2015, she launched Fates Divided, the first of a romantic fantasy series Library Journal calls “…an exciting new fantasy adventure.” Whether she’s writing about beautiful Lake Tahoe or a Fae world embedded in a college campus, Jules spins suspenseful stories filled with realistic characters who have heart and humor.
When Jules isn’t in her sweatpants writing and rewarding herself with chocolate, she spends her time with her husband and two children in their small hometown on the California coast. She credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.