Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review: Bad Boy's Bard by E.J. Russell

Bad Boy's Bard
(Fae Out of Water #3)
E.J. Russell
Release: September 18, 2017
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As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.

I'm going to be honest. This book was disappointing. It was pretty meh despite having a good premise while being absolutely frustrating to read. Ugh! The use of the fake amnesia trope, which is definitely my least favorite romance trope, is partially responsible for the frustration and made the story way less enjoyable for me. Gah! The two main characters wasted so many opportunities to communicate and it drove me crazy. There was so much lying and hiding of critical information that the romance part of the story suffered greatly for it.

Gareth has been pissed off at the world since his lover disappeared with an Unseelie fae. He's taken is grief and anger out on everyone for TWO CENTURIES but he's especially harsh with his brothers and their significant others. It was annoying in the first two books and it was even worse in this one. I get that this is the book where Gareth grows up and gets his head out of his ass but it took a most of the book and didn't make for as enjoyable a read. His "poor pitiful me" mentality drove me bonkers. He's definitely my least favorite character in this series.

I did fall in love with Niall despite him faking amnesia to avoid telling Gareth the truth about how they met, where he's been for the last 200 years, and that he's actually not human. You can imagine how that went down when he finally told Gareth. Even then the whole truth didn't come out. I wanted to throw my kindle at the wall it was so frustrating. So instead of making up for lost time and reconnecting with each other after centuries apart, they kept themselves emotionally separated. Ugh. It's still driving me crazy to think about it.

The overall storyline and its twists were entertaining as a fantasy story but the romance portion was a huge let down. I'm glad that they finally worked things out at the end but it felt rushed. I hope we get at least another book in the series so the storyline feels more complete.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  3 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Cutie and the Beast by E.J. Russell
The Druid Next Door by E.J. Russell

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