Book Reviews

Bad Boy's Bard (Fae Out of Water 3) by E.J. Russell at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Shifters / Magic / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Erotic Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 22-January-2018

Book Blurb

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.


Book Review

After ‘Cutie and the Beast’, starring David and Alun, and ‘The Druid Next Door’, starring Bryce and Mal, it is now time for Niall and Gareth’s story. There have been a lot of hints along the way, so I had a rough idea of what might be happening with them, but I had no idea the roller coaster they’d be facing. And that after a relationship that has not exactly been easy so far. They have faced 200 years of separation, believing each other dead, and when they meet again they face the consequences of their past actions, deceit, betrayal, revelations, and the possible destruction of Faerie itself. This novel is the most eventful yet and definitely worthy of this series! A small word of warning: even if you believe you are familiar with the world of the Fae, don’t read this series out of order – the worldbuilding may have taken some of the known elements, but ends up creating its own world and a set of rules that will leave you lost if you don’t start at the beginning.

Niall is half human and half Unseelie, but even though he is the son of the Unseelie king, he stays out of court politics. He keeps himself plenty busy with his own projects, the main purpose of which is to have fun and do mischief. Niall is a poster boy for thinking outside the box, being a rebel, and “To instantly see which path would lead to the maximum amount of chaos.”, as he puts it. That serves him well until things change and an unwise bet with the Unseelie king leads to Niall’s banishment to the Underworld and his subsequent issues with Gareth. Deception is never good, but when used to hide your own mistakes from the man you love, it is disastrous.

Gareth, the third of the Kendrick brothers and the last bard of Faerie, is a rock star in the “Outer World”, but a rock star with a punch. His voice carries his emotions, so he can basically make his audience feel whatever he feels. It explains his success, but his inner turmoil over losing Niall means most of his band’s songs are somewhat melancholic. That changes when Niall reappears, but doesn’t last. Gareth has an issue with Unseelie and as soon as he discovers the truth about Niall, all hell breaks loose. The description of that concert he gives right afterward made my hair stand on end. Gareth becomes unhinged, which is an issue because he and Niall need to work together if Faerie is to be saved. What a mess!

Both Niall and Gareth have a chip on their shoulder, are bad boys, and think they have lost the one man they ever loved. They are ecstatic when they finally meet again, but it doesn’t last. Between Niall’s desperation and Gareth’s unwillingness to listen, I had pretty much given up on them working together to figure out how to fix the issues with the spell that is supposed to heal Faerie. The suspense almost killed me, so I ended up turning the pages as quickly as possible. Between the mystery of what was going on and the snarky humor, this story turned out to be one heck of a ride!

If you like imaginative fantasy interlaced with the “real world”, if humor, great snark, and wonderful worldbuilding are your thing, if you think that even mischievous Unseelie bad boys and despondent Seelie bards deserve a chance at love, and if you’re looking for a very suspenseful plot, quirky characters who can’t seem to see what’s really important, and a story that is ingenious like few others, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I just love creativity like this!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 301 pages/77000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-September-2017
Price $3.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $21.98 bundle
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