Book Reviews

Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water 1) by E.J. Russell at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Fairy Tales / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 31-July-2017

Book Blurb

Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voiceSwoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.


Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.


But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.


Book Review

One of my favorite kind of books are those that adapt existing stories by adding a fresh perspective, bringing them into a different kind of time, or transposing them into a different genre. ‘Cutie and the Beast’ does all three extremely well, plus the author added a touch of humor that I really enjoyed. That and the quirkiness of E.J. Russell’s characters made it a total joy to reread the well-known traditional fairy tale that was first written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740, then adapted and rewritten multiple times.

“The Cutie” is a temp worker named David trying to earn enough to keep his sickly aunt and himself off the street and fed well enough to survive. He wants to be a nurse, is a total trouble magnet and a bit of a klutz, has been banned from offices by his temp agency, and is a total and complete darling. He wants only the best for everyone, has a great style, and is determined to make the world a happier place. Mind you, all this has a much deeper reason than I first realized, but that doesn’t become obvious until the final part of the book, so I won’t say much about it. Just that it added another layer of enjoyment for me.

“The Beast” is Alun, a former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, who has been banished and cursed to be ugly for reasons that are only revealed gradually as the story develops. He is now a psychologist treating supernatural beings who have difficulty with the “modern” world (one that is unaware of the existence of all kinds of supernaturals living among them), as well as humans with PTSD based on a supernatural encounter they were unable to deal with. Hilarious! Except he has no sense of humor and his office decorating skills – everything is gray – leave much to be desired. He is grumpy, doesn’t think he deserves happiness, and I have no idea how he would have survived (and stayed sane) the next one thousand years of his very, very long life if David hadn’t come along.

David and Alun are made for each other. David recognizes this from the start, when he falls in love with Alun’s voice. Alun has no intention of falling in love ever again, and definitely not with a human. He isn’t even allowed to reveal his supernatural nature, so how is that supposed to work? Fate finds a way though, but it isn’t easy! David’s determination to make things better for Alun versus Alun’s grumpiness lead to various very funny situations. David is clearly talented at what he does, but Alun doesn’t want to see it that way for the longest time. Then things heat up – and not just between David and Alun – and mystery, suspense, and some very interesting worldbuilding is added to the mix.

If you like your fantasy / romance with a lot of humor and great snark, if you think that even banished Sidhe and clumsy office workers deserve a chance at love, and if you’re looking for a very entertaining read with a great plot, wonderful characters, humor that will make you laugh out loud, and lots of potential for a sequel, then you will probably like this imaginative novel as much as I do. Absolutely wonderful!





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, 303 pages/76300 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-July-2017
Price $3.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $21.98 bundle
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