Book Reviews

The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water 2) by E.J. Russell at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Erotic Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 23-August-2017

Book Blurb

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.


Book Review

The series that started with ‘Cutie and the Beast’, a rewritten version of the well-known fairy tale first published in 1740, has developed a dynamic all its own. The worldbuilding started in the first book, with a new twist on the world of the Fae, the fight between Seelie and Unseelie, a mix of supernatural beings with their own unique history of creation, and a bewildering and ever-growing set of rules – and it totally captured my imagination. But the continuing mysteries, surprises, and developments that follow in this second volume blew me away. The characters from the first book are back and it is the second noble Fae brother, Mal, who needs to deal with a horrible curse this time, but they are all involved and drawn into ever-deepening webs of conspiracy and political machinations of all kinds. The result is a stunning story that had me captivated from beginning to end.

Mal is the former enforcer of the Seelie queen, and he was cursed for saving everyone’s lives at the end of the previous book – just because he violated some Fae rule about not harming the queen’s consort. Never mind that said consort was a total villain! Now Mal has to deal with being “useless” because his sword hand has been crippled. Like all warriors he is proud and hates asking for help, but he has to learn to cooperate or he will never get rid of the curse. Mal just wishes it weren’t his annoying environmentalist neighbor who seems to be the one he needs to work with – especially once it turns out the man is a druid. Druids, after all, have weird powers even the Fae can’t resist…

Bryce is a professor, a man of science, but he is determined to save the planet one tree at a time. He has no idea the supernatural exists, so when he finds out about his heritage and is thrown into an increasingly violent conflict between various Fae factions, Bryce is about as confused as can be. Helping Mal with some mysterious quests is the least of Bryce’s problems – dealing with his newfound powers and their consequences turns out to be a much bigger issue. And as they discover more of the sinister plot that endangers everyone, the stakes just keep rising.

Like David and Alun in the first book, Bryce and Mal are made for each other. But they don’t start out as friends or in a neutral position, they totally rub each other the wrong way. There is a basic attraction, but the issues they have with each other and their beliefs are significant and keep popping up every time there seems to be hope they can actually work out how to deal with their problems. The dark threat to all of Faerie just keeps growing, and the mystery about what’s behind it is mind-boggling.

If you like fantasy with a lot of humor, great snark, and wonderful worldbuilding, if you think that even banished Fae lords and determined environmentalists deserve a chance at love, and if you’re looking for a very entertaining read with a suspenseful plot, quirky characters, humor that will make you laugh out loud, and a story that leaves room for another sequel, then you will probably like this imaginative novel as much as I do. Imaginative to the hilt!






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, 360 pages/91200 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-August-2017
Price $3.99 ebook, $18.99 paperback, $22.98 bundle
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