I tore through the Gesa’s Menagerie series while home sick a few months ago, so it seems appropriate that I would start this next series while working full-time from home during a pandemic. This novella was a wonderful afternoon of escape, full of intriguing characters and excitement.
The author states that this can be read without the previous series, but I think any reader would get more out of it with that appropriate background context (and the other series is amazing, so do yourself a favor and read it anyway). That being said, it’s immediate from the first page that this is NOT a repeat of Gesa’s Menagerie, from the main character to the greater story line.
Troya is a refreshing heroine who is both down to earth and accepting of the sudden strangeness in her life. Draper gets epic bonus points for portraying a “plus-size” heroine who is comfortable in her body and recognizes her strengths while also acknowledging the real-world bias against her. Because the love story aspect of this book involves characters who have been friends for years, Chike and Rhys are never portrayed as men who are interested in Troya “despite” her size, or any such nonsense. Their attraction to her whole self is obvious and sincere.
If anything, the love story element to this new reverse harem series takes second place to the other interesting drama happening in Troya’s life. Everything we knew about this world from the Gesa’s Menagerie books is promptly up-ended, leaving me anxious to learn what happens next. Even for Derek-effing-White.