I’m traveling on Halloween this year, so I’ll admit that I’m not as hyped for the holiday as I usually am. Reading this unexpected dark romance changed all that in a heartbeat. The opening events are the perfect welcome to the spooky season, evoking horror tropes of the final girl while simultaneously instilling a sense of wonder. After all, who hasn’t wanted to be stolen away to fairyland to escape the suffocation of modern adulthood?
Simone’s gorgeous and atmospheric descriptions perfectly elevate her writing for this story. Janneth’s full character is quietly developed in how she reacts to her new surroundings, and her delightfully contrasting modern commentary doesn’t create the usual emotional distance found with that type of narrative voice. She embraces the sexy fairy tale she’s found herself in while maintaining an academic’s curious skepticism. Felipe is the perfect guide for the reader in how he gives Janneth important information but allows his historical social mores to preclude him from explaining certain details.
We only see the Fae Queen in question from Janneth’s perspective in this book, but the way she opens up to Janneth makes the relationship that develops between them compelling. I adore Simone’s twist on the legend of the dangers of fairy fruit, which puts the author’s signature sexy stamp on this work as a whole. Fairy fruit’s use here emphasizes the dreamlike fairy tale elements of the developing connection between Janneth and the queen, which mingles questions of passion versus addiction.
This shorter novel takes place over only three (fairy-length) days, but Simone weaves such an intense story over that time that I found myself much more emotionally invested in the ending than I expected. (Yes, that means a few tears.) The lovely, romantic ending fulfills the arc set up by Janneth’s entire character. I highly recommend this bit of dark escapism to anyone who needs an extra dose of delicious darkness this season, or any time of year.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.