SERPENT & DOVE (Serpent & Dove #1)
Written by Shelby Mahurin
Published by Harper Teen, September 3rd, 2019
My star rating – 5 stars!
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made. And love makes fools of us all. Find it on Goodreads
Hmmmm this was quite the pleasant surprise! I first heard about this book at the HCC Frenzy (Harper Collins) fall preview event. Everyone there speaking said they all read it and were GUSHING about it. I was interested, knew I would like it, but didn’t think I would love it. To be honest, there wasn’t really a whole lot that was original about the synopsis. We have witches, witch hunters, and a hate to love romance. I’ve read that book before lol! But let me tell you – the way that this was written made it something to remember!
Let me start off with a little bit of a warning. Yes, this is a YA book, but it’s a little on the more mature side of things (which I LOVED!!!!!). There is swearing and some sexual content. If this isn’t what you’re looking for then you’ve been warned. But if you like some steamy romance (which I could have had a lot more of!) and a feisty foul mouthed female, then this will be right up your alley! I really think that this author is more suited to adult books. If she were to write an adult book with no restraints on her love scenes and language, I WOULD BE ALL OVER IT!!! Please write an adult book? Please?
Part of the reason why I loved this book so much were the characters. We have Lou who is a witch and hiding her magic to save her ass from the witch hunters. We have her best friend (and fellow witch) Coco who is her partner in crime/sidekick. And then there’s Reid who is a witch hunter on a mission to kill the people responsible for his love interests sisters death. Love interest you say? Yes, he starts off madly in love with another woman. No I won’t tell you anything more!
Lou – is – priceless!!! Mia from Nevernight might be my #1 girl – but Lou comes a close second! She’s a total badass! She doesn’t take shit from anyone, refuses to be told what to do, has the mouth of a sailor, and sings offensive bar pub songs about girls with big titties and guys with big willie’s….. LOVE HER!! She’s had a hard life. We don’t know what happened or why she’s on the run, but we know she’s running from something/someone and turned to a life of thievery to survive. Her magic helps with that too. When a job goes wrong, and she’s apprehended, she ends up marrying a witch hunter to save her own ass…. #awkward! Her character arc is just so well written! She’s so used to having her guard up and then finds someone worth the chance of letting him in. We get to see different sides of her as her relationship progresses and we also learn about her past. Seriously – so good!!!
Equally well written is the character of Reid. He was abandoned as a child and was raised by the priesthood, looking forward to a life of servitude. He’s been breed of such strong convictions and seeing him struggle with the things that challenge those beliefs was such an interesting read. He must have had a giant headache the whole way through because he was CONSTANTLY challenged in what he wanted, believed, and felt was his duty.
Hate to love relationships are probably my favourite type to read, and this one was no different. There’s always this fine line with them though. I hate it when books portray characters who absolutely despise each other one minute and then in the same breath they’re going on and on about how beautiful their eyes are. This romance was slow. They still hated each other but crept towards the realization that they weren’t who they thought they were. Both people had giant labels on their foreheads – Lou was a witch and a thief. Reid was a witch hunter. They were, by definition, supposed to hate each other no matter the cost. The arc of their relationship as they realized that their labels didn’t define them, and they found each others souls and personalities….. captured my heart! I might have cried twice….. I said MIGHT!
The only slight issue I had with this book is that the relationship overshadowed the plot a bit. We spent so much time seeing how they were interacting with each other that the plot of the witches and what was really happening took a back seat for a little longer than I would have liked. I kind of forgot what the plot direction was in the middle. It comes back around eventually, and in a really big way. It didn’t bother me enough to lower the rating because it was well worth the read!!!
If you like witches, bad ass females, and a well written hate to love relationship, then PLEASE pick this up! I was told it was good, but it far surpassed any expectations! I need the sequel now!!!!
Until next time, happy reading!