Wednesday, September 13, 2017

ARC Review: Bad Boy's Bard (Fae Out of Water #3) by E.J. Russell

Bad Boy's Bard (Fae Out of Water, #3)Blurb:
As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.
Todd's rating:

This book was 'fine', but I must admit that I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as book 2, which was rife with snark, longing, and giving over to some pretty inevitable feelings.

In contrast, this story was chock full of secrets, lies, and never-ending attempts for the MC's to not voice how they still feel about one another, which got old fairly quickly.

Let me be honest here, folks. Gareth was the baby of the Kendrick clan and, well, just as it had in the first two stories, it pretty much showed.

Gareth had been pissed off at the world for the past 200 years, since his lover disappeared with an Unseelie fae, and he'd since taken it out on everyone within spitting distance, including his own brothers.

I got that this story was the story where Gareth grew up and became less prejudiced and jaded, which he *finally* did, but it took a long time and didn't make for as enjoyable a read, as he at last put his "all about me and my past injustices" mentality to rest.

Then we have Gareth's past love, Niall, who after 200 years of imprisonment refused to be forthcoming in regards to his past deceptions and entrust Gareth with the truth. So he fakes amnesia to avoid any and all questions. GAH! Faking memory loss is one of my absolute least favorite of all tropes.

As the story progressed, there was so much lying and hiding of critical information that the romantic aspect of the story suffered. Greatly.

Then when the truth finally, involuntarily, must be revealed, as the fate of both Fairie and the Outer World hung in the balance, of course, Gareth refused to listen to the *whole* truth. The critical parts that explained away any malicious intent behind Niall's questionable actions. Yep, completely crazy making for the reader, that one, guys.

So yes, even though their 200 year physical separation had passed, for nearly the entire book, there was still an emotional separation between the MC's, who should have been making up for lost time and reconnecting.

The overall storyline and its twists were very entertaining as a fantasy story; however, as for the romance, I'm not the biggest fan of books that wait until the clock is a few seconds until Midnight before the MC's truly connect once and for all. There's UST and then there's *THAT*.

I'd have to rate this one at 3 *highly-frustrating* stars, in large part because the bad guys do get their comeuppance as the Kendrick brothers' series drew to a close.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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