Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ARC Review: The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by E.J. Russell

The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water, #2)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.

Todd's rating:

 I absolutely loved this second book in the "Fae Out of Water" series, even more so than book 1.

"The Druid Next Door" was chock full of intrigue, humor, banter and several steamy bits.

The world building groundwork laid in the first story allowed this story to be a bit more complex than the first, which mainly focused on the survival of the Achubyddion race. David, in particular.

However, in this book, the fate of all of Faire, as well as the Outer World, was at stake.

As he was not previously part of the Fae world, environmental studies professor Bryce MacLeod was able to bring a fresh, new perspective to the story in regards to balance, trust and control.

Can there be light without dark? Good without evil? Trust without a healthy dose of self-doubt? Faith that the person you love will, ultimately, do the right thing?

The story also touched on Mal's need to feel in control, but also sometimes allow someone else to shoulder that burden, allowing him to relinquish control, at least for a little while.

When that subject came up, you've never heard someone chant "No BDSM, no BDSM, no BDSM, for the love of God, PLEASE!" in your life, but that's exactly what I did. Thankfully, the book didn't really go there, though, for which I am eternally grateful.

I also very much enjoyed seeing the main cast of characters from the first book making appearances throughout the story. They were present, without being omni-present and distracting from the new story.

The only genuine niggle about the story line was where, toward the end of the story, when the shit was well and truly hitting the fan, there was one part Mal got truly cruel and nasty with Bryce, which felt very out of place and uncharacteristic for him. I didn't feel that it added anything to the story, but diminished him a bit in my eyes.

As I mentioned, this book did rely heavily on the world building from the previous story, so I would definitely not suggest attempting to read this one as a standalone, which wasn't a hardship, as I enjoyed them both.

"The Druid Next Door" was extremely entertaining, well-thought-out and action packed, so I'd highly recommend the book and rate it at around 4.5 stars.

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

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