Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Fantasy, 528 pages, published in 2019

Synopsis: After two years of living as a criminal, Louise is suddenly forced to marry Reid, a Chasseur. The only problem is that the Chassuer are a group of elite witch hunters and Louise is a witch. She must decide if the marriage is worth it, since she might only safe from those who seek her while under the Chasseur’s protection.

Spoiler Free Review:

💜💜💜💜💜

This was the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club pick for October, but I would have picked it up either way. Hate to love? Fake relationship? Witches? All of those are right up my alley, and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint!

This story takes place in a pseudo-France, so the names and setting is very French. This frustrated me a little because I don’t have a clue how to pronounce things in French, so I kind of had to glance over whatever words were said in French. This did mean that some delicious food was described, including some sticky buns I would love to eat!

The magic in this book was so cool! There are different types of witches and each has their own power. Louise has the power to see patterns and use those to carry out an effect. I thought this was interesting because each witch with this power can do something different with the same patterns, so it has a lot of creativity in it. Louise’s friend Coco on the other hand, is a blood witch, which has a whole other set of powers.

I enjoyed Lou, even though she could be quite brash and impulsive at times. Despite this, she is pretty strong and can think of creative solutions in order to survive. I loved her relationship with Coco as well!

I thought Reid was fine. At first, I really didn’t think I was going to like him because he was pretty closed-minded and a little brainwashed, but seeing him deal with that was nice. I enjoyed seeing from his point of view because you really get to see where he is coming from on certain issues, but you also get to see him change and grow. This happens a bit in Lou’s point of view as well.

Hands down, my favorite part of this book was the romance! It hit so many of the right notes for me. I adore fake dating or contract marriages, so this was great for me. My favorite part of any story like that is when the characters realize that they aren’t pretending anymore and it gets me every time. I won’t give away too much, but this was definitely the right mixture of fantasy and romance for me.

Going in, I knew there was going to be a lot of swearing, but I was still surprised! There is a lot. There is also an actual sex scene, so if sex and swearing isn’t for you, I would stay away from this book.

I really loved this book and I can’t wait for the next one! I’m excited to see the characters again, both main and side. This was such a fun read!

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