ARC Review: Blood & Honey

Title: Blood & Honey
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: ★★

Synopsis

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.


Review

Do yourself a favor an either re-read Serpent and Dove or find a spoiler filled summary to help you remember what happened because Blood and Honey starts right where we left off with no kind of backtracking to help you remember.

Blood and Honey suffered from second book syndrome. It had a weak plot line and felt more like a filler. Told from both Reid and Lou’s perspective again we get two unreliable narrators ruled by their emotions, both thinking they’re doing the right things. They had such a hard time syncing up which made for a ton of misunderstandings between the two. Secrets and lies abound in this book with love being at the center of it all.

We get to see a darker side of Lou and explore more of the magic we only got a taste of in the first book. Magic can be good or bad it just depends on how you use it. While Lou has good intentions we get to see some of the negative side effects through her.

Reid is such a sad little sticky bun, bursting at the seams with his emotions. Is he huntsman or witch? How can you come to terms with being something you’ve always found abhorrent? He has a ton of internal struggle that really pushes a wedge in between not only him and Lou but with himself. 

Even with both struggling internally and within their relationship though, Mahurin still manages to bring the steam. We get so many hot and heavy moments between Lou and Reid it was excruciating. 

The world building was expanded on and it was interesting. Some new magical creatures are added to the mix along with new places and a ton of new characters. I do have to say that my favorites from book one did take a backseat to the Lou and Reid emotional hot mess show though.

The pacing stalled a little over halfway through, when the group separated, and seemed to drag a bit. It’s hard to continue the romance plot when the lovers aren’t together and the romance is key to this story. The plot line with Morgane while important does fall a tad flat and take backseat to Lou and Reid.

The ending gutted me. I knew it was coming but I still shed a few tears so be sure to have some chocolate or tissues on hand. 

While it may not have been as amazing as Serpent and Dove I still enjoyed Blood and Honey and think others will too. After the events of last book our characters are bound to not be the same in some ways. Lou is still quick witted and funny, a great match for Reid and always somehow managing to have the best banter.

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