SERPENT & DOVE
BY SHELBY MAHURIN
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.
Serpent & Dove was an amazing read that I loved from the start. Enemies to lovers is such a hyped trope and Mahurin nails it. The main characters were so relatable and I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing the tremendous character growth.
Lou is a witch on the run with some dark secrets to hide. She’s sassy as hell with a kickass humor to boot. She’s also strong, smart, a bit selfish, but above all she loyal to those she truly cares about. In order to hide not only from the Chasseurs, who hunt and burn witches, but from her coven she’s given up her magic. When an encounter with a young Chasseur puts her in a predicament, she uses the situation to her advantage. Afterall, there’s no where better to hide than under the protection of a witch-killer who doesn’t know he’s hiding a witch.
Reid Diggory takes his job as a Chasseur very seriously. His main purpose in life is to hunt the witches plaquing the city of Cesarine. It’s the only life he’s known and he never really questions it. Nothing, not even love will stand in between him an his true purpose. Then he crosses paths with Lou. She ends up pulling a stunt that puts his position at risk with the only solution being marriage. Reid slowly starts to realize that Lou might just be more difficult than she’s worth though.
Lou and Reid’s interactions were genuine and hilarious. It was interesting to watch them both struggle with and question what they had believed all their lives. A true enemies to lovers that I know is going to cause issues in the future for them. This was a slow blossoming romance and Reid was so sweet and swoon-worthy. Reid and Lou are walking different paths but somehow they learn to grow both individually and together.
“Magic demands balance” is a phrase used all the time in magic systems. While sometimes the repayment for balance is not known at the time, with this system it’s an instant transaction. The payment has to be made upfront like breaking a finger to break a lock. There are also patterns only witches can see with many different possible options available. No two witches can see the same patterns though, it is unique to them. It was an interesting concept that I hope is explored more in the rest of the trilogy.
Shelby Mahurin has spun an amazing enemies to lovers story whose journey I can’t wait to continue. Even if you’re tired of reading about witches I highly recommend giving this book a try. It might even make you remember why you use to love these types of books.