Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin [arc review]

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn
The romance was beautiful.
The rest needed some work...

Serpent and Dove by @glimpses_of_my_books
Blurb:
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.

The review: 3 Stars...

Writing a review for a book that leaves you in the fence in the end is not easy... 
Serpent and Dove had an outstanding romance! I was enthralled by Lou and Reid the whole way. Their story was more than just the usual hate to lovers. Reid may not have known for most of the book, but she truly was his enemy, he truly and deeply hated her kind. There were no grey lines and there was no world in which he wouldn't. As Lou accounted herself, that was who he was, he knew no different. 
Reid is a good man, a noble man... but one brought up with a very specific set of beliefs.
Lou is a firecracker. Her personality is contagious and easy to love.
The way their relationship progressed was written nicely, I enjoyed their hatred, their banter, their passionate moments... all of it.

However, all that is rather clouded by a book that was deeply infused in religious jargon. When I was half way through the book I realized that almost every single page had some religious comment or other. This can be a problem -and was- in many ways: many readers do not like religion in their books, that is problem number one since there is NO escaping it; many Christians don't like their faith being mocked and well... this book wasn't kind to Christianity at all; and many readers like me,simply do not enjoy how repetitive a book becomes when a religion, political agenda, or other gets shoved down the readers throat. 

The second problem with the book is the vulgar language. Now, I read dark romance/erotica/etc and I am used to a lot of it, but it has to be done right. Here the vulgar language was used to differentiate Lou's care free attitude from Reid's uptight one. There are a million different ways to do that, the vulgar language given Lou was not needed. Some of it was funny, but  a lot of it was unnecessary and just made me roll my eyes.

Lastly but definitely not least, this is NOT YOUNG ADULT! the vulgar language combined with the one rather graphic sex scene pushes this book into the romance category with fantasy as a subcategory or vice versa with an YA theme. In other words: New Adult Fantasy. This is only YA if you are one those people that insists on calling acotar by Sarah J Maas YA. On the back of the arc it is written "A steamy YA series launch perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas". Well, yes. I agree with the comparison. But no, because all of SJM's latest books are not YA. 


Find the book at: GoodReads - Amazon



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