Dark Magic & Bad Romance

Serpent and Dove

Serpent and Dove

By: Shelby Mahurin

Lou is a witch in hiding trying to make it as a thief. Reid is a witch-burning Chasseur. One day after a run in they are forced to wed in a contrivance so ridiculous I spent most of the rest of the book going what the hell?

Although at one point it was more like:

Me: The only way this passably works is if Lou is…

After the ending…

Me: She is!

So anyway Serpent and Dove gets points for it’s bad witches. While the Chasseur’s are awful and (dumb, dumb, dumb as bricks all things considered) and we know they are obviously burning innocent women and children there’s also some seriously bad witches in this book using some creepy dark magic.

(I like them better than any of the main characters.)

But for me in a romance blurbed by Sarah J. Maas (I really should have seen it coming) the relationship was the biggest problem.

See it’s sold as hate to love but it’s really not. I mean Reid has grown up indoctrinated and it’s not just witches he’s basically a borderline misogynist. Or, at least, he’s parroting what the actual misogynists have taught him. Naturally he doesn’t know Lou’s a witch. But even so generally she’s just an unlikable person anyway.

And I’m not really sure when their relationship changes…

My best guess would probably be the sex cause why not?

People will read it differently of course but for me a good hate to love is that movie The Proposal from a few years ago. If this was going to work I think Mahurin should have played the relationship out far longer. I mean both characters discover some pretty large life-changing things about themselves so there, minds blown, they start to come together and see each other as people in book two.

It’s not like you can’t still have the sex scene. Just make it angry! And good Lord I still long to read one of these epic romances/ fantasy love stories where the sex happens and everyone’s just like, “Um, that was okay…”

By the end the only two characters I was really interested in were the mad Cersei like witch and another character who ends up dead! 🙁

Recommend: Eh. I mean my problems with the romance are balanced out by the witch stuff- yet at this point I probably won’t read the rest of the series. So take of that what you will and if you think the relationship stuff would be a problem for you I’d avoid this one.


5 thoughts on “Dark Magic & Bad Romance

  1. “In a romance blurbed by Sarah J. Maas” rofl yeah, that’s a bit of a red flag. I think I’ll give this a pass….it sounds like it’s going to drive me up the wall. 😀 And YES, I want to see “meh” sex in fantasy romance, too! You’d think a story that focuses on relationships would show the non-glamourous aspects of it, but nope.

  2. The book cover is boujie as hell and I’m tempted to read for Cersei. But I detest hate to love, it’s rare for it to ever be reasonable for me. But the proposal is a good example (and Jaime and Brienne before the end 🥴).

    1. I’ve blocked out Jaime’s ending 🙂 In my head he’s happily resting on the beaches of Tarth while his wife Brienne takes care of ruling. Occasionally they get a visit from Arya. Yep that’s my head cannon until Martin says otherwise!

Leave a Reply