Erryn reviews Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water Book 1)’ by E.J. Russell. The ebook was released July 22, 2017 and is 266 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Joel Leslie. It was released November 13, 2020 is 9hrs and 1min. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: Joel Leslie and E.J. Russell? Count me in.
Book one in the new Fae Out of Water series.
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.
Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: No non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult – in the 200 years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.
But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: When fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.
This series is about three brothers from Faerie. They all have their own issues, and this book is Alun’s story. As the eldest, he carries a certain amount of responsibilities. Alun is also the former Queen’s Champion for the Faerie Seelie Court. I admit, I had no idea what that meant. Then, two hundred years ago, he was cursed. Now he’s a psychologist to many of the paranormal creatures in, of all places, Portland. He also runs a trauma group for humans who have had interactions with supernaturals.
Alun now looks like a beast and has the temperament to match. His last office manager – a shifter – is on maternity leave and Alun expects the temp agency to send him another supernatural creature. He does not expect a human to show up. But David is stubborn and isn’t going to be sent away. He fell in love with Alun’s voice while doing some transcription and he’s always wanted to meet the man. Did he expect a beast? No. Is he going to let that stop him from helping others? Also no.
David has a secret of his own that he doesn’t even realize and after a night in Faerie with Alun, things come into sharp focus. He has an explanation of why things around him happen in a certain way. Why people react to him the way they do. Why his Aunt Cassie is so desperately protective. Turns out David is a one of a kind. Literally. And I won’t get into it because I don’t want to give too much away.
The world building in this book is phenomenal. I don’t read a lot of paranormal or fantasy and I certainly can’t write it. I’m always in awe of authors whose creativity leads to such wonderful stories. Finally, I have to mention Joel Leslie. I adore Joel, and he’s never disappointed. He does a wonderful job with the three brothers, as well as David. But the supe characters are truly amazing. Well done. There are two more in the series so I’m off now to listen to them…
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
E.J. Russell–grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings.
Eh, not so much.
She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).
E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.