Erryn reviews The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water Book 2)’ by E.J. Russell. The ebook was released August 19, 2017 and is 316 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Joel Leslie. It was released March 3, 2021 is 10hrs and 13min. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved Book 1.
Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?
Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: He’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him – after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.
All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.
Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost – for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.
Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.
The Fae Out of Water stories can be enjoyed in series order, or enjoyed on their own. Word count: 91,200.
This book picks up a couple of months from where the first one left off. David and Alun are settling into their lives as a couple, Gareth – the younger brother – is still performing with his band and moping – and Lord Malwin is…well, he’s not coping well. While saving his brother from the vile Rodderick, he severed the man’s hand. As the horrible man was the Queen’s consort, he had certain protections. What was done to him would be wrought back to the doer. Mal severed the hand, his becomes useless. Now, he’d do it over again because otherwise his brother would have died, but he’s descended into a pit of self-pity where being drunk is…acceptable.
Mal lives in a special sub-division where environmentalism isn’t a token, it’s an expectation. His neighbor is the self-proclaimed head of this area, and Bryce’s work on maintaining the wetlands is admirable. In today’s day and age, though, sometimes those battles are uphill or even unwinnable. Pristine ecosystems are laudable, but humans have a tendency to leave their mark. When Bryce sees Mal essentially littering, he loses his shit. Bryce doesn’t want to hear Mal’s excuses, but when the man gets injured, Bryce is there to help. Or, force help upon Mal. Mal figures this is more baggage from the Fae world, but does call in David, his brother-in-law, to tend to him. David brings his Aunt Cassie the druid. Aunt Cassie meets Bryce and all of a sudden Bryce’s life takes a sharp turn with no warning.
Turns out Bryce is a druid. His affinity to the natural world comes, well, naturally. From there, the story moves at quite a clip as Mal continues to try to regain sensation in his hand. He even makes a deal with a shady character, not really reasoning out the consequences. I adored Mal, but he didn’t always make solid decisions. I also liked that he, uh, wound up taking the subservient role in the bedroom. I love turnabout in this way, and it was cute the distress it caused in both men as they’d seen themselves as set in their ways.
I did not see the ending coming and the book has set up the finale of the trilogy beautifully. While I’m waxing poetic, I’ll mention Joel Leslie and what a great job he did narrating these books. He has the perfect voice for each character and made the stories come alive. I can’t wait for the next book.
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.