Reviewed by PizzyGirl
TITLE: The Druid Next Door
SERIES: Fae Out of Water #2
AUTHOR: E.J. Russel
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 360 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 21, 2017
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.
I am loving this series. The Druid Next Door had so many similar elements to the first story that it just made me love this series even harder.
This world continues to be so fascinating. I loved learning about the various magical and mystical beings. I loved learning about their capabilities and their hierarchy. I really enjoyed learning the lore and the misconceptions, the origins of the worlds, and the way they all play together.
Mal and Bryce were fabulous characters and I greatly enjoyed seeing them learn about themselves as they were and as they could be. Seeing them have to sort through everything to learn their own truths was fun yet frustrating. I could really feel the way the men struggled to learn and grow and work together.
I think the one of the best things about this whole story was how I felt everything. Yes, the words and descriptions were there, but even without them I would have known how the men were feeling about themselves, the world around them, and each other.
I found the plot very interesting. It carried over elements from the first story and then took them to the next level. The plot incorporated more interesting facts about the men and the types of Fae and their worlds and the way they all interacted. There were new beings and new sources of tension. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to know who the mystery man was and how Mal and Bryce would react in the many tense and stressful situations.
All during the plot though, the romance forged ahead. I struggled a bit with this part of the story but only just a bit. Mal’s back and forth treatment of Bryce and their bond was a bit baffling to me at times and I felt like maybe I missed some key facts that would have better explained things to me. However, that was just a niggle because overall the romance worked for me. Their bond was intense and I felt them fighting it and I felt the cavities form when they let themselves love. It was a roller coaster but oh such a sweet and satisfying one.
Again I really loved how everything is this story melded together to create this one cohesive book. The world was part of the characters and vital to the plot. The layers to the plot were necessary to enhance the character growth and the romance. And the romance was necessary to move the plot forward as it did. It was all just so well rounded and worked so well for me.
Now I am on pins and needles waiting for book three. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see where the author takes this plot and these characters. I am so eager for Gareth’s story. I need to know what makes him tick and I need to see him healed. Bring it on!