A guest review by Sirius
Summary: This fantasy story set in the same world as Boots for the Gentleman, about the love between a human and fairy, was decently written, but it left me cold.
When pickpocket Robin Pastorious comes across some graphic photographs of a young man suffering in bondage, he knows he has to liberate the victim—even after seeing the long, distinctive ears that mark the subject as a faerie, a creature Robin has been taught to hate and fear. Robin finds that the fey Snowdrop is afflicted with somewhat loose morals, a desire to be restrained, and a learned fear of reprimands, so naturally his ensuing encounters with Robin are both blistering and sporadic. But the faerie’s distant, fickle nature eats away at Robin’s sanity, and Robin ends the relationship.
That’s when the village comes under attack by the fey and Robin is captured and put on a train with the very man who tortured Snow. Will Snowdrop mount a rescue and find a way to convince Robin of his sincerity? Or will the pain of their shared past darken any possible future?
I recently reviewed Boots for the Gentleman, written by this writer in collaboration with another author. As my review shows, I was not sure what I felt about that book; I liked a lot of things, but others did not work for me. I wanted another chance to try her writing, so I decided to review this one.
From the very beginning of the story it felt like it was set in the same world — and I suspected it was — but I was not completely sure. We have the same hatred of fairies that humans in this world are taught to have, it was also a steampunk world, and at the end of the book it was finally confirmed for me it is the same world.
I felt it was also technically quite well-written and it flowed very well, however both main characters left me quite cold and indifferent. I was unable to connect emotionally to them. I am not sure why that happened. Maybe because initially I could not quite believe in Robin’s desire to save Snowdrop given how much he had been taught to hate fairies? Maybe because their attraction happened way too fast and sudden for me?
I also thought there were some characterization and plot gaps. While I could at least muster some belief in Robin’s wanting to save Snowdrop because he saw a specific picture and was horrified, I was quite confused how he knew where to go. Basically the answer the book gives us was that he just knew, but I did not remember any information that would make him psychic. And Robin’s further desire to “do right” was even more confusing to me as it had not been established why he would want to do what he did. Snowdrop was a mystery character for me till the very end and even after the end. I learned that he is a fairy and he can do magic and he fell in love with Robin. Him dropping in and out of sight was frustrating even if he was afraid and I did not think that him being afraid was explained in great detail.
I was also frustrated by the ending, which was completely happy, but I wished Robin would have chosen to establish a life for himself and become somebody first. I am not downgrading the book for the ending though as I realize that this would be grading the book I wanted to read instead of the book that was written, but I felt it was important to share my frustration if anybody else may have the similar one.
The main reason for the rating is my complete inability to feel anything for the characters, because I could not believe in why one of them was acting as he did, nor did I feel that I knew the other one well at all.
Recommended with reservations.