Reading level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Size: 304 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st Handmaid’s Tale book
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book through NetGalley.com. I had been wanting to read a book from Entangled Publishing for a while and was eager to see what they are all about. This sounded like a magical read and it was. There were faeries and romance, and an engaging story. It was more romancy than most things I read; so probably not something I would read a lot but it was a nice change of pace for one book.
Kaia is one of the four Handmaidens of the Queen of Fey. As a Handmaiden her job is to make human men want her and then break them. This is a way to get vengence for all the bad things humans have done to the Fey over the centuries. The one rule that the Handmaidens have is to never submit to a man. When Kaia is sent to Garrett Jameson specifically to humiliate and break him, she finds that she is the one submitting. Will Kaia be able to complete her task or will she be forced to stand up to the Queen and possibly sacrifice all her magic and her soul to save Garrett from humiliation and destruction?
Okay I should say right off that I thought the premise of this story was a bit flimsy at first. I mean seriously the Handmaidens’ jobs are to seduce men and then leave them wanting…wow what an existence that is. But despite the flimsy premise (which basically just sets things up for a passionate and star-crossed romance between Kaia and Garrett) the book is very well written and the story does gain some depth as it goes on.
As the story continues Scott does an excellent job describing Kaia going through all the problems of trying to blend in with human society for a longer amount of time. Kaia has to learn all the things humans take for granted; how to work, how to eat, and how to take care of a body that can’t be managed with magic. Kaia and Garrett make for an explosive couple. Although they are drawn to each other they have trouble committing because Garrett can tell that Kaia is lying about something and Kaia is very self-conscious of her new human body.
It was wonderful to watch Kaia get to know Garrett over the course of the book and realize that the tables have been turned. While she has been trying to get Garrett to fall in love with her she has fallen in love with him instead. I love that the characters fall in love gradually and over similarities that they have in their lives; the love at first sight thing always bothers me…so I was happy that that didn’t happen here. The plot point that really drives the reader forward is whether or not Kaia will keep her wings/soul. Scott writes in such a way that you are constantly trying to guess how everything will work out and (although the general plot is a bit predictable) the way everything is wraps up is surprising and well done.
Scott also does a wonderful job writing scenes between Kaia and Garrett that are steamy but not too explicit; they are tasteful and well done. We get to see into the day to day lives of these characters and struggle through everything they are struggling through and it makes the characters easy to relate to and really gets the reader involved with the story. The side characters aren’t as well done, but they are okay and some of the things that happen between the side characters are what drive Kaia and Garrett together.
The story was wrapped up nicely and I can imagine future stories featuring the other Handmaidens.
Overall this was a well-written story. The main characters of Kaia and Garrett were very well done, the steamy scenes between them were breathtaking, and Scott did an excellent job of weaving the fairy world into modern day society. I thought that the initial premise behind the Handmaidens’ purpose was a bit flimsy. But the issue of whether or not Kaia would get to keep her wings really propeled the story forward and I had trouble putting the book down. Will I read more books in this series? Probably not, although I enjoyed this book it was a bit too much of a soap opera/romance for me. There wasn’t enough action and the plot was pretty one dimensional (just focused on Kaia and Garrett getting together). I enjoy my stories with a bit more meat to them. I would recommend this for romance fans who like a bit of magic in their stories.