Series: Fae Out of Water #3
Published by Riptide Publishing on September 18, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy & Magic, LGBT, Paranormal Romance
Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes
Reviewed by: Rebecca
As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.
Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.
Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.
BAD BOY’S BARD was always going to be a difficult novel. Like all Greater Fae, Gareth holds prejudiced views of Lesser Fae and other fantastical communities. Ever since his human lover was killed 200 years ago, Gareth has been morose, grumpy, and all other derivatives of broody. In the two previous books, he’s been cruel to his brothers, judging them harshly for their new love interests. Even though he’s the last bard of faerie, Gareth is reluctant to return to the realm and always holds back during his performances. Reversing that image is a tall order.
Plots that involve mistaken identity and past love can be fun. But when they hinge on one big, silly lie, it’s hard not to roll your eyes. Niall has a complicated past with Gareth. He’s both desperate to avoid the bard and also aching to see him again. When the two meet up, Niall fakes amnesia in order to bypass Gareth’s awkward questions and hide his true origins. All the characters remark on how ‘convenient’ Niall’s amnesia is, except for Gareth. Yes, yes, blinded by love and all. But come on.
BAD BOY’S BARD continues the set-up from the previous two novels. The fae world needs to be changed and dragged into modernism. Their prejudices are holding back their society, in order to progress the realm needs to be redrawn. The plot itself is well-done. Answering previous concerns about the magical world and wrapping up lingering questions. The character work in the novels has always been excellent. Previously, the character’s have matured, earning the love that they’ve been rejecting. That growth is lacking from this novel. Gareth’s switch from prejudice to acceptance isn’t believable. It happens, but I’m not sure it undos the emotional damage he’s caused.
It was great to see both David and Bryce also featured in the novel. But it really highlighted just how much of a jerk Gareth had been to both them and his brothers. It’s hard to root for Gareth when he’s constantly picking on Bryce. BAD BOY’s BARD was still an enjoyable novel, despite Gareth’s flaws. Niall was an interesting character and provided a different view of the fae. I wish there had been more romantic scenes that THE DRUID NEXT DOOR had, or the character growth from CUTIE AND THE BEAST. Perhaps Gareth will strike a different chord with other readers who are more likely to forgive all the treble he’s caused. Definitely read the BAD BOY’S BARD to finish the series and see how the fae world finally grows up. It’s a good send off to a fantastically enjoyable series.Series Titles: