This is a really cute romance story first and foremost, and I do mean “romance” in that the main point, or interest of this story is when and how the main characters hook up and fall for one another. There is an element of fantasy in this book, as Anthony is quite the talented wizard able to create portals and make his clothes appear from thin air, and his house pretty much takes care of itself via magical means. But the focus is really never about that, or the period piece that this story takes place in. This is a story of how Elira, a poor orphan, finds herself impossibly drawn to her employer after he saves her from freezing to death in the snow, and he—despite societies strict rules on the matter—develops feelings for the girl he insists works for him as a maid after he rescues her. Honestly, it’s a very cute story and Sparrow does a lovely job of crafting characters I felt drawn to, which is why I enjoyed this sweet, fantastic romance tale.
Most fantasy books these days have their main characters falling in love, but “No Rest for the Wicked” does take that a step further. Again, in very much the traditional romance sense, there are some pretty steamy sections of this book! It’s nothing overly graphic, I’d feel perfectly fine reading this book in public and not worry about someone catching something if they read over my shoulder (which is kind of rude). But there are whole chapters where nothing is happening other than sexy courtship, so just keep that in mind—I was serious when I said this is a romance book with hints of fantasy, not the other way around! There is no crude language present, which makes me like this kind of romance a bit more than some of the more main stream novels in this genre, but just keep that in mind, and maybe not give this book to anyone under 17? Just a thought.
I really enjoyed the sweetness of this story and how Anthony and Elira interacted with one another (though I did like Moira’s sass the best). The story is easy to pick up and read for hours and hours without noticing the time going by, which I greatly appreciated! In fact, I would have rated this book much higher except that I was encountering pretty persistent editing errors. They don’t hurt the story, Sparrow does a great job of making the reader feel things, but I was noticing them throughout the novel. I also wish that Anthony and Elira spoke more. We are shown their feelings through a lot of silent, near psychic glances which kept either from just having a conversation with one another, which made their powerful feelings feel a little less than genuine, but that’s easy to get over for the most part. Additionally, I would have loved to see more scenes with the main antagonist terrorizing the couple so that we could 1. See more of the magic and witness just how powerful Anthony truly is and 2. So I could feel more like the stakes were higher for not just the main characters affections, but their very lives. It also would have helped the reader better understand Anthony and his family, and made his flippant disregard for upper class society feel more ingrained to his character rather than just a quirk.
Despite—or in spite of?—the editing errors and my desire to have more dialogue and world building, I really did enjoy this standalone story. Which I also really liked by the way. While I love reading series, sometimes it’s really nice to just pick up a book and not have to worry about entering a world where it takes 3 books just to finish the story. It was quick and sweet, and unique enough from other romance books with the fantasy elements that I found myself genuinely smiling throughout the entire story. Sparrow is a talented author that makes kind, vulnerable characters just as well as she makes powerful and strapping ones. So this book is closer to a 4 star for me, but with the issues I found and had, I’m giving it a 3.75 star but will definitely keep my eye on this author for future books. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of the book for review!
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