ARC Review, Book Review, Fantasy, Romance

The Moonlit Woods (The Shifting Fae Book 1) by Eliza Tilton

When marriage or death are your only options, you break all the rules.

Rosalie is sold to the magistrate of Farrow’s Gate to compete in a marriage competition. If she wins, her home is saved. If she loses, she’ll be forced to work off her family’s debt in an undisclosed location.

But the magistrate won’t just marry any human. He wants a mate whose magic rivals his own, and Rosalie can’t ever reveal just how powerful she is. In the world of Saol magic is regulated, and if the Magi Council discovered what she is, it won’t just be her life at risk.

Her only chance of escape is with the magistrate’s bodyguard, Baine: a dark, too handsome fae, and one who has no interest in helping a human girl.

Until one night in the moonlit woods when everything changes, and suddenly Rosalie is torn between what she wants and what is right.

Losing the competition means death, winning means the death of others, and Rosalie is out of time. If she doesn’t choose soon, someone will do it for her.

If I did not have other stuff going on, I would have read this story in one or two days. This story grabbed me in the first chapter and held my attention till the end. The pacing and writing were perfect for the length of the story. I am glad the author turned this short story into a book.

Rosalie is the main character in this story. I love how she thinks about others and herself. There was no one or the other like in most stories. Rosalie is a type of character I enjoy reading and could get along with in real life. She is more of a tomboy, not into the corsets and dainty feminine role, but more of the pants and lets get down and dirty to get things done. She is loyal to her family, and those she befriends. I look forward to the rest of her character arc in the next book.

Baine is your typical mysterious character. His loyalty to those around him is deep. But everything changes when Rosalie comes into his life and he himself does not understand. Baine is a multilayered character, and this makes him intriguing. He may seem to be hard on the outside, but he has a soft spot on the inside, especially toward those he cares about. I look forward to seeing where his character heads in the next book

The rest of the cast is a hit and miss. Some I wish we could have gotten a bit more. I understand it was because of the length and the author wrote the characters well for what we got without overpowering the main characters. I hope in book two some of these characters will reprise their roles and maybe we, as readers, will have time to learn more about them.

The world building in this story, for me, was a little lack. I wanted a tad more information to better understand what was going on. There was enough to keep interest and wanting to read more, but it was missing something. Another issue I had was the magic. I was not understanding the magic lore enough to know what was going on, why certain people had it, and the way they categorized the severity of the magic. There could have been some more breadcrumbs.

I enjoyed reading this story. It held my attention from beginning and end even with the few issues I had. The writing itself is great and I would read more from this author. I would recommend this story if you enjoy fantasy romance, slow burn romance, magic, faes, and adventure.

*I received an ARC from the author, and this is my honest opinion.

I give this book a 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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