Book: Bad Boy's Bard
Series: Fae Out Of Water #3
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publication Date: September 18, 2017
Length: 301 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
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.
During the initial revision of any book, I invariably end up cutting a lot of material as I try to fit my chaotic first draft into a state that won’t make my editor’s eyes cross. The knottier the plot or character problem, the more words I tend to spew while trying to resolve it. In Bad Boy’s Bard, one of the issues I had to resolve was how to make Niall able to converse in modern English, and navigate the Outer World with reasonable facility, when he hadn’t seen the outside of the underworld forge since the Georgian era.
In this deleted scene between Niall and his brother Eamon (soon to be crowned King of the converged Faerie courts), I explored one option (as well as hinted at some of Niall’s other past escapades—plus gave a shout-out to one of my favorite Suzanne Brockmann books).
Eamon has tracked Niall down where he’s hiding in the Keep kitchen. Eamon speaks first.
“You’ve got the chancellor as nervous as feral cat. He keeps startling at every noise and looking over his shoulder more than he looks where he’s walking.”
“Me? I haven’t done anything.”
“Exactly. But he expects you to. You would have before—“
“Perhaps.” Niall shut down the rictus of grief that threatened to ambush his face and grinned instead. A travesty of his old expression, perhaps, but he couldn’t be bothered to care. “But I’m on the injured reserve list.”
“‘Injured reserve’? Where did you learn that term?”
Niall held up his book. “Research.”
Eamon squinted at the title. “Hot Target? Is that an archery text?”
“Hardly. It’s what they call a romantic suspense novel.”
“Really? I’d think that you’d look for more . . . more scholarly tomes to help you learn about the changes in the Outer World.”
“Nothing is better than popular entertainment for that. I learned that from Will Shakespeare.”
“He was a bad influence on you.”
“Will? Why do you say that?”
“It wasn’t until you joined his company that you started to openly defy Father.”
It hadn’t been Will who’d done that. It had been Niall’s inability to save Kit Marlowe. If he hadn’t provoked that tavern brawl . . .
“Never mind.” Niall set the book aside. “The chancellor isn’t the only one who’s acting like a skittish mare. Are you certain your advisors are on board with the Convergence?”
“They don’t have much choice. It’s the Convergence or death by entropy.”
“In case you hadn’t noticed, Unseelie fae aren’t famous for our strategic forethought. In the past, we’d be the ones urging entropy.” Hells, Niall would have been at the front of the pack, pulling every prank in his arsenal to hasten the downfall. But that was when his father had been King. His brother was a better man altogether. A better man than the Unseelie court deserved.
“Yet strangely, when faced with their own demise,” Eamon said, his tone drier than the herbs hanging from the rafters, “they show remarkable ability to change their tunes.”
“Are you counting on that? Their self-interest?”
He shrugged. “It’s one of the tenets. We look out for ourselves before any other.”
“Then what are you doing, working for the good of all?” Niall scooted his stool closer to the fire. “You’d better watch out, or they’ll believe those old rumors that you’re a Seelie changeling.”
As it turned out, I abandoned this line of “research” for Niall in favor of a different “modernization” method. What is it, you ask? Ah, that would be telling… ;-)
Throughout this series we have seen glimpses of Gareth, the one true Bard. His story was revealed piece by piece but in this one we get the entire tale.
Gareth is the last of the Kendrick brothers. I don’t know what this means for the series, if it ends, or there’s spin-offs or what but I can say if the author ended it here that would bring it full circle.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers because there’s a lot revealed in this. We see all the characters in play here. David, Bryce, the Kendrick brothers, Eamon… the list goes on. There’s a finality to all of it as every secret is told. Every tear shed has served it’s purpose and the Kendrick brothers have all found love.
These are not standalones at all. We are following one large story arc so you need to start with book one (Cutie and the Beast).
There’s suspense, and heartbreak, a haunting feeling as we follow Gareth and Niall’s story. I can’t imagine what two hundred years of thinking something false does to a person when the truth slams you in the face.
The whole series is wonderful for sure and I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of fantasy, magic, myth, and legend.
The only issue I had at all, and this was with each one, was the stubbornness of the fae. Because they were like that, they lacked communication. Every time their “partner “would say, “We need to talk.” They’d be like, “Not now. Now let’s just be happy.” Then the truth would come out and they would have a fit and I’d sit here like OMG they tried to tell you. That’s just me though but it was frustrating.
Overall this is a great book and a wonderful series. Give it a go!
About the Fae Out of Water Series
Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—
Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.
Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.
The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar. But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.
Check out Fae Out of Water! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-water
About the Author
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
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To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!