Eve of Samhain by Lisa Sanchez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SNARKY MODERN FAERIE TALE
Eve of Samhain is a paranormal romance featuring Ryann Pierce, a college student by day and club waitress by night. Losing her parents at a young age has turned Ryann into a feisty, stubborn, independent young woman, and woe to the club patron who tries to grab a piece of her alluring backside--he’s sure to receive a harsh word or quick smack in return . . .
Until Quinn Donegan enters. He’s a tall, muscular, blue-eyed hunk with a sexy Irish brogue and a spirited argumentativeness of his own. Oh, and did I mention he’s a 500 year-old faerie? Ryann’s too disheveled by his tantalizing effect on her to respond with her typical cheek, but that doesn’t stop Quinn from continuing to throw out barbs and insults . . . surely a sign of his affection? Quinn is determined to keep Ryann safe from a nefarious shape-shifter that stalks her and says creepy things like “Mine” while threatening her.
I love how Quinn and Ryann seem made for each other not only due to their physical attraction but also due to their similar impudence. Because of Quinn’s arrogance and womanizing, the faerie queen placed a curse on him long ago. As a result, he and Ryann have to refrain from touching each other, ratcheting up the palpable sexual tension. Quinn’s Gaelic words reminded me of Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series, and I felt like Claire Randall, swooning every time Quinn murmured sweet nothings in Gaelic.
Ryann is clever with her made-up words. I laughed out loud when she calls Quinn a “fastard” and describes her own “badonkadonk-sized keister”, as well as lines like this from p. 47 when Quinn’s describing his powers:
“You’d only lose your mind if I were to shag you.”
“SHAG me?” I said, slightly taken aback. Were we trapped in a Mike Myers film and I didn’t know it?
I also liked how Ryann wasn’t very experienced in the bedroom. It makes her seem more real.
I felt sad for Ryann that she has such negative body image despite being at a lean, healthy body weight and drawing the obvious attention of male suitors. She's obsessed with her appearance to the point that she restricts her food intake and insists on early morning runs no matter how late she goes to bed or how many dangers lurk on her path.
Sadly, this preoccupation with weight and shape can occur even to those women who are closer to society’s “ideal”, and I wonder if her negative body image is a manifestation of her overall poor sense of self after growing up without parents. Ryann lacks confidence in general, a vulnerability hiding beneath a hard exterior, and she funnels all that self-doubt into hating her body. They say that the love and acceptance of a romantic partner can improve body image, and I was pleased when Ryann begins focusing on more important aspects of her life as Quinn weaves himself into her world. It was good to see both characters grow as a result of their relationship.
Reading how things turned out in the end, I felt happy and satisfied. Overall a very enjoyable read by Lisa Sanchez!
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