#Review: The Castle of Earth and Embers by Steffanie Holmes @steffmetal
BRAND NEW reverse harem series laced with Celtic mythology, gothic mystery, and four gorgeous guys, all served up with lashings of British wit.
Maeve Crawford has her life mathematically calculated down to the last detail; Leave her podunk Arizona town, graduate MIT, get into the space program, be the first woman on Mars, read lots of books, get a cat (not necessarily in this order).
All Maeve’s careful plans come crashing down when her parents are killed in a freak accident, and she discovers she’s inherited a real, honest-to-goodness English castle – complete with turrets, ramparts, and four gorgeous male tenants.
Corbin – the protector wallowing in guilt
Arthur – the warrior tired of fighting
Flynn – the trickster with an artist’s soul
Rowan – the enigma whose scars run deep
As soon as Maeve enters Briarwood, she’s drawn to Corbin, Arthur, Flynn and Rowan – four beautiful boys drenched in grief, hope, and ancient magic. Maeve needs them all to heal her broken heart, and they need her to help them protect the world from the fae host baying at the castle gates.
Dark forces converge on Briarwood castle, and Maeve Crawford – science geek, scarred soul, lover of four remarkable men – must draw from herself a power she never imagined in order to protect the shattered remains of her life.
The Castle of Earth and Embers is the first in a brand new steamy reverse harem romance by USA Today bestselling author, Steffanie Holmes. This full-length book glitters with love, heartache, hope, grief, dark magic, fairy trickery, steamy scenes, British slang, meat pies, second chances, and the healing powers of a good cup of tea. Read on only if you believe one just isn’t enough.
Steffanie Holmes has been on my radar for ages, not least because we have a mutual friend who has been telling me to pick up her books for years now…this is where I bow my head in shame that I haven’t got further than adding books to my wishlist because having now read one of her books I have some serious backpedalling to do!
The Castle of Earth and Ember is Holmes’ first reverse harem and by gum can this woman write? (That’s a ‘yes’ by the way…) Maeve is 21, newly orphaned for the second time having just lost her adoptive parents, and about to walk into an English Castle which she has discovered she inherited from her birth mother. So things aren’t too weird for her. To top it off she’s about to discover the fae, that magic is real and she’s part of a coven of witches, the rest of the coven being four rather delicious looking guys.
Maeve is one of my favourite reverse harem heroines. She’s a physicist who sees everything in a very scientific, black and white way. She wants to be able to back up the unexplainable with justifiable proof and that sends the dialogue for the novel in different directions than you would normally expect. I like how she starts to see links between magical elements and physics and where she also sees that sometimes it may not work at all. She is also very down to earth, friendly and open to the guys so the romance aspects of the story still flow in a very natural manner.
The guys are great and bring a real sense of personality and purpose to the story. Corbin is their leader and certain he will be the one Maeve will choose to lead them, Arthur is the one who fights with swords and gives Maeve that sense of safety, Flynn is the joker and life and soul of the group, and Rowan suffers from anxiety, he struggles to be around people but Maeve knows there is more to him. Each one of them is there for a good reason, and they each bring something to the table which is unique and valuable to the coven. Probably one of the things I loved most about this book was how we have a coven with male witches. This is so rarely done it makes it such a unique proposition and really interested to see men taking on that role.
There were some outstanding evil characters King of the Unseelie just about taking the prize for evil wrongdoing and his sons Blake and Kalen full of dastardly wrongdoing.
I loved the way the fae lore was used here, there was some interesting use of lore around changelings and how they are used, how the fae get their strength, and how the fae can cross over into the humans land. It’s clear a lot of research has gone into this as so much of it links back to existing lore.
I loved this book, I loved the writing, I loved the characters (even the bad ones…especially the bad ones)
Thanks to Steffanie Holmes for the eARC of this book so that I could read and honestly review the book. I cannot wait to read the next book and I’ve bought some of the back catalogue at last.
Book & Buy Links
Title: The Castle of Earth and Embers
Series: Briarwood Reverse Harem #1
Author: Steffanie Holmes
Genre: Reverse Harem | Romance | Paranormal Romance | Magic
Publication Date: 13 March 2018
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link Redirects to Preferred Retailer)