Cutie and the Beast (Fae Out of Water #1)

Author: E.J. Russell

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Riptide & Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb: Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.


Review:  David Evans has got himself a job! As a temp. He’s going to be working in an office, which he’s not supposed to be doing, because the usual lady isn’t at the temp agency, but he’s got plans to be so awesome it won’t matter. Besides, he totally has a crush on the Dr’s voice and really wants to work for Alun Kendrick. Alun has no idea why he was sent a human. His usual lady at the temp agency is sick and he can’t get someone suitable and he’s stuck with the human. Ugh. Alun just wants to work as a therapist for the local supernatural community and shield the world from the ugliness of his face after he was cursed. It’s totally not hiding! David keeps doing things Alun finds wholly inappropriate, but they work. David is breaking all the rules! And it’s okay. Alun has some unfinished business in faerie he’s got to deal with. He’s kind of sort of dating David at this point and doesn’t relish the thought of taking him to faerie, but he does. It was quite the surprise for everyone!

This book is cute. I feel a little silly saying that since “Cutie” is part of the title, but the book really is cute. This book is also fun. David is fun to read. He’s light hearted and maybe a little ditzy. He also sort of pings toward manic pixie dream guy which I didn’t like so much. David forces Alun to reevaluate his life and also helps him solve all his problems all while coaxing a joie de vivre from Alun’s serious self. There’s not a lot to David beyond being a fun guy who wants to help people. He was, literally, born that way.

One of my favorite things about speculative fiction is it’s ability to allow us to look at human foibles through another lens. Alun was an interesting character for spoiler reasons that would be cool to discuss but spoiler. I can say he was miserable and became a psychologist which almost seems like a physician heal thyself kind of thing. In spite of his misery Alun helped a lot of people. Or maybe it was because of his misery. Alun should have had the perfect life and didn’t. Alun’s personal experiences made him more able to help people. And he did help people. David made the help even more helpful, but Alun made life better for a lot of people in the supernatural community.

There is a lot of cute and charming in this book. There’s also a baddie and supernatural political intrigue. I think my absolute favorite thing was the little dragon boy. Gah! So adorable! This book is great escapism and a wonderful read if you’re looking for supernatural and comedically awkward characters. There’s some supernaturally awkward, too.

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