Review: Born under a Blue Moon by Laura S. Fox

Ay’len and Ma’ki have been in love since they were children, but, as they grow up, they realize that their love can never be. Ay’len, although a boy, was raised together with his sisters, to learn women’s ways, far away from all the dangers boys to become men had to face. Destined to become the tribe’s next healer, his gentle soul is also destined to protect the village. Being born under a blue moon, he is considered lucky, but his luck and happiness are not his, as he must belong to the entire tribe. He needs to remain pure, away from temptations of the flesh, so he must quash the love he feels for Ma’ki and dedicate himself to a selfless existence. 

Ma’ki is a hunter and the tribe chieftain’s first born. His purpose is to carry his bloodline, by marrying and fathering children. Yet, as years go by, his love for Ay’len grows stronger. To his family’s distress, he refuses to take a wife, despite knowing that Ay’len could never be his. 

But not all tribesmen see Ay’len with good eyes and danger has a way of finding him. His androgynous appearance provokes confusion and lust, and a moment arrives when a man decides to challenge the tribe’s rules and make Ay’len his wife. Without protection, the healer is left to be devoured by a beast of a man and his lewd desires. When Ma’ki discovers that his one true love is bound to another, he realizes his entire life has been a lie. 

When rules are broken, and gods are scorned, will true love survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's got a mystical Native American vibe that I've not experienced since Mustang Hill by Rolf. I know quite a few people will be put off by the warning tags. I wasn't. Actually, I was anticipating something harsher than what I got. It does happen on the page, but is wasn't Bloodraven level and it's short-lived.

I don't want to go off on a huge tangent here and, in all honesty, while I was reading it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment, but since I've finished it I can't stop thinking about how the tribe made the decision to raise Ay'len female. I find this very interesting. Ay'len even asks his mother at one point as a child if he was male or female and her response was that he was "lucky". He dresses as a woman and feels more comfortable being with the women rather than hunting and gathering with the men. All of which I'm fine with, but I sure would like to know how or why the tribe decided this was the course of action to take. Perhaps it's a foregone conclusion in their culture for someone born under a blue moon.

Ay'len was born under the blue moon and chosen early on to become the next healer. His androgyny makes many distrustful and others downright ugly to him, yet somehow he maintains his benevolence. His mother says he was "made for love". Apropos. He's gentle, kind, unselfish and altruistic and he's always been in love with Ma'ki.

Ma'ki is set to be the next chieftain. His duty is to ensure his bloodline continues yet he refuses to marry and becomes increasingly bitter from denying himself his heart's desire. Ma'ki is kind of a neanderthal but I liked him. He's gruff and plain spoken and once he decides he's had enough of hiding his feelings for Ay'len, nobody is stopping him from taking Ay'len as his wife. NOBODY! YA HEAR?

The love these two have for each other is palpable and it is repeatedly tested. More than one sociopath tries to destroy Ay'len and Ma'ki. It's a beautiful love story of devotion through adversity, but it's also hopeful.

What this book does desperately need is an edit. The prose is… odd. Verb tenses are used incorrectly, words are left out, and sometimes it seems like perspectives change randomly. At times I wasn't sure if it was purposeful maybe to make the characters seem more authentic? I'm not sure, but it was jarring and jerked me out of the story more than once. 

I'm intrigued by this author and her ability to weave a tale. It's more romance than overtly explicit non-con, but enjoyable.

I'd like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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  1. I'm totally happy I got this on my Kindle. Gonna definitely read this. Great review, Cupcake. :D