Review: Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm by Echo Ishii

Claude Rumpel is a goblin turned human, living a quiet life in his little repair shop at the edge of town. He is in sore need of money to fund his inventions, and a cure for his hands, which he must keep covered at all times.

Daniel Grimm is half elf, descended from a wealthy family but now down on his luck. He is determined to restore his family's prestige and has a daring plan to do so.

The gold thread that Claude spins, and Daniel's ability to sell it, seems a perfect plan for their goals. The casual sex is a pleasant bonus. But they are constantly thwarted from all sides: Daniel's dealing with a powerful witch, the opposing magic of their lineages, and Claude's dark goblin desires…

I love fairy tales. Not the “helpless princess” kind with off-page evil and a hearts-and-flowers HEA. I like the kind that are dark around the edges. I like my princesses (or princes) to be self-rescuing. I like my evil to be front and center and my wicked characters to thrive on their rottenness with maniacal glee. I don’t want a clean HEA. I’m ok with blurred lines between the good and the bad where my hero may have to resort to nasty shenanigans for the greater good. This story did not disappoint in that department and I was a happy Peachy in that respect.

Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm have an arrangement, both in business and as fairy tale fuck buddies. When there business dealings seem to be coming to an end both are unsure of what will happen next and neither is willing to open up and share their secrets to become closer. Showing any weakness is potentially dangerous and while the two of them have a connection, obviously, it’s physically intimate but not personal.

I liked both characters, their personalities were a good match. Grimm is a lithe beauty with a flirty personality while Rumpel paints an imposing picture, but has a shy, quiet, yet strong demeanor. The author set the scene well and I could envision Rumpel’s shop and Grimm’s home. The Olde Hag and the Troll were deliciously evil and the tension that built up when Grimm and the Olde Hag were going to have their “meeting” was a scene I really looked forward to.

All that being said there was a shortage of information for me that would have driven me to fall for these characters completely and want to be their champion in the fight. I would imagine it’s a tough balance to strike when writing a fantasy or fairy tale in giving enough background and detail without it turning into a complete info dump, especially in a shorter story.

For instance, I know that Rumpel used to be 100% goblin and now he was mostly human, but I had no idea how or why, just that “things changed, and he’d become human.” I also know that there were the Scourge Wars, but I don’t know exactly who was fighting or why. I don’t need tons of detail, but some information here would have been helpful because it obviously affected the characters a great deal and may have explained why they made certain decisions, etc. When the story starts the two are already in a “relationship” but how they met and how they came to be intimate would have made the story. Because the two of them are so incredibly different, I couldn’t imagine the point where one would make the big move on the other, so I didn’t understand their dynamics as well as I wanted. Finally, the typos. I’m really not overly picky with typos, but a glut of them will take me out of a story pretty quickly. Extra or missing “its” “the” “and” “a”, etc. can slow the reading to a stutter unfortunately and referring to a character by the others name is a tough thing to get past.

The premise is great and I would love to read more about these two. Filling in some blanks and expanding the relationship some more would definitely get me hooked. I think there is enough outline there to continue Rumpel and Grimm’s story and it wouldn’t take much more to make this reader happy.

For more info on Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm, check it out on Goodreads!

***a copy of this story was provided for an honest review*** 


  1. looking for a GREAT Christmas story, haven't found it yet and this one doesn't look like its gonna fit the bill, so I said hmmmm...any other suggestions?

    1. This was definitely a fun fairytale (and I love fairytales) but nope, not a Christmas story.

      AND I LOVE MERRY JIZZMAS stories :D.

      There are so many goodies out there. Any of Eli Easton's Christmas stories are a win. Same with Heidi Cullinan. I loved Feathers From the Sky, Gaudete, The Trouble with Elves and Rebound from last years DSP advent event. Mending Noel is really fun so is Eden Winters Fanning the Flames series. OH! and Merry Gentlemen by Jo Myles. OH! and Something to Believe In by Sloan Parker. I'm leaving out SO many but I could seriously talk about Christmas books for days! :D