Review: Gatekeepers and Dreamweavers by Helena Maeve

Condemned for witchcraft and about to swing for the abduction of half a dozen children, Irene is bewildered when her noose breaks. Her only hope lies in the forests that have protected the women of her family for generations. But when a young man fleeing abuse ventures into her safe haven, Irene's plans are suddenly thrown into disarray.

Too pretty for his own good, Simon Bonnay has been on the receiving end of unwanted attention for years. And though she may be a witch, Simon would sooner earn his keep with Irene than any of the men in town.

As a night of passion gives way to brutal morning, leaving a man dead and a witch hunter wounded on their doorstep, Irene’s secluded home soon becomes a pressure cooker of volatile emotions and sweltering passion. Old enemies may have no choice but to work together to prevent a greater evil – or die trying.

Not what I was expecting.

I like this author and I love m/m/f so I figured this would be a slam dunk. I'd say this barely qualifies as even a menage story and if it does it's m/f/m. Also, I think I read more into the blurb than was actually there. This is far more fantasy thriller than romance. The fantasy elements are good with decent world building, but I requested it thinking it was a romance in a fantasy setting. 

Irene is a witch who's been tried and convicted to hang based on flimsy and circumstantial evidence coupled with a coerced confession. She escapes the noose in a flukey way then makes her way back to her secluded cottage in the woods. Simon is a bar hand who's being whored out by his own brother. Why exactly is unknown, but it does serve to send him into the clutches of the evil witch in the woods, who's actually not evil, when he decides he's had enough. 

I never connected with either one of these characters nor did I feel any chemistry between them. The majority of the novella is spent between them rather than as a triad. When the Vatican sent witch hunter, Lucas, arrives in an attempt to recapture her it's clear it's a half-hearted attempt which, I believe, is intentional since he's to complete the triad. Still I felt no connection between any of them. I don't know what they see in each other besides convenience and generally being outcasts.

The story revolves around the disappearance of children and the culprit was very obvious to me early on, so the tension/suspense never materialized. A lackluster suspense coupled with bland characters left me feeling unfulfilled and mostly bored.

The language is still swoon worthy which is precisely what drew me to this author again. She has an eloquence and a gift for imagery, but overall I didn't enjoy this story as much as I wanted to.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

No comments:

Post a Comment