Audiobook Review: A Dandelion for Tulip (Being(s) in Love #6) by R. Cooper

David is in love with Tulip, a kind and unusually quiet fairy in his social circle. But everyone knows Tulip doesn’t date humans. David tells himself he is happy to be Tulip’s friend, because he doesn’t believe a fairy could love him and Tulip has never tried to “keep him”—as fairies refer to relationships with humans.

Fairies are drawn to David, describing his great “shine,” but David knows only too well how quickly fairies can forget humans, and thinks he’s destined to be alone. He can’t see his own brilliance or understand how desperately Tulip wants him, even if Tulip believes David can do better.

But exhausted and more than a little tipsy at a Christmas party, David makes his feelings too obvious for Tulip to deny any longer. Because of a past heartbreak involving a human, Tulip is convinced someone as shiny as David could never want a “silly, stupid fairy” in his life. Now, if he wants to keep David, he’ll have to be as brave as his shiny, careful human.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 41 minutes
Narrator: Michael Fell

Fairies, dragons, glitter and shine?!

Contact glitter might possibly be a thing after reading A Dandelion for Tulip.

This was my first R. Cooper and after reading, it won't be my last. I read along as I listened to Michael Fell narrate. The story is within 4- 4.5 Hearts range, the narration is a 3-3.5 Hearts range. My rating is an average. The story was subtle slow burn. It used the smaller, quieter moments to get the point across. And it writhed in the angst...

"Ever see yourself doing the same thing over and over? And inside you're screaming, Why do I keep doing this? Why am I so stupid? Because you know how it will end, and yet you do it anyway. And more of you seems to get stripped away each time until all that's left is this hopeful idiot who never learns."

Great internal angst where the author has an excellent sense of their characters, characteristics and the setting.

Set in an alternate universe where beings, or supernaturals, are known and is closely related to our world (all of our historical events happened just with beings out in the open for the last hundred years or so). The beings are marginalized by humans and you could switch any present day marginalized group with beings and the same emotions and hurt comes across. The author showcases inclusiveness and present day marginalized groups without getting preachy or it coming across as looking for 'cool kid' points.

All the books in the Being(s) in Love series are standalone and I was not lost reading this. In fact, I'm so going back and reading the dragon book. (The couple from A Boy and His Dragon make an appearance)

David is an overworked PhD student and TA. He is also biracial and feels he has to prove himself just to get respect in his field and in his life. He works extra hard to be taken seriously, it is what his family pushes him to do and what he's learned he should be as there are others who will judge him for his skin color. (The author really excelled at getting David's challenges in life across) The subject of David's doctorate and programs doesn't make his life an easier...he studies beings. Humans are slowly warming up to their supernatural counterparts.

David's got his work cut out for him. And he doesn't make it easier for himself with who he is in love with, a quiet older fairy named Tulip who doesn't do humans. It's been years since David fell for the fairy with swirling gold eyes and black and pink glitter wings.

Side note: the cover is beautiful but it doesn't really get the way the main characters are described. David is described as a biracial academic with auburn, curly hair. I don't know if the author based David off musician Jidenna (he's a biracial academic with a flair for preppy clothes - listen to his music--it's AWESOME)

But I couldn't stop picturing David as this. And Tulip's wings on the cover doesn't match either. But the sentiment is nice as it captures a pivotal scene. End side note.

The story is told exclusively through David's perspective. The self proclaimed nerd has a close knit circle of friends that includes his object of his love, his best friend Flor and his ex-hook-up Clematis. Fairies are known as the 'hippies' of the beings - they down sugar and sweets like it's alcohol, tell the truth all the time and clothing is optional (mostly not!) The total opposite of David's seriousness. But what David possess is a shine. Seen by only fairies, his "shine" draws fairies to him. But no one wants to "keep" him...

Through an embarrassing Christmas party, a drunk David finally lets his feelings known. And he's rebuffed gently. The author brings us through mutual pining and restraint, quiet touches and soul bearing. The angst, it aches at a point but overall it is a quiet, gentle story. A sweet romance with achingly sweet words, heady breaths and painstaking moments.

"Have you always wanted to do this?" David asked, slow as honey."My bed waits for you," Tulip answered in a low serious tone, and wiped chocolate or sugar from David's chin. "Since the first time you fell asleep in it. Before then, even."

I have so many quotes saved on my Kindle. The slow burn is definitely turned on high. There were moments when I just wanted to grab Tulip and David and just shake them. It's so obvious their adoration for each other, but they're damaged and oblivious. But I wasn't bored at any point. There were a few lull moments, where it seemed the character was talking around the issue. Or the nerd was on full steam and the research subject would take precedence to the romance, but in a way it worked. I figured as I read it's the way the author told the story.

When the two finally get their act together... MAGIC.

Smutsers, there is sex. Hell, there was a surprising public sex scene that definitely hit the right notes. And a big guy bottoming! Yay! But it wasn't overly graphic, if it's what you're seeking. The moments were hot and it fit the entire vibe of the romance.

I did read along with the audio and if you dive into this standalone story, I'd suggest reading it first, or at least along with the audio. Fell was decent at narrating. I think he lost steam as the story progressed, but he did seem to read it and react accordingly to most moments. He did fail with pronunciation a lot, like he kept saying Cle-MAN-tis for Clematis, or NA-DREE-UH for Nadira. And he'd change words in the text a good number of times. Would I listen to him again? Yes. But I warn audio sticklers, I'd try reading if it's a major issue for you.

Because either way, the story is magical, quietly romantic and sweet. There was a light plot twist I didn't see and it made me understand why David was the way he is and how he views the world that surrounds him. Maybe it was also the reason he chose the field he studies?

After finishing, I want a fairy of my own. I definitely loved what David and Tulip brought to the table and think they'll continue being the best for each other for years to come.

Highly recommended for urban fantasy fans who like the romance with pining, internal angst and glitter.

Glitter smack!

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