Group Review: By Fairy Means or Foul (Starfig Investigations #1) by Meghan Maslow

The last thing half-dragon, half-fairy private investigator Twig Starfig wants to do is retrieve a stolen enchanted horn from a treacherous fae, but there’s no denying the dazzlingly gorgeous unicorn who asks Twig to do just that. Literally, no denying, because compelling the reluctant detective is all part of a unicorn’s seductive magic.

To add to his woes, Twig is saddled with the unicorn’s cheeky indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle. Dragons are supposed to want to eat humans, but Twig’s half-dragon side only wants to gobble up Quinn in a more . . . personal way. Making matters worse, it’s obvious the smokin’ hot but untrustworthy sidekick is hiding something. Something big. And not what’s in his trousers. In the PI business, that means trouble with a capital Q.

Throw in gads of zombies, a creepy ghost pirate ship, a malfunctioning magic carpet, and Twig’s overbearing fairy father’s demands to live up to the illustrious Starfig name. Naturally, an old but abiding enemy chooses this time to resurface, too. Those inconveniences Twig can handle. The realization he’s falling for a human who isn’t free to return his affections and whose life may hang on the success of his latest case?

Not so much.

It's a unicorn group review, of course!!!

Lost in a Book - 5 Hearts All the Hearts.


I just wanna make it rain with them. I loved this book SO hard that I wanted to savor it and hurry up and read at the same time. The struggle was real y’all. I apologize in advance that my brain is jumbled from ooey gooey feelings that may lead to a jumbled mess of words. In my defense, this feeling doesn’t happen often but I just clicked with this book.

Were some parts OTT? Uh-huh!
Were some parts silly? Yep!
Did I care? Not. At. All. It was funny AF and captivating and sexy and amazeballs. It was a well written story with a lot of moving parts so I will try my very best not to reveal anything that will ruin your reading experience.

I’ll also attempt to string some coherent thoughts together while I silently SQUEE.

What do you get when a tiny male fairy has sex with a beast of a dragon female? I’m sure you were thinking epic awesomeness? You would be correct. Twig Starfig, one of the MCs is the result of his 8-inch fairy dad (not the 8 inches you’re thinking of… his whole height was 8-inches) and dragon mom’s coupling. *imagines logistics of that* Twig the half-breed is a private detective in the Elder Realm and helps “people” find things.

Brandsome Nightwind, a unicorn is missing his horn and has come to Twig for his assistance. Unfortunately, Brandsome can’t provide the upfront payment and trades temporary ownership of his “pet” AKA bed slave, Quinn to Twig. Twig, being soft-hearted for indentured servants accepts the deal to spare Quinn and becomes responsible for him. With the contract signed, Quinn is now with Twig as they go in search of a magical unicorn horn.

The journey is epic. They travel from place to place in search of the horn while battling evil, meeting many different creatures, and forming an unbreakable bond. The sexy times were hot. Scorching. They were all growly, claimy, mine, rough, grabby, markings, scratching, nipping…

“His fist held my hair in an iron grip and he yanked me up, breath rushing into my lungs before he shoved me back down."

"My dragon approved, especially when his seed filled my mouth. I swallowed most of it, keeping just enough so that when he shuddered and rolled off me, I sprung up and locked our lips together, feeding it to him.”

Got a wee bit off track there… sorry. *refocuses*


On the other hand, this book was highly entertaining. I laughed my ass off throughout. I mean, a book titled Fifty Shades of Fae and Slick Dick’s Enchanted Snail Lubricant… *cackle* All of the “good” characters were smart asses and I’m fluent in smart assery with a big ol' side of crude humor. Quinn and Twig have never been accepted for their uniqueness and as they travel, they collect other castoffs to create a little band of misfits.

There were a ton of other creatures present from unicorns, sprites, gargoyles and giants to fairies, parrot ghosts, cyclops and demons. Typically, I would consider that too much going on in one story. But it totally freakin' works. The search for the unicorn horn drove the story and was never forgotten or lost in the shuffle of meeting new characters. The secondary characters were essential in driving the plot and adding to the overall story. It was interesting to see how Twig and Quinn navigate their relationship knowing that Quinn only belongs to Twig temporarily.

The world building was on point. Seriously. Amazing. I would absolutely recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and m/m romance. It was the perfect blend and I really hope there will be more books to come.

My only disappointment was not having Quinn top Twig with all his dominant sexiness. It was hinted as something Twig would dig (see what I did there?) and that’s a carrot that can’t be dangled and then forgotten. Ohhohoho…I demand an extra toppy scene be written. *waiting*

"Well that deflated my cock faster than a werebeaver with braces offering free blowjobs.


R *A Reader Obsessed* - 4 Hearts

Lately, I’ve been very lucky, and a bit tickled pink, to find some great urban fantasy M/M and this was no exception. If you like magic and fantastical creatures with plenty of adventure, then this is for you!

This starts off with Twig - a half fairy and half dragon combo. He doesn’t quite fit in with either side of his dual natures but capitalizes on his talents by owning an investigative business specializing in finding things. When a sparkly compelling unicorn asks him to retrieve his missing horn, Twig can hardly say no. To possibly sweeten the pot, he's given the unicorn's human servant, Quinn, as collateral to get the job done. What should be simple and quick is anything but.

Rife with bits and pieces of stuff we all tend to enjoy if we’re fantasy/paranormal enthusiasts, this had it all! Politically correct fairies, horny sprites, scheming unicorns, along with gargoyles, gnomes, ghosts, giants, orcs, demons, zombies and more!. Whew!!

This pretty much had nonstop action, peppered with the push pull of Twig and Quinn as they discover that they’re more “together” than apart. Plenty sexy as they resist their attraction and quite yummy when they didn’t.

Overall, highly entertaining with lots of fun factor. This brought me back to my nostalgic happy place, made all the better being M/M. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Twig, Quinn, and company - this was a fabulous start to what looks like a great series!!

Sara - 5 Oh my Fucking Fairy Godmother Hearts!

I loved the hell out of this book. Let me keep this short. HEY! Don’t roll your eyes at me! I can do it.

Maslow has created one hell of a world of fantasy with ridiculously randy manipulative unicorns, half dragon-fairy private investigators, humans of extreme talents, giants, Cyclops, ghost parrots on ships, demons of nondescript gender and one hell of a romance that borders on epic.

Yup. This was good.

The blurb sets up this story nicely so I’ll leave it at that and just fan girl on this book.

I loved the hell out of Twig. Sure, he’s gruff because come the heck on; he’s part dragon and fairy, he’s two parts of very different creatures and the master of neither. But what Twig is a master of is his word and his morals and that is what makes him one hell of a romantic lead. He is against keeping indentured servants no matter the reason and immediately dislikes that Quinn has been made the unicorn’s bed slave. Twig makes a promise to Quinn that he will not abuse the power owning his contract now gives him and stays true to his word. It may seem odd that he wouldn’t just take advantage of Quinn, being a bed slave and all, but Twig states numerous times how he feels about indentured servants, how it turns his stomach and turns him off. Twig is upstanding and super romantic and I adored watching him and his dragon fall for Quinn.

Quinn, good lord how I loved this dear human. Quinn is amazing with all he has gone through and still so strong that he will sacrifice himself for the one he loves. He’s the sweetest thing when not under the horn of a maniacal unicorn and all he gives to Twig is simply stunning. Quinn also has a fun sense of humor and is kind to all he meets even if they are dead or a demon. He gives everyone a fair chance even when he comes into his own and could be extremely arrogant he isn’t because he knows what it’s liked to be judged. BUT the way he falls for every bit of Twig is so swoony it turned me into goo.

Wow. There is so much in this story that happens, so many great lines, fantastic adventures, hilarious situations and the names of characters and/or places are outstanding and unforgettable. This book knocked me on my ass hard and I loved every minute of it.

To sum it up, this book is how I look at life. Life is filled with topics that are important, it’s dealt with serious issues that make you aware there are some warped, absurd and dangerous people out there but if you can find something to make you laugh and someone to love who loves you right back. It just might be okay.

Jenni Lea - 5 Freaking Fantastic Hearts


This is like, my FAVORITE book of the summer! EVERYONE needs to read this!

I adored this story of the curmudgeonly  dragon-fairy (Fragon? Drairy?) Twig and Quinn, the human slave-boy he's sworn to protect.  Twig is a private investigator who is hired by Brandsome Nightwind, a unicorn (unicorn!) of questionable intent, to find his missing horn.  He's a bit strapped for cash and can't pay the down payment Twig requires so he offers his slave boy Quinn up as collateral.  Twig, who can't stand the idea of anyone being a slave, accepts the unicorn's (unicorn!) offer and the two set off to locate the horn.

And thus begins an epic story of shenanigans, misadventures and tomfoolery I've not seen equaled in a long time.  This was so much fun!  I had a blast reading this story.  I think Meghan Maslow has found her niche.  I've read her contemporary novel and, while good, it has nothing on this epic fantasy.  Why, the names she thought up for the various characters we meet here are worth reading this story alone!  They were so creative!

There's not much else I can say about this book that (a) won't spoil the plot and (b) hasn't already been said by many others so I'll just say this.  This is brain candy on steroids.  It is over the top and ridiculous in the best way.  It's like a hot fudge brownie sundae with whipped cream, nuts, caramel and chocolate drizzle, sprinkles and a cherry on top.  Super sized.  I recommend this to everyone.

SheReadsALot - 4.25 Hearts

"Twig, you're so much more. Who'd want to be average when you can be extraordinary?"

What can I say that hasn't been said already by fantasy road trip romance, By Fairy Means or Foul?

It was epic and definitely went big, instead of mailing it in, in the fantastical department!

Hm, indeed.
It's been a pleasure reading Meghan Maslow's work. I can attest to reading everything published by her so far, and while her contemporary is good, her paranormal/fantasy is where it's at!

Go on, read the blurb. I'll wait.

It's like a unicorn enhanced acid trip, right? (Those are highly potent, so I hear on the pony paddock.)

In what I hope is first of more to come, By Fairy Means or Foul is Twig Starfig's book. It's told in his 1st POV. Twig is an outcast of both of his parent's communities being as he's not a full blood fairy or dragon. he can't fly, he can't shift and he's puny in dragon standards. He's left the self destructive portion of his life in the past (mostly), and settled down into a job that uses one of his dormant skills, finding treasure or others' missing items. His dragon intuitiveness makes him one of the best trackers.

Which brings an evil unicorn in need of Twig's services. I know, I know, unicorns can't be evil, they're awesome. I agree.

But sometimes what is perceived as beautiful and perfect, can be wicked and evil. And the unicorn reeks of self importance and rudeness. Plus, he's sadistic, all under a polished veneer. And this unicorn foolishly lost his unicorn horn and needs Twig to find it. And he transfers his human indentured servant and bed slave, Quinn Broomsparkle, to Twig temporarily as payment.

Something Twig doesn't want as he has no idea what to do with a mouthy human and certainly doesn't want to bed to the handsome human, no matter if he finds Quinn attractive. Because Twig knows it's wrong while Quinn is still under a contract. In fact, Twig remarks multiple times about not being cool with the indentured servant business. Potential trigger warning: mentions of off page rape.
"I'm not planning to use your services if that's what you're worried about. I like my bed partners willing."
"But... I am willing..." His voice trailed off. He studied my face as if to gauge whether I told the truth or not.
"You're not. Not really."
At the beginning of the story, Quinn and Twig are put together because of this unicorn horn job and Twig just wants to get the entire business over with. He doesn't understand human, doesn't want to. He likes life as it is.

But Quinn gets under his skin and it blossoms as the story progresses. The pair travel all around the world of Elder (where Twig lives) and it was like a shopping list of (mostly) my fave paranormal things:

magical villains
hipster giants
know-it-all fairies

I actually fell for a ghost. Me! But Pie is adorbz. Dare you not to think he's cute too.

And there is more magical beings on the list: zombies, orcs, hell, even a mermaid showed up. The world is a modern feel with magic shopping list. It's a lot and I think true fantasy fans would get the most of out of this tale. And while I enjoyed just about all of the characters, I think the world building and the magical meld is the strongest thing about the tale. Road trips force the protagonists together but the chemistry between them and how the author handles it makes or breaks road trip stories for me. I'll admit it's not a fave of mine, but Quinn and Twig gave good snark and cute. They made me enjoy the journey.

And the sexual tension? It's very good. Twig has morals though he might to act like a grumpy, tough guy. He cares. And he's dedicated to Quinn. Even when he doesn't want to be. His like of Quinn heats up the attraction. And when the final line is crossed and both men succumb? (with Quinn taking the final step freely)

"I would breed him so good, so hard, there'd be no doubt it wasn't him."
Breed is still a buzz word of mine. Me-ow!

For the smutsters, there is sex. Not a lot because an epic journey can't be solved if the MC's are humping on each other every page. Plus, the servant deal is a major point of contention for Twig.

There is a lot of fun, the secondary characters a delight (even Twig's pushy dad). I think there were parts here and there that could have had some words shaved off. The pace was good but there were a few lulls, very few. By Fairy ends with a strong HFN/HEA vibe. The guys struggle with a few things about the enormity of life decisions. Cryptic? Maybe but you'd really need to read this to get the enormity of the situation for the two guys.

I like the way it ended a lot. Because the possibility for more is so clear. And with the final set of characters together, it should be magical. I can't wait to read more from Maslow and this world.

I'm enchanted.

If you're on the fence, read a sample and see if this brand of snarky, silly, magical fun is a good fit!

Recommended to fans of Thick as Thieves, fans of campy fantasy fun, unique shifter hybrids and magic.

Lorix - 5 hearts

"Well that deflated my cock faster than a werebeaver with braces offering free blowjobs."

I'm not sure what I can add that the other unicorns haven't covered, to be perfectly honest! This book - well it was a delight from page 1 until the end! Full of snark and sass, it's not necessarily my go-to type of read, but I laughed all the way through -  it was such a fun read! With lines like this who wouldn't?
"I pulled out a pot of Slick Dick's Enchanted Snail Lubricant - guaranteed to give any creature a slick ride."
or you know, simple facts like...
"Giants liked their smut." 
Even the fact that the unicorn was an complete wankerish arsehole didn't put me off! It made me laugh like TJ Klune's The Lightening Struck Heart did, it was the same kind of ridiculous, well-written, laugh-out-loud smuff. Do yourselves a favour folks, go and read this novel!

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