Review: Nudging Fate (Enchanted Occasions #1) by E.J. Russell

Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.

Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?

Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.

When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.

He’s a prince. He’s the client.

Anders “Andy” Skuldsson, our half-norn event planner, has a job to do and that’s to produce “The Courting, Coronation, and Handfasting of His Royal Highness Reyner of Maidencourt, the One True Prince of Faerie”… or as us humans would call it; a supernatural version of The Bachelor that parades a line of consorts in front of the prince so that he may to choose his life partner. Andy’s job basically rides on this as there has been a few mishaps with Enchanted Occasions Event Planning.
[…]Con had agreed to the idiotic, gods-be-damned spell that would make Con identical to Rey whenever the two of them chose— and Rey chose far too often for Con’s peace of mind.
Conall “Con” of Odstone has been a fool for his half-brother’s games all their lives and the one Rey likes to pull the most is the spell that allows Con to look exactly like his brother though they aren’t twins. When Con is waiting for Rey to show up so he can claim his consort, he’s begged by his brother to let him have a few moments of freedom (aka Vegas) before he is chained to a relationship he doesn’t want and frankly never will having seen what the mating vows and magically enforced fidelity for eternity had done to his father. Of course Con agrees, he’ll do anything for his brother and sends Talus, the legendary Iron Knight to fetch the first possible consort to meet the “prince.”

But when Andy is about to round up the list of eligible consorts, he finds they have all gone a bit green down to the last nasty one of them and Talus arrives, Andy is the only suitor left available and so begins our romantic deception.
Would Andy be attracted to Con once this masquerade was over and Con was no longer decked out in the trappings of royalty?
I am such a sucker for the false identity story when it comes to romance. The idea of being with someone you thought you knew based on hearsay and then getting to know the real person who literally isn’t who you thought makes me happy. I can’t explain it, it’s just this feeling of getting to be yourself and have someone fall for the real you even though you aren’t really you? You know? The internal struggle to tell the truth is so angsty that I eat it up. This book gave me so much and I am so happy that I have found Russell’s form of fantasy because I am hooked and now a fan.
When Andy and Con meet… let’s just say I squeaked because you see, we get both POV’s in this story and it was great being able to see them react immediately to the other and know they are smitten from the start. Of course, I am a fan of insta anything as long as it’s written well and this was written so well.
“We’re getting to know one another. That’s what this is all about, right? No one can fault either one of us for that.”
“You’d think.”
I have to say that Russell’s world building is my new jam. Goodness. I loved the whole idea of Faerie and its stunning beauty and the thought that Portland is its equal on Earthside makes this girl grin. Each supernatural creature was unique with a blend of old world and technology that seems like it wouldn’t fit and yet it did. While the world building was above and beyond what I didn’t even expect, the romance with Con and Andy is what sells this book. It’s fluffy but with a bit of depth that had me falling and falling hard.

Wow. I am getting to rambling status right now aren’t I and I haven’t even said much. I can’t help it I just adored the holy heck out of this story. It was so much fun watching Andy teach Con about technology and them just honestly getting to know one another though they both kept secrets. Even when it’s revealed who Andy is and Con has all sorts of hope… sigh. Then we get the whole utterly beautiful chaos at the end that had my hand on my chest and my eyes glued to the page because OMFG!! So freaking good.
“We had a good time when I was… well… pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m willing to see if we can enjoy ourselves when I’m being me too.”
Nudging Fate, that title has true meaning to the story and of course I loved it when I made the connection. Con, Andy and this incredible world have owned me with a beautiful tale of fantasy and romance and I can’t stop smiling or rambling so.

I’m done.

Le Freaking Sigh.

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