How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks

How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Kensington Press
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full length (312 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Xeranthemum

Raised in isolation on the magic-shrouded Isle of the Moon, five girls became five sisters. Now women, they are ready to claim their places in the world—and perhaps change it forever . . .


Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border . . . well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.

Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go . . .

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The story opens with the heroine learning how to defend herself. Her character isn’t one who is comfortable with violence but learning to protect herself is very important. She has a skill like her sisters but there’s a huge difference that I didn’t expect. Her gift is relatively ignored but by choice. She had a scare when she was a kid and I can certainly understand her extreme hesitancy to utilize her gift. I was actually pretty frustrated by that in the beginning of the story but as time went on, I saw the author develop a different kind of strength for the heroine. It comes from Sorcha’s heart and when it came for her time in the spotlight, I liked the author’s choice.

If you have been following the series, you understand the meaning of the stones. Sorcha was thrown for a bit because they said one thing but her heart told her another. What does she do? You’ll have to read it to find out but I figured out the secret much earlier than the heroine.

There is just the right amount of suspense when the heroine is in jeopardy. The bad guys are what I come to expect and are written effectively and convincingly. More is learned about the Circle of Five and my favorite character to despise, The Chameleon, made an appearance. The plot thickens.

The secondary cast of characters supported the hero and heroine but I didn’t find them distracting. That means that I consider How to Love Your Elf as a possible standalone read. There are references to the previous stories because they are Sorcha’s sisters, but the focus of this novel is Sorcha and The Woodsman.

The scenes when the hero and heroine finally enjoy the release of all that pent-up passion for each other were well written and enjoyable.

What happened to the evil queen was something I did not expect. However, the ritual for one of the characters totally makes what happened more believable. What happens for the ritual, the why of it and the history completely fascinated me. I was impressed with its originality.

All in all, How to Love Your Elf is a really good read. It’s fun, absolutely entertaining and a great addition to the series. It has a wonderful happy ever after too. What it also has is foreshadowing for the next book in the series. Maeve has grown up during the telling of her sisters’ previous adventures and romances, and it looks like she’s ready for her turn. Ms. Sparks has set it up perfectly because there is no way I want to miss her story, especially since I suspect my favorite dog character is going to finally come out of the background and into the spotlight. I can’t wait!

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