Book Reviews

Nudging Fate (Dreamspun Beyond, Enchanted Occasions 1) by E.J. Russell at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Immortals / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Gods/Goddesses / Magic / Mythological Creatures / Royalty/Nobility / Wizards & Witches / Romance / Humor/Comedy / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-May-2018

Book Blurb

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.


Book Review

Sometimes matches not made in Valhalla are exactly what Fate ordered, as this story sets out to prove. It all begins in an Interstitial pocket – a realm between Faerie and our reality where both magic and technology work. The only prince of Faerie has been told in no uncertain terms that he needs a consort, so the Faerie queen sets up a competition unknowingly modeled on The Bachelor. It is organized by Enchanted Occasions, and the already-in-trouble half norn Anders is in charge. Apparently a norn is the Norse equivalent of the Fates and I imagine getting on his wrong side might be a problem. From the start it is obvious that ‘Nudging Fate’ is not just a brilliant title for what is to ensue, but also the description of a comedy of errors that had me laughing out loud more than once. There are numerus stumbling blocks the main characters have to overcome before they can hope to get their happy ending: not just one but two mistaken identities, hilarious misunderstandings, secondary characters with their own agendas getting in the way, and more than one surprise.

Andy, as he prefers to be called, is an event planner who has messed up plenty of times despite (or maybe because of) having the ability to influence fate. Organizing the selection of the consort for the Faerie queen’s heir is his last chance to save his own career as well as ensure Enchanting Occasions doesn’t go bankrupt. No pressure, right?
Conall, who goes by Con, is the famous Faerie prince’s half brother and quite used to impersonating the official heir. He does not, however, expect to take his royal brother’s place in selecting a consort. Said brother leaves him no choice though, and as soon as Con meets Andy, he knows he is in trouble. Andy is his perfect match, but there is no way they can ever be together. Or can they?

As it turns out, there is a little more behind the Faerie queen’s attempts at matchmaking than finding a consort. Politics, balancing various centers of power, and the need for survival all play a role. But that is just the bigger picture and while it is very well done, my interest was just as much, if not more, focused on the characters. Andy has a lot of prejudice to deal with since he is not “Pure” and considered a second-class citizen. Con has the same issue because he is a “bastard” – and yes, Faerie does still use that and many other medieval ways of looking at things. Both Andy and Con have lied and need to deal with owning up to their deception, but in the process they also learn, change, and grow. Despite all the hilarity, the underlying message comes through loud and clear.

If you like your romances with a healthy dose of humor, lots of twists and turns, and more than one surprise, if an adventurous quest for love between the realms is your thing, if you like complicated characters with mysterious backstories, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read set in a carefully developed fantasy world, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I’m still smiling and can’t wait for the next installment in this series!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 224 pages/54015 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-May-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle
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