‘Bride’: finally boarding the Ali Hazelwood hype train

March 8, 2024

TITLE: Bride
AUTHOR: Ali Hazelwood
GENRE: Romance
PAGES: 416pg

Misery Lark, the only daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, is an outcast—again. Her days of living in anonymity among the Humans are over: she has been called upon to uphold a historic peacekeeping alliance between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres, and she sees little choice but to surrender herself in the exchange—again…

Weres are ruthless and unpredictable, and their Alpha, Lowe Moreland, is no exception. He rules his pack with absolute authority, but not without justice. And, unlike the Vampyre Council, not without feeling. It’s clear from the way he tracks Misery’s every movement that he doesn’t trust her. If only he knew how right he was….

Because Misery has her own reasons to agree to this marriage of convenience, reasons that have nothing to do with politics or alliances, and everything to do with the only thing she’s ever cared about. And she is willing to do whatever it takes to get back what’s hers, even if it means a life alone in Were territory…alone with the wolf.

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What’s that? Give my Favorite Book of the Year So Far™️ spot to Ali Hazelwood? Don’t mind if I do.

There’s a tense atmosphere, and then there’s this. One venue, three species, five centuries of conflict, and zero good faith.

This was my first Hazelwood title and I fully get the hype. I absolutely adore arranged marriages between members of opposing sides like this, and Bride was probably my favorite example of the trope I’ve read yet.

He’s as harmless as a land mine. He could destroy entire galaxies with a stern look and a growl.

Misery was so easy to love, Lowe was my perfect kind of Alpha (dominant, but his utmost concern was keeping his pack safe, not simply being worshipped and obeyed), and there were so many side characters to enjoy, too — especially little Ana! 🥰 And most of all, the chemistry between these two?! Off the charts. I’ve been struggling with “buying in” to the relationships in some of the romance books I’ve been reading lately, but that wasn’t an issue here at all because I was rooting so hard for these two!

“Misery. We are the consequences.”

Don’t get me wrong, this book wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough. The only complaint I had was that some of Lowe’s actions during the third act conflict felt very unnecessary, but it was so short-lived and didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. At that point, I was honestly invested enough in the mystery unraveling that I didn’t really mind the conflict! 😬

“You’re not a problem, Misery. You’re a privilege.”

As one last note, after growing up reading some VERY, erm… graphic fanfiction, this was the first time I saw *certain elements* of shifter spice 🪢 in a trad-pub novel and I was delighted to see it done so well. 😅 It was weirdly nostalgic? I dunno, I’m sure some of y’all get me though. I just felt like this whole book was so clearly written as a love letter to those of us who grew up on paranormal romance and I loved it. 🖤 All the stars.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

content warnings →
WARNINGS (click to expand):

war, death, violence, blood, kidnapping, poisoning, endangerment of a child, emotional neglect from a parent, death of a parent, forced arranged marriage

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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. I’ve actually been a bit wary of this one after having loved Ali’s contemporary novels, but you’ve just convinced me I need to give this one a go! I do love a good paranormal story, and your review has me sold!

    1. I am so keen to see what you think of other Hazelwood books since this is your first!! Are you planning to read any others??

    1. As someone who’s… also read those types of fanfiction – honestly, it was kind of tame in here I think? ??. But I did have a super fun time! I won’t read any of Hazelwoods Steminist novels but if she’s wanting to do another fantasy or paranormal – I’m all for it.

      It’s so fun when it’s just a good read that you can sink your teeth into (lol) and just have plain old fun!
      It’s something I need to remember more and more – this and fourth wing ha

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