In Cutie and the Beast by E J Russell, temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since he did a transcription job for him. Dr. Alun Kendrick may have a drool worthy voice but his personality is more than a bit unpleasant. However, Alun has his reasons for keeping David at a distance. Because when fae consort with humans, it never ends well! I received one copy of this great fantasy romance book at no charge in exchange for my honest reviews but all opinions expressed here are my own.
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Great Fantasy Romance Book:
Cutie and the Beast by E J Russell
Purchase Link: Get this Fae Romance on Amazon!
Series: Fae Out of Water #1
Author: E J Russell
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 17, 2017)
Genre: M/M/ Fantasy
Length/Format: ebook, 283 pages
Heat Rating: 2
Star Rating: 4 1/2
About E J Russell:
Cutie and the Beast Blurb:
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.
Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.
But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.
Cutie and the Beast by E J Russell was a truly great fantasy romance book. There was an amazing amount of plot and character development with just a hint of romance. This isn’t a particularly steamy gay romance book but honestly, I was so engaged with the story itself that I really didn’t miss the romance much.
Basically, David is a human temp worker. He is a bit accident prone and things tend to ‘blow up’ around him so he is banished from actual office work. One of his transcription jobs was for Dr. Alun Kendrick and he just absolutely swooned over the man’s voice. So, when a mix up in the temp office sends David to Aun’s office to work for a few days, he jumps at the chance to see his fantasy doctor in person.
Dr. Alun Kendrick is a bit of a mystery. Sort of disgraced and cursed Fae royalty living in the human realm and trying to help the humans who have had unfortunate run-ins with the supernatural realm. His curse makes him extremely disfigured but David sees beyond the surface to the tortured but loving man underneath.
My thoughts on the characters:
Honestly, I loved both of these characters and they were incredibly well thought out. David isn’t intimidated by anything….he meets challenges head on and refuses to back down to Alun’s brashness. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to this character but I won’t give away his secrets! Suffice it to say, he has a loyal and influential group of people that he calls family.
Alun is (outwardly) quite a jerk. However, he is so tortured inside over a past that he wishes he could change but can’t. He tries so hard to push David away but there is something that just draws him to his quirky office manager. He is a big man, all gruff on the outside but soft and loving inside….my favorite combination!
Secondary characters are amazing. Benji, the little dragon shifter, is so darn cute! I love how so many of Alun’s clients were given a voice in this great fantasy romance book!
Story and Setting
E J Russell does a fabulous job setting the scene for this story. While much of the book takes place in the human realm, there is also a significant part of it that takes place in the Fae realm. The descriptions of the people and places of the Fae are fabulous…you can almost hear the hellhounds barking as the give chase though trickling rivers that morph into raging rapids. Absolutely amazing story telling!
Only one thing I didn’t really like
I must say that the only thing I didn’t care for was that when Alun goes back to the Fae realm, he is once again beautiful (temporarily) and this is where their first real romantic interaction occurs. It seemed a tad bit superficial. However, David’s affection for Alun doesn’t diminish at all when they return to the human realm and the curse once again takes affect.
Overall, Cutie and the Beast by E J Russell is a fabulous gay romance book that is low on heat but filled with great characters and a fabulous story that is quite a page turner. If you are looking for a great fantasy romance book, I definitely recommend this one!
(edited to add: I have since read book two of the series and it is AMAZING! The Druid Next Door is an amazing Fae romance book that you do not want to miss!)