Raven shifter Poe Dupin is an accomplished thief, likes shiny things, and is always taking care of everybody else. Poe’s roost is run by a negligent alpha, who also happens to be his stepfather, and who is always getting into financial trouble. Poe doesn’t want the roost to suffer, and so he bails his stepfather out time and again. But when the debt is too high, and owed to a very bad man named Briggs, Poe has no choice but to take his best friend’s advice and visit the demon, Tommy Tittoti.
Tommy is nothing like Poe expected, and exactly Poe’s type. Tommy makes a bargain with Poe, and he’s able to pay off the debt to Briggs. But that’s not enough for Briggs, because he didn’t get what he truly wants, and he starts threatening Poe’s livelihood and Poe’s little siblings. Once again, Poe has no choice but to turn to Tommy. Tommy comes through again, even though the price is higher. On top of that, there’s no doubting the chemistry between Tommy and Poe. Tommy keeps trying to warn Poe away, even going so far as to dismiss Poe after they have sex. But when the situation with Briggs takes a near deadly turn, Poe needs Tommy again. With Tommy on his side, Poe might be able to keep his family and the roost safe. And more than that, he might just get someone to love, and to love him, in return.
This book is a retelling of a fairytale we don’t often see, and it’s done in a marvelous way. I’m not going to explicitly state which one, since discovering it is part of the fun. Maslow takes this tale and gives it new life here, weaving a story that is fast paced, clever, and witty, and does the original justice. I will say here that the is republished from the Fables Retold anthology, and the author states that no new content has been added.
The chemistry between the MCs is fantastic, from the moment they first meet, and continues to build throughout every interaction. Maslow seamlessly weaves their budding and building romance with the rest of the plot. Though this story is told solely through Poe’s first person POV, we get views of Tommy’s motivations and feelings throughout. It takes time to understand why Tommy is doing certain things, and even longer for Poe to see it. Poe’s best friend has to spell things out for him, and I have to say it was needed. While we could guess at why Tommy is pushing Poe away, it’s not entirely obvious. This was my one point of contention with the romance, as really, there was no way for Poe to get why Tommy was acting the way he was. But when they finally have that conversation, it’s incredibly satisfying.
Maslow has a knack for creating entertaining tales, with fun, sometimes sarcastic, and definitely amusing banter and situations. Poe has that in spades. Tommy has a different sort of air about him, a little aloof, but he has layers that are slowly revealed throughout the story that give him a real depth. Each character, main and secondary alike, has their place, and does their part to drive the plot forward.
Overall, I really liked this one. It’s a clever and interesting twist on the fairytale, and it plays out well. I was invested from the start and couldn’t put it down. If you’re looking for a magic-filled, fun, and funny fairytale retelling, with only a bit of angst, then this one is definitely for you.