cover of The Forest Bride by Jane Buehler

The Forest Bride: A Fairy Tale with Benefits, Book 1

He saved her life. Now she’s wondering why.
Rose will never escape the castle. The guards have caught her every time she’s tried. After thirteen years imprisoned in her tower, she’s resigned to her fate of an arranged marriage to a vain, tiresome, and/or brutish prince. Until she meets Dustan.
Dustan isn’t like the other princes who’ve come. He’s kind and asks Rose her thoughts. But Rose discovers that Dustan harbors a secret—he may not be a prince… or human.
Too soon, her father chooses a different suitor, a sinister one with a wicked plan. After Dustan saves Rose’s life, she follows him into the forest. Rose hopes to hide from both her fiancé and her father. But can she trust Dustan, or does he have a hidden agenda—or does that even matter, if they’re falling in love?
The Forest Bride is a lighthearted romp on the romance end of the fantasy-romance spectrum. If you’re a fan of Kerrelyn Sparks’s How to Love Your Elf or you’ve imagined an adult Ella Enchanted who makes love with Prince Charmont, The Forest Bride is for you. Note: The Forest Bride contains love scenes—if you don’t want to read love scenes, there is a PG version available (ISBN 978-0-9778068-6-7).

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My Review

The book description compared this to Ella Enchanted, and I almost never skip anything that has similarities to Ella Enchanted. I’ll stop before I start quoting passages from the movie (yes, I like the movie…sorry, not sorry) and just say that I’m very glad I picked this up. It didn’t disappoint, either as an Ella Enchanted reminder or as a story in its own right.

The “cozy fantasy romance” description given by the author is exactly how I’d describe this. It’s light and fun while still being serious. It doesn’t have a lot of the darkness I see in fantasy romance, and it still had enough tension and drama to keep things moving without needing to rely on darkness. Toward the end, things felt a bit rushed, as if too many things were trying to be resolved by the end of the book. I would have almost liked some of those to be a sequel, rather than included here. I felt like there could have been much more to those storylines. This aside, I quite enjoyed this. Interesting twists, and the arc of the romance surprised me, which doesn’t happen often.

Oh, and “a fairy tale with benefits.” Clever, awesome—I need more taglines like that in my life. 4 stars.

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