A Hearts On Fire Review
2.5 HEARTS-- I came for the fairies.
Debut author T.J. Land's "Midsummer Nights" stars Oberon, king of all fairies and Puck, a skirt wearing, pretty boy servant who has eyes on being his master's number one lover.
Set in Oberon's court, the fairies are inches tall. I thought that was different and cool. I liked the ideas of the story. Servant sets out to win his unhappily married master (yes Oberon is married Titania) and succeeds. The story has a cute twist around the last 20% or so (hint: the characters' names) but the story left me wanting more and unhappy with the overall execution. Puck wants Oberon, withstands his abuse (because why?) and acts as a double agent sort of. It's not clear enough for me, why any fairy would put up with that temper. It does get physical at one point.
This story wasn't what I expected. I've read great fictionalized Pucks before so, for me, this one fell short. He's deemed as being witty (didn't showcase it) the reader is told he is. I think that was what didn't work for me mainly, the odd pacing and showing of key items that could've made this story something, at least more memorable.
There was erotic moments but there were short and uneven. An example, there was kink brought in (pain kink) but it didn't read organic, more like for titillation since one guy states he is not into it and it's done anyway. There aren't any formal BDSM structures but the notes brought in, didn't cut it for me. I wanted the erotic scenes (when they actually happened and weren't oddly told or thrown in weirdly) to be over. And the dialogue was at odds of being modern and historical, so to me it read stilted.
The setting was the strongest point about "Midsummer Nights". I thought the fairy structure and anatomy were cool, wished we got to learn more of that.
It might just be this author's style isn't for me. But it might work for readers who don't mind less plot, pretty fairies and Shakespearean tinged fantasy.