🌟One of my faves!🌟Wren and Shrike have settled into life at Shrike's cabin in Blackthorn Briar, but that doesn't mean their, or their friends', adventures are over. In these stories, Wren and Shrike meet more fae, pay back debts, and go on a Wild Hunt, Grigsby gets a new clerk, and Daniel enjoys his new life and freedom.
*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
Oh, this was delightful! I was so happy to learn there was more about Wren and Shrike and their world, and this collection of short stories did not disappoint.
“Mabon” – The first story was about an orgy, so that was fun! Especially since the three fae Wren and Shrike had sex with were beautiful and interesting-looking with horns and tails and hooves and other super unique bits. One of them had this really unique thing going on with his back, but I won’t spoil the fun of reading about it yourself. I also liked seeing characters in a committed relationship consensually deciding to bring in some other people (not even just in this story, but another as well). Not that I think every couple needs to, it’s just not something you see often, and it made for some fun and sexy dynamics. It also makes sense when you consider how the fae in this world have different views on sex and relationships, and it’s rubbing off on Wren (pun intended).
“Mr. Grigsby’s Clerk” – The second story was about Grigsby and one of the fae from the first, and I loved the fae’s POV. Just, the difference between how I was viewing things and how the fae was viewing them was so fun. I also loved that it was about an older person (not sure how old Grigsby is, but old enough to be described as elderly) finding romance or casual intimacy or whatever their relationship ends up being. I’ve never read such a lovely description of an aging body before. I genuinely loved everything about this.
“Jack in the Green” – The third story was about a character who briefly appeared in the main book. It was another story about Wren and Shrike having sex with other people (well, just one other person this time). It was also fun seeing it from the other character’s POV because what a wild experience that would be, to stumble into some strange woods and have amazing sex with two beautiful men in a strange cabin where things are not quite what they seem.
“Winter Solstice” – The fourth story was another enjoyable sexy one.
“The Holly King’s Peril” – The fifth story was less fun and sexy, but no less wonderful. Also still a little bit sexy. It was full of hurt/comfort and sweetness and the touching relationship that Wren and Shrike have.
“The Ballad of Daniel Durst” – The last story was about Daniel. You get to learn a bit more about what his life was like before he ran away, how his relationship with Suki started, and how nice his life and relationship are now.
There was some lovely casual inclusivity and acceptance in these stories. Trans people, older people, unique fae bodies, mlm, wlw (side characters).
There was a lot of sex in this book, but it always managed to be sexy and interesting and not feel repetitive. I sometimes zone out during sex scenes in books because they feel like the same thing I’ve read many times, but not these. Plus, I cared about these characters and could feel how much they cared about each other, and that makes a big difference for me.
The ending of Oak King Holly King was a touch abrupt, and this smoothed that out. There were things that could be pretty safely assumed, but this made them definite. It was nice to know for sure how things are going and what the future looks like for Wren and Shrike. I’ll gladly read more if this continues as a series, but this was satisfying if it was the end.
Truly just a lovely book with lovely characters and lovely stories! If you enjoyed Oak King Holly King, I definitely recommend reading this collection.
Fans of Oak King Holly King by Sebastian Nothwell who enjoy sweet and steamy stories and want more time with the lovely characters.