Jan 29, 2024

ARC Review--Bride by Ali Hazelwood

A dangerous alliance between a Vampyre bride and an Alpha Werewolf becomes a love deep enough to sink your teeth into in this new paranormal romance from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love, Theoretically and The Love Hypothesis.

Misery Lark, the only daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, is an outcast—again. Her days of living in anonymity among the Humans are over: she has been called upon to uphold a historic peacekeeping alliance between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres, and she sees little choice but to surrender herself in the exchange—again...

Weres are ruthless and unpredictable, and their Alpha, Lowe Moreland, is no exception. He rules his pack with absolute authority, but not without justice. And, unlike the Vampyre Council, not without feeling. It’s clear from the way he tracks Misery’s every movement that he doesn’t trust her. If only he knew how right he was….

Because Misery has her own reasons to agree to this marriage of convenience, reasons that have nothing to do with politics or alliances, and everything to do with the only thing she's ever cared about. And she is willing to do whatever it takes to get back what’s hers, even if it means a life alone in Were territory…alone with the wolf.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Ali Hazelwood's paranormal debut Bride was what I like to call a soft paranormal read!There's great political intrigue, warring factions between the vampires, werewolves, and humans, an arranged marriage, romance, and some attempted murder to spice things up! I obviously had never read one of Hazelwood's novels before but since she was dipping a toe into the paranormal pool, I decided why not?

The beginning sets us up for the world we are dealing with. There are three territories and each one is ruled either by the vampires, werewolves, or humans. Each territory is given a child of another territory to have as sort of living hostage, so to speak.While these groups are not currently at war, they were once and peace remains tremulous between them. Having a vampire child in the human territory is merely a sign of continue peace. It's a weird kind of setup but Hazelwood explains it better than I am so that it makes sense enough to just roll with it.

Misery, because yes, that is her actual name, was a vampire child who was sent to live with humans for ten years. Misery has never really know her own family, other than that when she and her twin brother were born, her birth killed their mother. So you get an idea of the tension that runs between her family. Hazelwood also writes a different kind of vampire, while she sticks to some of the more common rules, she does take creative leave to make her own and I always enjoy this aspect of vampire books. No two vampires are ever the same!

The story really takes off when Misery finds herself being sent to the werewolf territory, but not as the child hostage, this time she's going to be the bride of the Alpha werewolf, Lowe. The wedding was far from the type to bring about emotions as it's purely a marriage of politics. Misery just has to stay one year with her new husband and then she can return home...if she wishes to, as in that her home is actually among the humans where she has her best friend Serena.

This factor is actually something that drives Misery to agree to the marriage in the first place, as we soon learn that Serena has gone missing and Misery is determined to find out what happened to her friend who was writing an article. Among Serena's notes was one name and you can probably figure out whose name that is!

I will admit that things were weird between Misery and Lowe. There's tension for sure, as we strictly get Misery's point of view in this one, with a chapter header that gives insight to Lowe's thoughts. Both of these two have their secrets and will do anything to protect the ones that they love most. It's not too long before the sparks begin to fly and things really heat up, but of course, it's not a fast track to happily ever after after that. There are still a ton of issues they need to work out emotionally, plus the fact that there is something nefarious afoot.

What I enjoyed about this one was how it had a nice blend of quirky and edgy! I've read a ton of paranormal novels and I've loved them all! But there's always something really nice about diving into a paranormal world that is not completely dark and gloom. I suppose that's why I am drawn to the Urban Fantasy genre. I love the edginess, but coming into a paranormal romance with a shade of quirky is like a breath of fresh air! I still get that delightful paranormally goodness but with a plot that is a little lighter. 

The pacing was a bit of an up and down affair. At times I felt like it was moving along nicely with some mystery seeds being laid out then it would dip back down into too much normalcy for my taste, but it would pick back up again with other quirks of being a paranormal book. It was never slow enough that I found myself needing to skim. If anything I needed to read fast just so that I could get to that ending that I knew was coming! Lol.

The mystery is naturally resolved, issues are worked through and all ends happily! Although, there was a bit in the epilogue that has my head spinning! I was just about to close the chapter on reading Hazelwood again when I noticed a teeny tiny window for the possibility of more! Time will tell! 

All in all, Bride was a quirky kind of paranormal romance! It was sweet, it was cute, it was mysterious, and it had lots of heat! It made for quite the entertaining read. I definitely won't shy away from Hazelwood's name should she choose to write another in this genre!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Bride releases February 6, 2024

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