Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
First book in the Serpent & Dove series
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn. Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned. Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony. The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.And love makes fools of us all.— Shelby Mahurin (Author)
Serpent & Dove is a story that features enemies to lovers and good versus evil — two of my favorite tropes in literature and pop culture. In this book, there is basically war between the church, kingdom, and witches. The church is burning witches for their crimes against humanity, while the witches are trying to reclaim the land they lost to the royal family. Mixed up in all of this, is Lou, a witch who has abandoned her coven and is living on the streets. She is both feisty and hilarious, and her brazen actions put her in the path of Reid Diggory, the captain of the church’s Chasseurs.
Lou may not practice magic anymore, but being a witch and seeing what the Chasseurs are capable of, she has no love or respect for them, or the church. She avoids them at all costs, even going so far as to dress like a man, lest she be discovered she is a witch.
Reid, on the other hand, is an orphan who was raised in the church. He was taught that witches are purely evil creatures, with no chance at redemption. To him, they are meant to burn.
When Lou and Reid are forced into marriage, there is major tension between the two of them. Reid thinks Lou is a heathen that cannot be trusted, and Lou thinks Reid is just a rigid, religious nut. However, over time, we start to see that they are both extremely loyal and kind. Love between the two of them starts to kindle, and together they learn that the lines between good and evil are blurred.
You guys, this book is hands down my favorite of the year so far! I’m a sucker for romance and comedy in a fantasy setting, and this book delivered all of that and more. I am amazed that this is a debut novel, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series, Blood & Honey.