Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.
Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.
But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.
For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.
If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.
Review: 4 Stars
Hell couldn’t give me a more wicked man; heaven couldn’t give me a more perfect moment.
Rhapsodic is a dark enemies to lovers and morally grey story about fairies. After reading The Wicked King by Holly Black I started looking into other books about fairies and I knew that I wanted to read this one as soon as I stumbled across the cover. It was a fast, romantic read that had a decent plot.
I shouldn’t be here. Good girls don’t do this. And bad girls … well, I’m not one of those am I?
You’ve killed a man. You’re worse than a bad girl.
Personally, I love morally grey characters and enemies to lovers romances, so for those points Rhapsodic was a perfect match. Callie makes a living as a private investigator, using her siren abilities to go after indecent men. Years prior she had called The Bargainer, a fairy who grants deals, to help hide the mess after she killed her step father who had abused her. Along the way she made many more deals with The Bargainer, Des, each one she owed symbolized by a bead on a bracelet. Immediately the beads reminded me of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Wishmonger, even though this is quite different. Slowly the relationship between them grows into a romance.
“You play a dangerous game with me, siren. Making deals is its own sort of compulsion.” His voice is so low that only I can hear it. “And you offer them to me so easily.” He pauses, his eyes shining wickedly. “Don’t think I’ll ever stop taking them– because I won’t.”
I loved the first 70 percent of this book. The alternating scenes and timelines of the past and present really kept me reading and I loved the characters, but the last quarter of the book was not to my taste. For one thing, there was a little too many sex scenes in it for me. Another thing is that Callie acted like a damsel, yet liked to pretend that she was a strong woman who could take care of herself. I don’t mind either narrative, but the conflict of the two drove me nuts.
“I’m not asking you to never feel sad, Callie, I’m asking you to fight. Always fight. You can do that, can’t you?”
I suck in a deep breath. “I don’t know,” I say honestly.
His entire demeanor gentles with that confession. “Can you try?”
I am typically not a person who really enjoys books where the focus is more on the romance than the plot, but I actually did really like this book. It’s the reason that I hated A Court of Thorns and Roses. I think it’s the characters that really made this one so good. It reminded me of A Court of Thorns and Roses a lot, but a lot shorter, without the intricate world building, and with characters that I actually liked.
Bloodsucking children, phantom visitors, and a man who goes by the name of the Thief of Souls. It’s enough to give me nightmares.
Overall I really liked the characters, the romance was great, but a little too much sex for my taste, and the plot seemed to be a secondary focus. It was a great read though and definitely worth checking out. I would recommend this to fans of Sarah J. Maas because it has a lot of similarities to her books. I hated A Court of Thorns and Roses though, and I really liked this. After reading this I would like to check out Laura Thalassa’s young adult series, The Unearthly.
I like it that he’s fucked up like me, that he’s wicked and sinful and makes no excuses for it. I like it that he doesn’t care that I might be a little wicked and sinful too.