Bride by Ali Hazelwood
2/6/2024 by Berkley
Review by Angela
Ali Hazelwood is an author that’s been around for a couple of years, known for her contemporary romances. Despite that I haven’t been compelled to pick up of any of her work. Then I spied the cover for Bride, read the blurb, and pretty much felt like I needed to dive in and see what the fuss was about. Let me tell you, I started this book before bed, around 9 pm at night–and then did not stop reading until I finished at about 2 am. I just couldn’t put this book down.
The premise for Bride isn’t that original or unique, a vampyre woman, Misery Lark, is married to a were alpha, Lowe Moreland, as an alliance between their two factions to hopefully bring a measure of peace. What kept me turning pages was the secondary plot of Misery searching for her human best friend. Also, Misery is my kind of heroine, I adored her sarcastic, dry sense of humor and loyalty to the only person who she really trusts in the world.
This is very much an enemies to lovers, opposites attract, fated mates, forbidden love romance. While the premise isn’t that original, the worldbuilding is quite complex and well done. Misery herself has lived a life outside of Vampyre society thanks to being a thrust into the human world at a very young age as collateral for good behavior between humans and vampyres. Because of this she’s never fit in with her people and has made the choice as an adult to live among humans with her childhood best friend, an orphan raised with her to keep her company.
Her marriage to Lowe puts her smack dab in the middle of enemy territory. But she soon comes to realize all is not as she expected. Especially Lowe himself and his reactions to her. There is turmoil in the werewolf pack and it doesn’t take long for those issues to collide with her search for her best friend.
This is an action-packed romance, with enemies at every turn and mysteries around every corner. The complex power dynamics between humans, werewolves, and vampyres is what drives the conflict, but there are divisions within each community as well. The romance itself builds slowly, even though as a reader you know that the signs of matehood are there with how Lowe is reacting to Misery. I didn’t think the many plot threads overshadowed the growing relationship between this couple. Yes, it’s open door with quite a bit of steam… which I appreciated. There IS a third act break-up, but it didn’t last too long and was resolved pretty quickly.
The epilogue leads me to believe that this will be a series, and I will absolutely be reading. If the hints on the last page are sincere, I am 100% invested in seeing these character’s path to love.