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NetGalley Review: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

Hey all, Sam here.

Look, today makes 11 days in a row of posting on the blog. We’re on a pretty nice blogging streak again. Woohoo! And I already went ahead and did the layouts for posts for the next week. So all we have to do is just drop in the actual content. Honestly I think that’s pretty exciting. We have more books to talk about, a cool board game to discuss, and of course the next chapter about beginnings for Weekend Writer. I’m pretty excited about it all.

Just like I’m excited to talk about today’s book for the book review. In the spirit of the fact that Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, I decided to prioritize some of my more romantic NetGalley reads for this weekend, because…well, why not? Plus it’s my blog and that means I get to choose what to post and when to post it.

Today, the husband and I are back on the road, driving back to Iowa after a brief trip to Ohio to pick up some important geeky items. So I’m glad that I’ve been able to keep these posts drafted up at least a day or so early. It’s made my day-to-day life a little bit easier. Okay, well, let’s just go ahead and jump into the review.

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other?

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

From the title to the cover to the actual content of the story, I just loved this book so much. It was a pretty cozy fantasy light romance. It’s obvious we’re in a different world, with its own deities and creatures and such, but we don’t need to delve deep into building the world and discussing all the gritty details. Because this is a romance novel first, and so the focus is on our two main characters: Hart and Mercy.

Gosh, did I love seeing how much these two irritated each other at the beginning. But they also both were a bit isolated and lonely, and so of course a cute little twist of fate leads to Hart’s letter simply addressed to “A Friend,” a letter that should have gone nowhere because there was no real destination, to be delivered to Mercy.

So begins the exchanging of letters where both Hart and Mercy open up to this mystery friend they’ve seemed to make, and they connect in a way they hadn’t been able to before. It was cute to watch them anxiously await the next letter, and then to see how important this developing relationship means to them, especially with everything else going on in their lives.

As can be expected, one of them figures out who the other is, and doesn’t say anything, and the pen pals debate about dropping the anonymity and meeting for real. This signifies a shift in their relationship for sure, as well as needing to release any assumptions they had formed about each other from before they really knew each other.

And okay, being that this is specifically a romance book, we readers know that romances have to have a happy ever after, or at least a happy for now, but boy oh boy, was there a moment about two-thirds of the way through this book where I was crying and wondering how in the world this story could end happily! Because we romance readers know that there’s that point in the book where things have sort of fallen apart for the couple. However, I was not expecting for a moment that serious and dramatic to happen, but hey, it’s also a fantasy, so there’s certain magical things that can happen to fix this particular issue. I’m not going to be any more specific because this is a spoiler free zone.

I would actually love to read more books set in this world. I really enjoyed the vibe of it, and I’m sure we could follow more folks from the town…or maybe go to one of the other towns of the world. It was interesting, and again, as a lover of fantasy I would love to see an expansion of world building.

But yes, I loved this couple who think they hate each other but secretly become pen pals and realize they might actually love each other story. It was a fantastic read.

This delightful romance is available now!

That is all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


2 thoughts on “NetGalley Review: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen”

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. See, and I’m not much of a zombie fan, so this was just right in content, not too overboard or anything. And I loved the western vibe of it. I think it definitely elevated the story and made it feel unique, even though I’ve read other fantasy westerns.

      Liked by 1 person

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