Books · Reviews · Spoiler-Free

Halloween “Mini” Review – Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Spoiler-Free)

πŸ‚ Hello again! πŸ‚

Guys, I’m so excited about this review because Serpent & Dove is literally my favourite book of the year and I just can’t ❀ ❀ ❀

I’m usually very hesitant when it comes to super hyped releases and always try to keep my expectations as low as possible, but I simply couldn’t hold it together with this one.

Turns out I didn’t have to worry because it was perfect! Well, almost. Let me tell you all about it:


Thank you so much to Harper Collins for kindly providing me with an ARC of Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.

This is a spoiler-free review and all opinions are my own.

serpent & dove by shelby mahurin

Two years ago,
Lou 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 unionβ€”holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous ene-mies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.


🐍 I loved how unapologetic this book was: there was swearing, there was heresy, there was sex (plus healthy views on sexuality and all it entails), there were girls smashing the patriarchy… I was certainly expecting it to be a lot tamer but I definitely wasn’t complaining!

πŸ•ŠοΈ Lou, the heroine, is such a breath of fresh air. She’s this beacon of hope for all the female characters out there who could learn a thing or two about being a true feminist. She was also badass, sassy, vulnerable, scared – in short, realistic.

🐍 I also adored the love interest. Again, he was so different from what we usually see in YA (or any romance, for that matter): innocent, shy, blushed easily, found the heroine scandalous and racy, and had a solid background to sustain his moral compass. He was just a very interesting character overall.

πŸ•ŠοΈ The enemies-to-lovers slowburn was unbelievable. And so adorable! I was glued to this book because I just couldn’t get enough of those two. The sexual tension, the banter! It was a surprisingly mature yet fun relationship that ticked all the boxes for me, and made my heart race and ache in equal amounts.

🐍 I found the setting – 18th century France – to take up sufficient spotlight even if the main focus was, quite obviously, the romance. There were many luxurious descriptions and it was such a deliciously indulgent narrative that complimented the story and characters so incredibly well. Not to mention it had great humor!

πŸ•ŠοΈ Lou and Coco were absolute friendship goals. They were so supportive of each other, and would basically die for one another if needed be. It was the kind of sisterly bond that transcends a blood relation or even a spiritual one, and I was completely here for it.

🐍 There was some predictability, especially in the beginning, yet I found everything so incredibly satisfying I didn’t even care. To be honest, I didn’t figure out most plot twists until it was too late.

πŸ•ŠοΈ My only (minor) complaint is really towards the very end, when things take a turn. I’m not sure what it was but I felt a slight shift in pace that seemed to break the spell somewhat. It’s not like it impacted my reading experience all that much, but I wasn’t as (obsessively) invested as I’d previously been. Like maybe it had gone on for a bit too long?

roll in the Hallowmeter….

serpent & dove by shelby mahurin

Serpent & Dove was an incredibly indulgent read that took up most of my waking hours. Yes, I was obsessed with it. It made me swoon and laugh and get teary-eyed in all the right places.

The two leads have such incredible chemistry, are so perfect in their imperfections, have this complete-opposites-attract dynamic that completely threw my stomach butterflies into a frenzy, that I felt personally responsible for their happiness. Two adorably broken cinnamon rolls surrounded by a fleshed-out supporting cast of equally broken cinnamon rolls!

An unapologetic romance novel that actually did a terrific job in the writing/plot/setting departments as well. 18th Century France is the place to create a religious conflict that fuels a passionate, forbidden love affair, and despite some predictability and change of pace down the road, no one can tell me this isn’t the YA book of 2019.

An amazing debut that every fan of enemies-to-lovers slowburn needs to read – but be careful, because what other romance will come close to Serpent & Dove at this point?

~ Check out more Halloween Mini Reviews! ~


πŸ“Œ Pin It! πŸ“Œ

serpent & dove by shelby mahurin
πŸ“– What is your favourite enemies to lovers pairing?
πŸ“– What is the most decadent book you’ve read recently?
Let me know in the comments below! 😊
Thank you so much for reading and see you next time!


24 thoughts on “Halloween “Mini” Review – Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Spoiler-Free)

  1. This was such a fun format for this review! I’m glad you enjoyed Serpent & Dove. I also found it to be unapologetic.


  2. ahhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHhhhhhhhhhh I’ve had this ALL month and I STILL haven’t read it and now I’m DYING but I can’t bring myself to read it andHANJKRUCEBVGCJTHRUJNHBUYKJ idk why but I have problems with reading books I own. :/ BUT AHHHHHHHHHH!!!


    1. Hahahaha I hope you feel like picking it up soon! It’s honestly so gooood ❀ ❀ ❀ I'm looking forward to reading your review and see if it matches my taste πŸ™‚ From what I've seen, people either love it or hate it! So at least you won't get a bland experience πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just finished it and OH MY GOSH it might be my new fave idk but probably I THINK IT IS. I’ve already written a review and it should be up soon!!!!!!!!!!! (ahhh I love this book so MUCH and Ansel is a literal cinnamon roll and I LOVE Lou and Reid is just so amazing I love them so much ahhhhh)


  3. 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍THIS REVIEW OF SERPENT AND DOVE DESERVES ALLL THE HEART EYES IN THE WORLDDDDDD 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 Love love LOVED the way you have added those emojis at the beginning of each point! SUCH A GORGEOUS AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN REVIEWWWWW, SOPHIEEE!! LIKE HOWWWWWWWWWW?!?!? Teachhhh meeeee toooooooo!! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜β€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈπŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»πŸ‘»




    1. OMG Rain, you’re too sweet!! 😭😭😭 I love doing that with my mini reviews! Makes it easier to read too πŸ™‚
      You’re lovely and I don’t know what to say?? Stop being so lovely 😭😭😭 ❀ ❀ ❀
      I'm so glad you enjoyed it, hon, I'll miss the Halloween-y reviews too but there's always next year 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahhaha!! 🀣🀣🀣🀣 what can I do?!? YOUR AWESOMENESSS brings out the loveliness in meeeee!! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜



  4. I had a horrible reading month for October so I was so happy to see you loved this book so much Sophie! I’ve heard rave reviews but you make me excited to hunt it down. I love enemies to lovers and have too many favorite pairings to name!! I look forward to how unapologetic it is!! ❀️❀️❀️


    1. Oh no, Dani!! I’m so sorry to hear it 😦 I’ve seen anything from raving reviews to absolute trash ones and I was like ._. But thankfully, I was the former hahaha
      I do hope you get to pick it up soon and that you ADORE it ❀ Enemies to lovers IS the superior pairing, I don't care what anyone says xD
      Looking forward to your review! 😘


  5. I love how you turned this review to Halloween-themed, the pumpkin with the heart looks so cute!! I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, and I was scared to pick it up because of the hype, BUT I don’t need to worry after all right xD I definitely need to read it!
    Great review ^^


  6. Interesting to see your thoughts! Yes, this book was unapologetic and I loved the slow burn enemies to lovers romance. I quite liked Lou and went smitten for Reid pretty quickly. I agree about the twist in the pace toward the end. I liked Coco and Lou’s friendship as well. I didn’t quite get why Beau was there and actually, I wanted more description of France because I felt like the setting could’ve been built up more. But I am glad you loved it πŸ˜€


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