While most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his cute Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she was led to believe.
What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their people.
(YA Urban Fantasy, Romance, Magical Realism, Irish Folklore)
ebook, 313 pages
Four stars: A delightful tale packed with Irish lore.
Robyn's eighteenth birthday is approaching and she is eagerly planning for her future. For Robyn, her next step isn't college or a career, instead she is headed to Ireland with her family to meet her betrothed. Robyn's parents are of magical blood, and they serve the Fae. When a powerful fairy queen caught sight of Robyn as an infant, she wanted to take the child but instead agreed to bind her with another of magical blood. Robyn has been eagerly looking forward to meeting McHale since she was six years old. Now on the plane ride over, her mother finally shares an important fact that she neglected to tell Robyn all these years. McHale, Robyn's betrothed, is a Leprechaun. Robyn is shocked and confused and hoping against hope that her fiancé is taller than her knees. Will Robyn be lucky in love?
What I Liked:
- First, I am delighted to see that Wendy managed to go ahead and get this book out via the self pubbed route. Due to the sudden popularity of all the dramatic, angst laden New Adult books on the market, publishers aren't putting out as many YA paranormal titles. It would be a shame if this charming little book hadn't made it to print. If you are a fan of YA paranormal and you are craving something different, fun and romantic (without love triangles) grab See Me. How can you not want to read a book featuring Leprechauns?
- I loved that this book featured all things Irish from Leprechauns to their brethren the Clorychaun as well as Celtic lore, a gorgeous Irish setting and plenty of Fae to shake things up. I especially appreciated that this book introduced me to a new type of wee folk, the Clorychaun, and that it took the familiar leprechaun folk lore and brought it to life. I liked that the leprechauns didn't lean heavily on the worn out tropes we are used to such as pots of gold, wishes and mischief. Instead the leprechaun folk are hard working shoe cobblers making shoes for the Fae. They are a good natured folk who value family, hard work community and they like to throw parties. I enjoyed getting to know the wee folk.
- I appreciated that there was a strong focus on family. Robyn's parents are very involved not only with their daughters but in the story as well. They are an important part of the plot and I liked that they were front and center. More often than not in YA books, the parents are absentee and involved. Robyn has a strong relationship with her parents and her sister. I loved the fun sister dynamics between Robyn and Cass. They two girls are very different, but they always have each other's backs. I especially liked the scene where Robyn's future comes crashing down and she immediately runs to those she can count on: her family. The importance of familial bonds shines brightly in this one, and I loved it.
- The romance.... this was an interesting love affair as it involves a betrothal. Arranged marriages are not something we see much of these days, at least in Western culture, so it was an interesting twist. I liked that Robyn had always looked on her impending marriage as a gift and not a curse. She was always optimistic and excited, and I thought it was endearing the way she collected gifts for McHale through the years. At first meeting, I worried that it was going to be an insta love/ love at first sight type relationship, but thankfully, it doesn't quite go down that way. There are plenty of obstacles for the couple to overcome, including a spoiled Fairy Princess who wants to interfere. The relationship ends up growing slow and steady, and I liked watching it blossom. It was so refreshing to get a relationship without heavy drama or love triangles.
- The ending wraps up all the main story lines neatly and I was pleased at the way things worked out. However, there was one niggling story line involving Cass and I am hopeful that perhaps a sequel is in the works? I would like to see Cass get her happy ending and I would love to catch up with McHale and Robyn down the road.
And The Not So Much:
- For the most part, I thought the world building was well done, but I thought a tiny bit more detail was necessary. First, I have never heard of the Clorychaun and I was completely confused when the came riding in on a flock of sheep. I ended up doing a bit of research to learn more about them after reading this book. I wished that there was a bit more explanation regarding Clory. I was also left wondering a bit about the Leprechauns. Did they ever go into the human world and interact with humans? Were they capable of granting wishes? Why did they live sequestered away without any access to technology?
- I was surprised at the revelations at the end regarding the work of Robyn's parents. I was curious to know a bit more about both of her parents. Where were the grandparents? Siblings? Who arranged their marriage? I wish that there had been more detail on the parents along the way instead of a quick info dump at the end.
- It isn't clear what Robyn's role as McHale's wife will be. Will she live the rest of her life in the secluded Leprechaun village away from her family? Can she travel home for visits? What will she do other than bear children? Will she have the opportunity to further her education if she so desired?
- Cass and Rock were an entertaining couple. Cass was fire and fun compared to her more sedate sister Robyn. She makes some rather bad decisions and gets hurt, but I liked that about her. She is a typical head strong teenager. At least when it mattered, she had her sister's best interests at heart. I was disappointed though that Cass' story was left hanging. I want to know more. Could we have another book featuring Rock and Cass, please?
See Me is a delightful and entertaining read that takes you to the heart of Ireland. Come away and meet the Leprechauns and spend the day in the quiet settlement. Be sure to rest up for the big party every night. I loved that this book was original and fun and that it featured Leprechauns and fairies. If you are on the hunt for a book that steers away from the typical tropes of YA books, grab this one. Let's hope that Ms. Higgins is planning on another book is this delightful series!
"We don't give or received gifts lightly. To give a girt, no matter how small, tis like giving a piece of yerself. Accepting a gift means you're taking a part of them. 'Tis an honor."
"Because I liked him. A lot. He made me feel like a new and improved version of myself."
"The bad thing about romantics was they put themselves out there for heartbreak."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.