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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
The Moonlit Woods (The Shifting Fae Book 1) by Eliza Tilton creates a magical fantasy featuring two protective characters who are not supposed to like each other. Rosalie’s firehawks, which prevent plague snakes from destroying farmlands, are ill. Her twin brother has gone to war and her parents have passed away, leaving Rosalie desperate for money. Deceived by a troll, she arrives at Farrow’s Gate to find she is a prospective bride for Lord Demious. Under heavy guard and with her magic suppressed by a collar, Rosalie finds herself drawn to the head guard. Baine is a shapeshifter Fae loyal to Lord Demious. He owes his life to Lord Demious, but something about Rosalie seems different from the other girls. It also seems that Rosalie has a penchant for getting herself into situations where Baine has to risk himself. Rosalie knows she has powerful feelings for Baine, but his ability to show no emotion confuses her. Should she try for favor from Lord Demious? Will she get back in time to save her firehawks?
This is a slow-burn romance fantasy that captivated my full attention. Eliza Tilton generates the perfect atmosphere with several challenges for Rosalie to overcome. Rosalie’s personality was the perfect reflection of her fire abilities. Her feisty nature adds to her appeal but displeases Lord Demious. It drew Baine to be protective of her, and I understood his inner conflict - he couldn’t follow through on his feelings because of his loyalty to Lord Demious. Vivid descriptions of supporting characters, allies, and villains made it difficult to predict how the story would turn out. The conclusion surprised me. There is an indication that this may be part of a series, and I look forward to reading the sequel. Readers of fantasy romance stories with unpredictable endings will enjoy The Moonlit Woods.