Review: Exchanged by Dante Silva and Vanessa Mozes

Reviewed by Ronelle

Aubriel has loved Elston since they were children and admired him for his dedication as a paladin to their god. She sadly learns his true colors when it comes time for him to choose between her and the treasure she unwittingly leads him to. His betrayal is shocking, but it also has unintended consequences in the form of the fey lord, Callannon Thray.

When Callannon arrives to defend his treasure, he’s surprised to find a beautiful elven woman already defending it for him. Aubriel is everything he’s wanted but failed to find in a fey woman—kind, honest, trustworthy—but there’s one problem: she’s mortal.

When she agrees to go with him to the fey realm, Callannon has no choice but to hide her mortality, not only to protect her from those who would use her against him. Among enemies and amid political turmoil, Callannon and Aubriel must hide the truth of her mortality or risk Callannon’s ruin and Aubriel’s freedom.

***

As a fan of both fantasy and romance and someone whose perfect book is when they come together, I was excited about Exchanged. The promise of a mortal-fey love story playing out amidst political intrigue sounded like my perfect scenario. I was also intrigued by the idea of two authors and curious to see how they would manage a cohesive story.

The result was mediocre and I found myself walking away from it several times before I was able to finish.

I’m not a fan of insta-love and the entire romance between Bree and Callannon hinged on one illogical decision on his part. Seriously, bonding to someone just because they kept one asshole from stealing your stuff is extreme, no matter how pretty she is. The exchanged thing was finally explained, and the idea was more complex than I expected, but it was interesting and the steamy encounters led to were almost worth the otherwise lackluster story. Mr. Silva and Ms. Mozes do seem to have a talent for writing mature content in a way that really gets the readers attention.

Aubriel/Bree was introduced as a fully-formed character, and thus showed zero development or growth. There just wasn’t room for it. It was also rather convenient that she had no family, no close friends, nothing to tie her to the mortal realm or give her pause about becoming involved with the fey. She expressed a token resistance at first, but it was almost instantly abandoned. Callannon was a little better, in that his motivations were slowly uncovered, and his character had evident reasons for doing what he did. His interactions with the other members of his court were telling and provided a nice dash of tension to the story. I definitely liked him more than anyone else. Elston was laughable and it was beyond obvious that he was a complete dick as opposed to some virtuous religious soldier. And Captain Salda? She was just an unapologetic, one-dimensional bitch.

The world-building was minimal, and we’re given little-to-no background on the courts, races, the mortal realm, or really anything that would act as a point of reference for the plot. It was disappointing, because there was so much potential for a rich setting, but as nothing was explained or filled in, this story seemed to take place in a vacuum. I will say that, for a book written by two separate people, the style was pretty consistent, and I didn’t find many typos.

Bottom line: I had high hopes for this book, but I was ultimately disappointed. There was too little development of one of the main characters and too few points of reference for understanding the setting. The ending was sorta cute and HEA’s are always nice, but with the sheer number of fantasy romances out there, I really can’t recommend this one.

Rating: C/C-

**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Click to purchase: Amazon

Exchanged
by Dante Silva and Vanessa Mozes
Release Date: January 31, 2017

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