I've generally enjoyed the My Boyfriend is a Monster series. The first, I Love Him to Pieces, was fun and sweet, the second...kinda meh, and though I'm sad to say I missed the chance to read number three - y'know, vampire one - I'm happy to say that Under His Spell, for me, at least, has managed to recapture the fun and sweetness that made I Love Him to Pieces so enjoyable.
This go around, our titular boyfriend is Allein, a Faery Price - yes, literally - hiding out in the mortal world from his eeeeeevil cousin who - as usual - wants to kill him so that he can claim a right to the throne. Fortunately - or unfortunately, perhaps - he decides to hide out in a mortal high school, where he meets our heroine, Bethany. Sparks fly, but like any Muggle who gets involved with a supernatural creature on the run, Bethany becomes a target, and must defend herself and her friends from Allein's vengeful cousin.
For a fluffy teenage romance series, My Boyfriend is a Monster has a pretty good track record with strong heroines, and this is no exception. Bethany is smart, capable, clear-headed, strong, and brave, even after she starts falling for Allein, which is refreshing, because that's when most "strong" heroines start losing those kinds of traits. She's also pretty kick-ass, and the author allows her to be - dare I say it - equal to Allein in terms of competency.
Her first encounter with Allein's cousin is when he attempts to kidnap her, and much to my pleasure and amazement, that's a scrape the author allows Bethany to get herself out of, without any assistance at all from the boyfriend. Later in the story, she and Allein go to rescue her friends from the fae, and Bethany informs Allein that she will free the hostages while he takes out his cousin - and she does, getting rid of count em, three fae by herself. Better still, Allein isn't the type of boyfriend to argue with her and tell her not to even try, "for her own protection".
Of all the books in the series, Under His Spell seems to be the most aware of the kinds of cliched relationship dynamics that teen romances tend to fall into...
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