On the night Rune’s life changed forever, blood ran in the streets. Now, in the aftermath of a devastating revolution, witches have been diminished from powerful rulers to outcasts ruthlessly hunted due to their waning magic, and Rune must hide what she is.
Spending her days pretending to be nothing more than a vapid young socialite, Rune spends her nights as the Crimson Moth, a witch vigilante who rescues her kind from being purged. When a rescue goes wrong, she decides to throw the witch hunters off her scent and gain the intel she desperately needs by courting the handsome Gideon Sharpe – a notorious and unforgiving witch hunter loyal to the revolution – who she can’t help but find herself falling for.
Gideon loathes the decadence and superficiality Rune represents, but when he learns the Crimson Moth has been using Rune’s merchant ships to smuggle renegade witches out of the republic, he inserts himself into her social circles by pretending to court her right back. He soon realizes that beneath her beauty and shallow façade, is someone fiercely intelligent and tender who feels like his perfect match. Except, what if she’s the very villain he’s been hunting?
Hello Book friends!
Today I’m reviewing Heartless Hunter by Kristen Ciccarelli. In this fantasy romance, with two POV’s, a quiet rebellion is brewing and Rune Winters is at the heart of it. But as she moves closer to her ultimate goal, saving her grandmother’s dearest friend from the witch purging, she becomes ensnared by the witch hunter Gideon Sharpe.
Now, let’s chat about the book itself.
I love the bones of this story, where you have these two young people, a witch forced into hiding her identity, quietly starting a rebellion, and a morally gray witch hunter, who is hell bent on eradicating every witch, and you have to wonder well why’s that?🤔
What felt a bit off was the complete execution of the story in its entirety, specifically the love triangle in this one. I have said it once before I am not a fan of love triangles. They are often messy and can lead to cliché endings. In this instance we have two brothers vying for the same girl. And I’ll let you discover how this one ends, but I felt the love triangle wasn’t necessary and you could still get to the same ending without it. That Gideon’s younger brother could’ve simply been Rune’s bestie and nothing more. Plus with the ending, I was curious and perplexed why Rune wasn’t more upset about what happens to Alex and my hope this gets flushed out and explored more in the second novel.
A Few More Thoughts
As the story turns into this cat and mouse chase, Gideon trying to discover if Rune is the Crimson Moth or a spoiled aristocrat, and Rune trying to seduce Gideon in order to free her grandmother’s dearest friend, readers will ache for more one-on-one interactions between these two enemies to hopeful lovers. But as they unhurriedly bring their shields down, Ciccarelli quickly shifts gears, pressing on the accelerator, and you realize you’re at the end, a bit disappointed because we didn’t have more time with the simmering romance between Rune and Gideon.
Unequivocally a solid first installment to a very promising new fantasy romance series.
Happy Reading ~ Cece
RATING: – Satisfyingly Inked
About the Author
Kristen Ciccarelli grew up on a grape farm, dropped out of college, and worked various jobs before becoming an author. Some of her previous trades included: baker, potter, L’Arche assistant, and community bread oven coordinator. Kristen lives in Canada’s Niagara Peninsula with her husband and their book-obsessed toddler. She is also the author of Edgewood and the internationally bestselling Iskari series.
|Source & Format
|Review Posted Online
|NetGalley, Digital ARC
|January 13, 2024
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I’m Cecelia and I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find honest reviews, book recommendations, along with other bookish essentials. So happy you stopped by!