A Review of Bride by Ali Hazelwood

📖 GenreRomance, Fantasy, Adult, Paranormal
📃 Number of Pages410 pages
🪴 Average Goodreads Rating4.17⭐
🌻 My Rating5 ⭐

What is Bride About?

Bride by Ali Hazelwood is a romance fantasy novel about Misery, a Vampyre who has always been used in her father’s political games, and Lowe, a newly-minted Werewolf Alpha. In order to keep the peace between their two species, the two of them get married. The deal is that they’ll stay married for a year and then Misery can go back to her life. But nothing is simple, and Misery has her own reasons for agreeing to the marriage. 

I’ll be honest here — I’ve never liked Ali Hazelwood’s books. The woman herself seems amazing, which is why I wanted to love her work so much, yet it never happened for me. And I tried so hard. 

I was excited for weeks (maybe months?) before The Love Hypothesis came out. I got it the very same day it came out and cleared my schedule just to read it. The synopsis sounded perfect, just the kind of romance one could enjoy on a lazy Saturday and giggle over. And yet, I was underwhelmed. 

The romance was forced, the characters were uninteresting — worst of all, it was boring. 

I read the novellas next and promptly realized that they were just extra versions of The Love Hypothesis. And this is where I gave up. I saw no reason to keep reading Ali Hazelwood books if I was just going to hate them. It wasn’t fair to me or the author. 

Bride came out earlier this year and like all of Ali Hazelwood’s releases, I ignored it. I was (maybe still am) in the worst reading slump I had in the past five years. Sure, I read books (as you can see on my blog) but there was no spark, no joy. I read books to complete them, and I enjoyed them at the time, but there was no hunger for more or excitement over them. Not even fanfic could pull me out. 

And then I stumbled upon a CariCanRead vlog about Bride. If you’re not following Cari already, you really should. She’s a wonderful booktuber, and her videos are always so cozy and funny. But anyway, she was reading Bride in her vlog and she seemed to be having so much fun with it that I decided that screw it, I’m going to give it a go. 

Worst case scenario, I would hate it and DNF it after fifty pages or so — no big deal. It’s not like my slump could get any worse. 

Reader, it was the best decision I ever made. 

Well, maybe not quite so dramatic, but it was still a decision I am grateful for. Because I loved Bride. Absolutely loved it. 

Bride has that unadulterated joy of fanfiction, the fun and playfulness of it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s not pretentious. It’s just pure fun. And this is what I mean when I say that I don’t care about world-building or plot if the book is entertaining. Sure, Ali’s world of Vampyres and Wares isn’t perfect, but the story she told within it is too interesting to pay attention to the rest. 

It’s written in the first POV, which I don’t normally like, but it worked here. And that’s because of — drum roll please — Misery, our main character. And yes, that’s her name. 

Questionable naming choices aside, she was the perfect heroine for this story. The previous Ali Hazelwood heroines were all a bit too quirky, a bit (I don’t want to be mean, but) dumb. Their humor was straight out of Disney Channel and it wasn’t funny at all. Misery, on the other hand, has the deadpan humor of someone completely resigned and aloof. And she’s so funny even when she’s not meaning to be. She might die? Oh, well.

It works in her favor that she’s a Vampyre so she’s not quite sure how either humans or Wares work. Like, she cannot guess the age of a child (somewhere between three and thirteen?), and can’t tell the difference between a spatula and a ladle. All of this puts her in so many funny situations where she’s basically like an alien pretending to be human. 

“When do you think your future husband will try to kill you?” Owen asks conversationally, looking straight ahead. “Tomorrow? Next week?”

“Who’s to say.”

“Within the month, for sure.”

“For sure.”

“One has to wonder if the Weres will bury your corpse or just, you know. Eat it.”

“One has to.”

She reminds me a bit of Naomi from You Deserve Each Other, in fact, and Naomi is one of my favorite characters ever. 

The love interest, Lowe (another poor naming choice), is all right. And to clear things up — yes, he’s an Ali Hazelwood hero, so yes, he’s huge. But in this case, it makes sense. He’s a werewolf, and exercises a lot, plus he’s an alpha so he obviously has to be bigger than the others. It didn’t bother me so much here because it makes sense.

Like, why would a professor or a scientist who barely sees daylight be huge, tan and muscular? There’s no reason. But with Lowe, it makes sense. 

He’s only a little broody but not at all rude or horrible to Misery. In fact, he’s quite nice, from the very beginning. Obviously, there’s a reason for that and if you ever read a werewolf fanfic or an SJM book in your life, you’ll know it.

But he reminded me just how much I love werewolf love interests. Mind you, not the ehm, ✨physical stuff✨, if you know what I mean, but more the protectiveness and the “I’ll do anything for you” vibes. 

Plus, the little excerpts of his POV at the beginning of each chapter were so charming.

“Some nights, when he’s walking past her door, he has to whisper to himself: “Keep going.”

What I liked about their relationship is that it sort of happened without much fuss. They liked each other, they spent time together, and it transitioned into more without the extra long internal monologues on whether it should. There were no misunderstandings (and related angst), more so intentional misleading that sort of works in this case

And while I normally don’t like children in novels (while adoring two of my own, go figure), Ana was fun. Maybe not quite like a seven-year-old, but she was entertaining and funny and played off Misery so well. 

I actually enjoyed all of the side characters and I hope we get books about all of them. I know the next one will probably focus on Koen and Serena (and oh my god, that ending), but I hope we also get books on the other characters because how fun would that be? I’m definitely along for the ride with this series. 

The highlight of this book were definitely its characters. The world-building was mostly okay, but not really developed beyond the basics, and I didn’t really care much about the plot. So, I don’t have much to say about either. 

“Maybe some things transcend reciprocity. Maybe not everything is about having.”

I liked that the species were described through science rather than magic, and the mystery was all right too. I wouldn’t say that the answer was obvious, but then again, I wasn’t really trying to solve it. I was more interested in character interactions, and frankly, enjoying Misery’s laugh-out-loud observations. Also, the dirty talk wasn’t really my thing, but thankfully, there wasn’t much of it so it wasn’t a big deal. 

All in all, this book was the most fun I had reading in a while. Which I have said probably more times than necessary. Thank you for coming to my gush fest and sorry for the lack of proper structure (and the excess of excitement). But really, I hope you read Bride and I hope it gives you as much joy as it gave me. And hey, if you want more romance books that made me feel the way Bride did, check out my list of perfect romances for Valentine’s day or this other list of underrated romance novels.

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