Title: Rum Paul Stillskin
Author: Laura Strickland
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Abandoned as an infant at the edge of Dartmoor, Rum Paul Stillskin does not know his true name or parentage, but it’s clear he’s not completely human. The old man who raises him calls him evil. The village children, who throw stones, whisper the word faery. Shunned by all, he finds comfort in his rude, native magic, and tells himself he doesn’t need love. Until he meets Mallie Goodman, who sees in him a wild beauty he cannot see in himself.
As they grow into adulthood, the bond between Mallie and Rum Paul deepens. When a cruel fate separates them, Mallie promises she will return to him, however long it takes. Twisted by loss, his long wait turns Rum Paul into someone Mallie never knew.
When Mallie returns, will lies and betrayal keep him from recognizing her? Will he ever believe he deserves love?
All his life, Rum Paul Stillskin wonders where he fits it. Abandoned when he was a baby and taken in by a woman who loves him and her husband who despises him, Rum feels isolated. The whole village scorns him, going so far as to throw stones. Sure, he may be different from the rest of them, but he has feelings too. Rum throws up walls around his heart and convinces himself he doesn’t need love but all that comes crashing down when a wild beauty named Mallie befriends him. As they grow older, their friendship turns into something deeper.
When Mallie has to go away, she promises to return. While she is gone, despair and grief turn Rum into someone Mallie wouldn’t even recognize. He feels abandoned again and this time, he refuses to let it destroy him. But fate has something else planned for Rum and Mallie. Her return forces Rum to confront everything he’s kept bottled inside. Can her love overcome his pain or is he too far gone?
A fabulous retelling of the Grimm’s fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin. Laura Strickland breathes new life into this fairy tale and we see Rum in a whole new light. He’s not evil per se but he’s not innocent either. There’s a question of nature versus nurture hidden beneath the story that’s poignant and thought-provoking. Rum is the classic antihero. Laura Strickland’s ability to plunge the reader inside Rum so we get to experience everything he’s feeling and going through. His own struggle soon became mine while reading. Highly recommend, especially for fairy tale retelling fans.
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Multi award-winning author Laura Strickland delights in time traveling to the past and searching out settings for her books, be they Historical Romance, Steampunk or something in between. Born and raised in Western New York, she’s pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Although she enjoys travel, she’s usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband. Author of numerous Historical and Contemporary Romances, she is the creator of the Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series set in her native city.
Social Media Links:
Author Website: www.laurastricklandbooks.com
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000002632317
Author Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Strickland/e/B001KHSACW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Author Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/760146.Laura_Strickland
Laura Strickland Author @LauraSt05038951
Reviewed by: Mrs. N