Book Review: Men Are Frogs by Saranna DeWylde
In the town of Ever After, magic and fairy godmothers are real, Prince Charming is a frog all day and a prince at night, and Zuri Davis has just taken a job as a wedding planner. Zuri has to leave her old stomping ground of Chicago after planning the wedding from hell - turned out the groom was also Zuri’s boyfriend and the bride took her dress off and set it on fire when she found out. What Zuri doesn’t know is that the magic is real and the three fairy godmothers are about to start some serious meddling in her life.
This is the second in a series and if you haven’t read the first (as I haven’t) you’re going to spend the first couple of chapters at least wondering who all these people are that are constantly being talked about but never actually appear in the book. Honestly, this put me off right from the start. You don’t need to rehash the previous book unless the events and characters from it are going to play a major part in this one, and they clearly don’t. Then the fairy godmothers spend a whole bunch of time working on another romantic couple… who are also not the focus of this book. This is all filler and it just needed cutting completely. We could have started with Zuri leaving Chicago and then arriving in town, and had all the magical stuff going on behind her back; it would have been a much more interesting start and got me invested in Zuri from the beginning.
Because of this false start, it took me ages to get into the story - I was past the 50% mark before I finally thought, yes, I’m enjoying this. There really is a good story in here, Philip is an adorable hero - the player who’s grown up - and I was delighted by Zuri and her twin Zeva. I liked that the fairy godmothers tried to be facilitators rather than managers, insisting that those they helped had to have agency, and that was the way True Love worked as well. Philip and Zuri had to have faith and choose to put each other first.
There are some great characters who are obviously going to get their own happily ever afters later in the series - Ravenna the Evil Queen, Hunter, Zeva and more, but honestly my favourite side character was Esmeralda the flying fox. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a snarky familiar.
There are some really odd intimate scenes in here too. Some things are really explicit but then when it gets down to the ‘action’ suddenly everything descends into euphemisms and it’s all over in a paragraph. I can’t even figure out whether I would describe it as open door or closed door. If you don’t like open door, you’ll probably think it’s too explicit, but if you DO like open door, I think it’ll be a bit too bland for your taste. It’s in a weird halfway slot which I suspect won’t please many.
I like a lot of things about this - the hero and the heroine, the romance, and many of the side characters - but it started in the wrong place, there’s way too much filler, I really can’t get what’s going on with the intimate scenes and I think it’s just trying a bit too hard to be cutesy. I’ll give it three stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.