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SweetClematis

Sweet Clematis by R. Cooper Release Day Review

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Book Info

Book Series
Being(s) in Love, Book 9
Authors
About the Author
I'm a somewhat absentminded, often distracted, writer of queer romance. I'm probably most known for the Being(s) in Love series and the occasional story about witches or firefighters in love. Also known as, "Ah, yes, the one with the dragons."

Feel free to friend me on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

Twitter: @rispacooper
Facebook: @thealmightyris
Tumblr: sweetfirebird.tumblr.com

Or just visit my website to find everything all in one place and also a few Free Reads: https://www.riscooper.com/
Publication Date
November 27, 2018
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Pages
306
Content Warning
 contains instances of being-phobia and hostility from humans, mental health/dissociation
ISBN
978-1-64080-818-8
ASIN
B07KDDVKHD
Can a curse be a blessing?

Clematis works hard to embody every fairy stereotype. He can be a sulky prince or a submissive flirt, slutty and arrogant or silly and soft. He makes himself into whatever causes someone to want him. Combine that with beauty that’s incredible even for a fairy, and everyone wants him sooner or later… just not for long.

Well, everyone except the fairy Clematis secretly adores. But then, he’s never expected happily ever after, not when he’s spent years burying his emotions and making himself unlovable to push people away and protect his heart.

But his curse changes all that, and Clematis can no longer prevent his feelings from rising to the surface. He’s terrified that when his few friends see him for who he really is, they’ll abandon him, just like his parents did.

It’s hard to imagine friends who see past his act to the sweet person within, but maybe happiness has been in front of him the entire time, waiting for the real Clematis to break free and blossom.

Editor review

1 review
Perfect Addition to A Great Series
Overall
 
4.0
 ** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **

 POV: 3rd person, one character POV
 Would I read it again?: Yes
 Genre: LGBT, MM, Romance, Paranormal/Supernatural, Fae/Fairy
 Heat Level: ★★★☆☆

 I was so excited to see that there were further additions to the Being(s) in Love series, as it's been a favourite of mine since I read the first novel.

 ~

 Before I talk about the book as a novel, I do want to mention why it's not a 5 star review, which it could have been. I didn't love A Dandelion for Tulip, the book that all the characters of this novel were first introduced in, but I was intrigued to read Clematis' story. However, it's been a little over a year since I last read a book in this series, and I haven't had the time or the opportunity to catch up, by re-reading books 1-8 before delving into this novel.
 That proved problematic and confusing.
 Sadly, I felt disconnected from the novel for the first 15%. This was mostly because the book so heavily referenced previous relationships and characters (particularly from A Dandelion for Tulip) that it was difficult to remember where everyone fitted without re-reading the previous books first. Perhaps if there had been a Prologue, showing the moment Tulip cursed Clematis – an event I wished I'd seen in this book, since it was so important to the plot, but never got – it could also have reminded me of the dynamics between Clematis, Flor, Tulip and David, which felt confusing and didn't feel well explained until about 20% in, when my memory jogged on the complicated relationships between them all.

 I also have to admit that it feels impossible to come into this novel by accident, thinking it's a standalone. There are just too many references to past events, past characters, and mentions of things that the reader is expected to know about, with little attempt to explain them afresh. Even I had trouble piecing it all together and remembering all the nuances, without a re-read. Characters appear from SIX of the previous stories.
 If you're going to read Sweet Clematis, then I'd recommend reading the entire series first. Or at least refreshing with A Dandelion for Tulip (book 6) and Frangipani and the Very Shiny Boy (book 5.5) before you start. Both have characters and events that are important here. Characters with influence on the plot, or who appear on page, include Arthur/Bertie from book 2 (A Boy and His Dragon); Hyacinth/Walter from book 5 (Firebird and Other Stories); mentions of Cal from book 1 (Some Kind of Magic) and mentions of events that took place in book 7 (Treasure for Treasure).

 ~

 Once I was able to settle into the story, it was beautiful. Truly beautiful. And it's made me want to go back and re-read the entire series, now that I have more time on my hands. It's reminded me of the characters, the world building, and the atmosphere that I first fell in love with and want to revisit.

 I loved the way that the two MC's – Flor and Clematis – were so brutally oblivious to what their friendship had been leading to all along. I was honestly confused by their boundaries myself, from the first. One minute they were like an old married couple, the next they were barely, tentatively friends. It was beautiful to watch that slow growth, the gradual change and watch them both drift towards each other, slowly putting the pieces together and realising what it meant.

 The slight Dom/sub elements to Flor and Clematis' relationship were fitting for the characters. Nothing too heavy, just some demand/obey in the bedroom, and Flor's natural bossiness coming to light. It was nice to see that they discussed it, that they placed boundaries on what could be done or said, and that they accepted that part of each other without judgment.

 The political aspect of Being acceptance and tolerance was a great subplot, one that has bled throughout the entire series. To see the struggle from a different aspect, to see how it affected Clematis' studies and his relationship with co-workers and students, as well as how the human students took sides between human vs being, was a great addition, and one that was well explored.

 I must admit, I found the book to be really heavily emotionally charged. It could just be me, and the mood I'm in, but I definitely felt on the verge of tears for a good 80% of the novel. Maybe that was because I related to Clematis a little too much – as a person that others don't always understand, and who feels differently to what is considered 'normal' – or maybe because I held onto so much hope that he could have what he wanted, and that Flor would not fix, but certainly heal, him. It was a heavy emotional toll, but in the best way. And it didn't take much to get me out-right crying, though I definitely ugly-cried and snot-sobbed throughout the whole Clematis/Tulip conversation in the library. So, thanks for that, R. Cooper. Cathartic, a little gross, but a relief all the same.

 Overall, I thought it was a perfect addition to a series that I already loved. Full of emotion, full of beautiful characters, most of them familiar, and bringing a little bit of hope and love and joy to someone who had never experienced them before and so desperately needed them. Clematis was, perhaps, my favourite character of the series. Yet, I equally loved the gentle care and hesitancy that he brought out in Flor, during those tender moments. With a super cute ending, it's definitely one I'll be reading again. And it won't be long before I take a little break, delve into book one and build myself back up to re-reading this roller-coaster ride, before the end of the year.

 ~

 Favourite Quotes

 “Clematis the fairy, once described by an art student as a 'wicked forest prince,' buying a waffle iron on sale is the best thing I've ever heard.”

 ““Dating?” he wondered again. What an innocent, beautiful, painful thing Flor had given him.”
EW
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