Review: Hard for a Harpy by Lauren Connolly
Harpies are usually thought of as nasty mythical females who are bloodthirsty. I am liking the trend of a Harpy re-interpreted. In this sweet and funny romance, Ms. Connolly takes an old trope - "fake dating" and makes it fresh. The romance and interaction between Zara and Anthony completely captured my attention.
What I am consistently now seeing in Ms. Connolly's stories be it paranormal or contemporary, is the excellent character building. It could just be that I like how she creates her characters. Anthony on the surface comes across as a materialist person with zero value added. He is a social media influencer. This in itself makes me cringe as I see more and more people try to break into this and it's a dumpster fire. What makes Anthony stand out is his paradox. He hates magic yet he leverages his passive magic for his job as an influencer. It's quite brilliant. This in itself could make Anthony come across as even more shallow and perhaps manipulative.
Ms. Connolly turns this all upside down as we learn more about Anthony's childhood and his backstory. I felt badly for him and now I'm all in. For those who watched the TV show, Fraser, and recall the episode of Nile and Fraser finding out how their mother picked their names, this may feel similar. Anthony's mother is terrible. I cannot believe what she said to him at such a young age. The trauma of it is well explained by ms. Connolly in Anthony's actions and behaviour. This brings us to Zara who is currently experience a rude awakening that breaks her heart.
At the basic level of this story with the plot, subplot and tropes, it shouldn't work. As in, it is cliche and overdone. Yet Ms. Connolly brings a new perspective with her insights, character building, and world creation. I fall in love with Ms. Connolly's writing style with every new book I read of hers. Zara and Anthony are a delightful pairing in this series and I cannot wait to see the next pairing.
This paranormal romance is highly recommended to romance readers who love happily ever afters.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.