When I started this book and first third was dominated by the biker gang stuff, I nearly put it down and moved on. I’m not interested in the usual romance tropes with all human characters. I chose this book because I’ve never read a goblin romance before, and the man on the cover is green. I like green. Bring on the goblin lore. If the goblins are humans, meh. Fortunately Grungu was introduced before I got bored of reading about bikers harassing Cassie and her siblings. Don’t get me wrong. Cassie is great character. She’s a badass who does what needs to be done to take care of the ones she loves. Her life and her story leading up to her meeting Grungu are what makes her the badass she is. But I’m here for the goblin aspect and this book delivers.
Before I go on, let me list a few possible content warnings. Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want them or are worried about spoilers. Consider yourself spoiler warned. So. Content warnings include: attempted rape, gang violence, guns, biting, oral sex on a sleeping person. If any of these things are not for you, pass on this one. I will also say that the attempted rapist is punished. Continuing on.
Cassie Wild finds herself caring for her siblings after her mom ditches town, leaving her to deal with her debt to the Iron Goblins. The head of the MC decides she’s not paying off the debt fast enough and puts her to work at the club’s strip club. She begrudgingly goes to work (not that she has a choice) and things immediately get worse for her. And then she accidentally sends an offering to the gobelins who live in a magical place underground and things start to look up.
Grungu aka Grunge is the leader of the gobelin horde living in a magical underground world called Underhill. Every 20 or so years, the crust opens and the gobelins have the opportunity to seek a human mate. They need humans to procreate and the leader of the horde must find his mate before any of his clan can attempt to find theirs. We learn that there is a history between humans and gobelins that is passed down the generations. Unfortunately it seems the humans are no longer keeping their end of the deal because Cassie doesn’t even know gobelins exist. Not only do they exist, but they’re the opposite of what the humans have always been told. They are fierce warriors, but they’re also cinnamon rolls who would do anything for their clan and especially for their mates.
This book is full of twists and turns. Sometimes it feels a little all over the place, but it all comes together nicely. And spice is close to the levels I like in my monster romance. I’m looking forward to seeing where Collins takes this series. If the path to the surface is only open for about a month, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for many gobelins to find their mates. It will either be a short series or there will be time skips. I’m okay with either.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. There is room for improvement. I would love more details about the deal between humans and gobelins. What happened with the Iron Goblins? Will the twins be safe without Cassie? Will the gobelins be more welcoming to Cassie after all that happened? Overall I really enjoyed this one and immediately picked up the next book in the series.
Big thanks to Roxy Collins and BookSirens for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can buy Grunge (Backyard Goblin Gods #1), by Roxy Collins on Amazon for a couple bucks or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.