Grouch, by Roxy Collins is the second book in the Backyard Goblin Gods series. We met the two main characters, Drew and Grouch, in the first book. To be honest, I didn’t expect Drew to be the next one to make an offering but I was pleasantly surprised.
There is a lot to love about this book. I found Drew’s character to be far more fleshed out than Cassie’s was in the first book. The reader really gets to know Drew and understand her motives behind her offering to Underhill. Unlike Cassie, Drew knows what she is doing when she drops a gold ring into the crack in the crust. She understands the implication of her actions and does so with a plan. While she does seem to understand some of the gobelin tradition, she is not in it to find a mate. She has a lot of stuff to work through and the reader is along for the ride. And Grouch, despite his name, is delightful. His initial reaction upon meeting her is less than dignified, but he dials it back immediately and though he knows she is his fated mate, he respects her boundaries and follows her lead. He is also fighting his own demons and they find they have a lot of common ground.
I have noticed in other reviews that there is not a lot of love for Drew. People love a strong independent female lead until she proves that she truly is strong and independent. I actually really liked the fact that she didn’t fall all over Grouch right away. She was on a mission and was determined to see it through. She knew what she didn’t want (a relationship/mate) and didn’t really warm up to the idea until she’d nearly completed her mission.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. Collins addresses a lot of the issues I had with the first book by creating stronger characters with solid arcs. The main characters grow to know and care about each other before the big frenzy, which is something that is often missing in a fated mate story. There are some loose ends (what happened to Drew’s aversion to sex?), but overall a satisfying story. I am looking forward to the third book, Grot, coming to Kindle Unlimited on February 19, 2023.
Big thanks to Roxy Collins and BookSirens for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can buy Grouch, by Roxy Collins on Amazon for a couple bucks or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription. It’s Valentine’s Day. Treat yo self.