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Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
No Rest For the Wicked by M.L. Sparrow is a romantic fantasy about a young woman named Elira who had spent most of her life in an orphanage. She was often chastised for being pretty and having a well developed figure. The story begins with her running from her employer after he had tried to force himself upon her. Passed out in the snow, she is rescued by a handsome stranger, Anthony, who picks her up and carries her home. He convinces her to stay by hiring her as a house cleaner. Also in the house are his dog, Winston, the cook, Moira, and her son, Hen, who just happens to be Anthony's apprentice. Anthony is a powerful wizard who showers Elira with gifts and expensive clothes while continually trying to seduce her. Trouble comes knocking at the door when his estranged half brother arrives, looking for his mother's pendant.
M.L. Sparrow does a superb job of telling this story that is described as being around the turn of the 20th century, highlighting the social status of the wealthy and poor alike. She is able to tell the story through beautiful Elira as she learns about love, magic, and sibling rivalry. This includes the doubts and fears of becoming pregnant in an unyielding society where appearances matter. The love scenes are very tastefully written when Elira finally succumbs to Antony's advances, but not before she is ready, and on her own terms. No Rest For the Wicked is wonderfully written with a sense of wonder and magic. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well done!