Rivalry Of Hearts by Tessonja Odette

Posted June 11, 2024 by brokengeekdesigns in bookchat, Bookreview / 0 Comments

Elegant Blue cover of the book "A rivalry of hearts" by Tessonja Odette.
Rivalry1 - Rivalry Of Hearts by Tessonja Odette

Title- Rivalry of Hearts
Author- Tessonja Odette
Genre- Romantasy (Fantasy Romance)
Publisher- Crystal Moon Press
Publication Date- 12 June 2024
Page Count- 400 Pages
Comments- I received an advance ecopy for review by the author. I was in no way influenced by the elevator scene. Nope. Not at all.


Two rival writers.

One prestigious publishing contract.

A bargain of hearts and seduction.

They say never bargain with the fae. They also say don’t get drunk on fae wine. Yet romance author Edwina Danforth has managed a blunder with both on her first visit to the infamous faelands. Now she’s trapped in a magic-fueled bet she barely remembers with a man she’d be happier to forget. The terms? Whoever can bed the most lovers during their month-long dueling book tour wins a coveted publishing contract.

The win should be easy for Edwina. She’s known for penning scintillating tales of whirlwind romance. There’s just one problem: her imagination vastly exceeds her bedroom experience. But when failure means plummeting her career back into obscurity, losing isn’t an option.

Her handsome fae rival, William Haywood, poses an even greater challenge. Not only are his looks as aggravatingly perfect as his track record behind closed doors, but he has his own reasons for playing to win, and he won’t go down without a fight. Unless, of course, it’s a different kind of going down. In that case, he’s fair game.

Edwina and William clash in a rivalry of romance. But what happens when their objects of desire…turn out to be each other?


I subscribe to Tessonja Odette’s newsletter for the simple reason that if I were to miss any of her announcements of new releases I would never forgive myself. So, when she asked if anyone wanted an advance copy, I hit reply on the email so hard I accidentally opened three new tabs, closed Excel and potentially started a war with China. (although tbh I don’t think that was entirely my fault.)

Rivalry of Hearts is a thing of beauty and I don’t just mean the cover- although take a look at it.

177601547 - Rivalry Of Hearts by Tessonja Odette

The florals, the books, the quills, the pastels! (Although my inner Morticia Addams raises her eyebrows at me, “Pastels?!”)

pastels - Rivalry Of Hearts by Tessonja Odette

Yes. Its gorgeous.

Set in the same world as The Fair Isle Trilogy and Entangled with Fae series, it felt like slipping on a wonderfully warm jumper in the autumn: cosy, comfortable and consuming.

Edwina is a writer of smut and drivel and is launching her newest book, Governess and the Fae in Faerwyvae where she hopes to become a success and land a publishing deal. This might be her last chance at having a career before her parents insist on her coming home and getting married, like an actual lady and not a bluestocking.

However due to travel logistics between Faerwyvae and Bretton (home of the humans), she is late for her book tour and the publishing company have decided to share her signings with Fae Poet William Haywood, a devastatingly attractive if arrogant, superior, cocksure, seductive and infuriatingly antagonistic fae with piercing eyes, broad shoulders and … uh. what was I saying?

Complete scoundrel.

Anyway apparently the Publishing House- as with many these days only has the funds to select one author to give a contract to and so Edwina and William will have to battle it out to see who sells the most books. Except, thanks to the unwise decision to drink some fairy wine, Edwina bets William that whoever has had the most amorous encounters by the end of the tour wins the contract.

Should be easy for a purveyor of smut, save that her knowledge is mostly theoretical and William seems to have more than one reason to sabotage her attempts to increase her knowledge.

With both the publishing contact and secrets at stake, they should both be focussed on winning.

But will coming together cause beautiful poetry, or spell out The End for one of their dreams.

My Thoughts

Not ten pages into the ARC, I pre-ordered a hard copy. That should tell you all you need to know. But in case it doesn’t, here are my thoughts.

Ms Odette has a way with her descriptions, characters, and dialogue, that are not often matched within the romantasy genre.

Her world of Faerwyvae isn’t just “the human world but make it olde worlde and add fairies”. Every Court of Faerwyvae has its own unique character and culture along with different creatures living there and adding these unique biomes together creates a rich, realistic world.

Edwina’s delight at visiting these places only enhances your own appreciation and I swear I was jealous when I remembered that these places are fictional. Its like Hogwarts all over again.

I thought Will was the perfect book boyfriend and his ability to circumvent fae rules and his love for his sister just make him that much more perfect. I am a huge sucker for sibling relationships in fiction.

jonathan bailey luke thompson - Rivalry Of Hearts by Tessonja Odette

Edwina took a little bit longer to really fall for because of her acerbic manner. But, just like her rival, you quickly saw the treasure hidden behind the tempest and she is now firmly one of my favourite heroines. No spoilers but her drunken attitude had me absolute stitches. Her scientific mind and the way she wanted to incorporate so much into her research reminded me of those moments when you are so in the writing zone that Jason Momoa could walk by in his underwear and you wouldn’t even look up; and the way William not only understood but appreciated that aspect of her made me melt.

As always the author’s descriptions and lovely flow of language were on point. But where she absolutely excelled this time was the dialogue.

Holy delightful banter Batman! I chuckled, I squealed, I laughed out loud and kicked my feet in childish delight at their back and forth. If I had a physical book at the time, I would have underlined so much that it’d look like I was cramming for an exam. Even so, my kindle notepad has entire pages highlighted and outlined with notes, one of which just says “Chapter 10: Screw it, I’m in love with Monty.”

Monty, their shared publicist, could give William a run for his money in the heated romance stakes. He’s hilarious and protective and very dashing and I love him. I found out that he will be the subject of book two I’ve pre-ordered it, sight unseen.

So, if you liked the regency period of restriction and rules but with racy undertones, if you like quick fire banter, heart-breaking heroes and side characters that make you desperate for more, along with a world that is all encapsulating then this is the series for you.

If you don’t like those things, read it anyway.

Five stars.

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