Genre: Fantasy (I think it’s marketed as YA)
Romantic subplot? Yeppers. Malice has LGBTQ romantic subplot, emphasis on the L. I think the MC Alyce is bisexual. (That might be my own bi heart wishing for representation, though.)
Steam? Hot Shower. The love scene wrapped in a flowery prose package, but the rest is pretty chaste. I would let a younger teen read it, but that’s me.
Plot: A Sleeping Beauty retelling unlike any other. In a greedy country filled with haves and have-nots, humans who are part fae called “graces” are used by corrupt nobles. The biggest victims of this system are women, but everyone but the nobility suffers. Alyce, the mc, is known as the “Dark Grace” because of her Villa heritage, but the real monsters are her clients who come to her for curses. This book tackles racism, sexism, and how power can corrupt even the good, but it’s subtle, all within an enchanting antihero fairy tale.
Recommend? Oh, heck yes! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Walker’s prose is gorgeous, her twists divine, and the love story, sweet and honest.