Consort by Ada Dart

by Justine Bergman
Consort by Ada Dart

Consort by Ada Dart
SERIES: The Rift Bride (#1)
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2022
PAGES: 442
GENRE: Gothic Romance, Techno-Victorian



The Blurb

The territory master wants me for his bride, but his closest servant is my fated mate. Dare a woman ask for both a husband and her bonded companion?

When I was born, my father made a deal.

Now, to protect my remaining family, I must make good his bargain.

A rare specimen in a deadly and dissolving world, I am to belong to Malin Farrow: the master of Gudrune, and among the most feared leaders since the beginning of the Rift Events and all the monsters they bring with them.

Yet, despite his wicked reputation, and all the dark proclivities that make him infamous, he comes to love me–and I love him.

So what draws me to Eleison–the adversarial, standoffish, maddeningly beautiful footman with a beast in his heart?

For that matter…why must I be so obsessed when Eleison can’t stand to be in the same room with me?

Inspired by Bluebeard, Beauty & The Beast, and Rapunzel, The Rift Bride is a reverse harem gothic romance set in a techno-Victorian universe. This entry features fated mates on the one hand and age gap attraction on the other. It’s a slow burn with no male cheating, jealous/possessive love, an HFN ending in an HEA series, and just the right amount of angst to balance out the very steamy scenes! 18+

This series is by and large about VILLAINS who will get their happy ending, so be forewarned! Plot content can be dark and triggers include sadism, bondage, knifeplay, kidnapping, and some shocking twists in future volumes. Reader discretion is encouraged.

The Review

Prophecy may doom the heroes of your books, Thecla; but, if you pay attention, this story will have a happy ending.

With a promise of a steamy story inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, and Rapunzel, where the villains get their happily ever after, there was no doubt that Consort was a book I needed in my life. A charming tale of loyalty and acceptance, this was my first delve into author Ada Dart’s work, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do so. It’s difficult to fit this book into a certain category…gothic romance, techno-Victorian, futuristic dystopian, Gaslamp fantasy with a bit of science fiction – it’s truly a unique story that refuses to toe the line of any genre expectations. And this made me love it even more.

This book has some of the best worldbuilding I’ve come across in a long time. Dart creates an immaculate, intricate world for her readers, detailing an alternate reality of our own, where there exists a thin veil between Earth and the Rift – an alien realm of monsters. The latter regularly bleeds into the former, creating a whole host of unknowns, and humans, as expected, attempt to control the things they fear and cannot understand. Politics, monster hunting, scientific study, Consort is filled to the brim with carefully thought out concepts that create a rich reading experience.

Pages are peppered with finely-crafted morally gray characters who possess a plethora of dark secrets and even darker desires. The narrative follows Thecla, a woman with rarer abilities than initially portrayed, as she finds herself heaved into a life she never thought possible. Toss in an infamous territory master, Malin, and his most trusted footman, Eleison, and Thecla’s world  is turned upside down. The chemistry between the three is explosive, and it’s a relationship I cannot wait to see bloom in future installments of the series. With Regency era speech and mannerisms, and a fantastic supporting cast, the characters add such beautiful charm to an already alluring novel.

If I had to give one criticism for this beauty of a book, I’d have to mention the somewhat inconsistent pacing at the hands of introspection. It reads a bit like a rollercoaster ride with a slow build-up, then an eruption, followed by more building, and so on and so forth. It didn’t take away from the story as a whole, and it’s more just personal preference.

A blend of romance and fantasy/sci-fi, this book has a little bit of something for everyone. And for all you romance lovers out there, it has an extensive catalog of kinks for you to enjoy: age gap, fated mates, why choose, deg/praise, possessive alphas, BDSM, and more. This is absolutely a book for mature audiences, and I highly recommend minding the warnings presented by the author before fully diving in. My interest has been piqued, and I’m very much looking forward to spending more time with Thecla, Malin and Eleison in the next novel in The Rift Bride.

My Rating: 4

Note: A huge thank you to the author and Smuthood Tours for a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Author

Ada Dart is an author of reverse harems and romances with undercurrents so dark you’ll only want to read them at night. Her brooding, intellectual heroes defy boundaries and straddle conventions: whether older or younger, commanding or sensual, the men Dart writes are sure to keep readers’ imaginations going long after the final page. In addition to writing other pulp genres under the pen name Regina Watts, Dart enjoys spending time watching opera with her cat and her real life age-gap partner of over half a decade.

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