Locked (A Reverse Harem Romance) by Penelope Wren
Released: July 2, 2018
Genre: Reverse Harem / Fairytale Retelling Romance
Publisher: Penelope Wren
Reviewed by Keyrsten
It’s hard to be a green witch when you’re surrounded by all this stone.
I’ve lived practically my entire life in a high rise tower, a side-effect of my parents ticking off an evil witch before I was born. But don’t tell Mother I called her evil, she scares me more than a little bit. With her as my guardian, good company is scarce. All I’ve got are my plants, my talking cat and my blog. And Mother isn’t exactly fond of any of them.
Especially since the latter introduced me to three ridiculously gorgeous half-elves, and I’ve fallen for all three of them. Kinden, the mage security specialist who never fails to make me smile. Rifyr, the rogue-turned-locksmith whose physical beauty almost hurts. And Sorrel, the hunter who uses his skills to track down works of art, and whose heart is so pure he rekindles my faith in the world.
Things start getting hairy when we decide to meet in person. As it turns out, Mother hates it when I sneak hot guys into the tower, go figure.
So now we have to figure out a way to get both me and my cat out of the tower without blowing everything up. Wait… did I forget to mention the threat of arcane annihilation if I were to leave the tower? Right… I always forget that part…
Zelle is such a heart warming character. She is kind, caring, and selfless. At first one might think she has a meek personality, but when it comes to the people and things she cares about she is brave and her passion is unyielding. The way she grows into her own sense of self and independence throughout the book just fills your heart with fuzzy feelings.
The modern world created around Zelle was done beautifully. I was worried how the transition of pulling Rapunzel into a modern world was going to translate. The melding of the tower and the restriction to modern technology blended smoothly. Zelle's blog was also an entertaining touch and created an effortless way for her to meet her harem without taking away from the key tower plot. Adding the green witch aspect was also a refreshing magical touch. Mother was crafted as a really good villain and every scene she was in I wanted to jump through the screen and throttle her neck. Basil the talking cat reminded me a lot of Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch and I loved him even more for it.
This was the first RH story I've read where the FMC is already in "relationships" with her men. It was nice to come upon that, especially when mixed with the online dating aspect it allowed them to develop a more emotional relationship long before they could develop a physical one. The build up to the physical scenes made them feel more intense and sensual.
I wish there would have been more distinct voices between Kinden, Rifyr, and Sorrel. For me personally their voices kind of blended into one at times, so I often had to backtrack to remind myself who Zelle was speaking to. I think this could have been helped with more interaction between Zelle and all of her men at once allowing them to develop apart from one another better. Online conversations can tend to blend into one voice.
The big climactic scene at the end could have been bigger in my opinion. It was over too quick and left me with even more questions than I had before that scene. Since the ending came quick, I felt like the decline at the very end came careening to a halt. The ending fell a little flat for me because I was wanting so much more from it.
Overall the novel was well written. The wordplay and metaphors were really fun. Zelle's chemistry with her men felt natural and worked really well. Basil was a hoot and a half. It was a great light read and would be perfect for anyone dipping their toes into the reverse harem.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Give me an alpha male with a woman who aces all forms of sarcasm and I'm putty in you hands -- bonus points if a Reverse Harem is involved. Supernatural esque romance and power plays tend to make my heart go pitter patter. I haven't met a book I wasn't willing to try, so if you've got recommendations email them my way. I'm a foul mouthed makeup addicted with slight wino tendencies.