Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: September 23rd 2021

Genre: Fairy Tales, Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Series

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9 (review here)

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (review here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (review here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and non-stop twists and turns, this action-packed fantasy retelling is for you.

First Line:

Ballads of Robin Hood have spread through the English countryside like wildfire, becoming greater and more fantastic with every pass.

marian’s man by jacque stevens

I enjoy reading fairy tale/myth retellings. Each fairy tale retelling that I have read has been different and exciting. Though, I haven’t read a retelling about Robin Hood and was immediately interested when Robin’s Hood came out. Then I read the blurb for Marian’s Man, and I couldn’t wait to read it!!

Marian’s Man takes place shortly after the events at the end of Robin’s Hood. Rob and Mare have been reunited. Mare is prepared to keep wearing the hood, but Rob doesn’t want her to, and he takes on the Robin Hood persona. While Mare isn’t happy, she understands. During one of her forays into the village, Mare discovers that the Queen will be riding through the village on her way to pay the ransom for King Richard. She also finds that the sheriff and his cronies have a plan to rob the Queen. What will happen? Will Robin Hood come to the rescue? Or will the ransom be taken? And can Rob and Mare reconnect, or will Rob’s demons take over?

Marian’s Man is a fast-paced book that kept my attention the entire book. It is a short book (183 pages), and with the fast pace, it took me a couple of hours (broken up over the day) to read. There was no lag, and the author kept up the fast pace of the entire book.

Marian’s Man is told from both Rob and Mare’s POV. I loved that!! I liked being able to see Rob’s take on everything that was going on. It made the book much more interesting to read.

I felt terrible for Rob. He suffered while in the Middle East. I wasn’t surprised that he was having flashbacks, and I wasn’t surprised when he started to deal with his demons the way he did. I was a little surprised at how much he didn’t want to be Robin Hood. He hated the hood, which was a direct contrast to how Mare felt about it. I also liked seeing how honest he was with himself about how he felt about Mare. It was refreshing to see a man lay it all out.

I liked Mare in Marian’s Man. She was determined to stand by Rob, no matter what. While she was confused by how he acted (the flashbacks made him do awful things), she was there for him. She wasn’t happy about not being Robin Hood. She loved wearing the hood and outsmarting the sheriff. So, I wasn’t surprised by what she did towards the end of the book.

Mare and Rob’s romance was a slow burn throughout the book. I did get aggravated with them during certain scenes. They were madly in love with each other, and then they would act a fool because of jealousy. But other than that, I enjoyed their romance.

This is a clean book. There is no sex, and there is a handful of kissing scenes. The chemistry between Mare and Rob is palpable, and I can’t wait for them to finally get down and dirty.

There is a hint of a love triangle, which I didn’t like. I felt that it could have been left out of the book because it added nothing to it.

The end of Marian’s Man was excellent. While it didn’t take me by surprise, it shocked me a little. I cannot wait to read the next book and see what happens then!!

I would recommend Marian’s Man to anyone over the age of 16. There is no sex (some kissing scenes), but there is violence.

WWW Wednesday: November 10th 2021


WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


I know that I have been persona non grata on the blog since about mid-October and I apologize for my absence. I thought with school being in, that I would have a ton of free time to read and blog. Yeah, that didn’t exactly work in my favor. I have been super busy since the week of October 18th and I finally have been able to sit down.

Most of my time was taken up with appointments. My kids had numerous orthodontist, Dr, and therapy appointments (Miss R had a very hard time adjusting to lockdown and it resulted in behavioral issues). I like to challenge myself and double-booked appointments on certain days…smh. So, by the time afternoon rolled around (after I pick up Miss R and Miss K from school), I wanted nothing to do with this blog or reading. This is the first week that I have finished three books in what seems like forever.

I also ended up buying a new computer. I got an Alienware Aurora R10 gaming computer. I had ordered it on September 11th and got a delivery date of October 31st, which got pushed back to November 4th. Because it is a super expensive tower, I needed to be there when Fed Ex dropped it off. I didn’t want a porch pirate taking off with it.

I went to the eye Dr for the first time in 3 years and he prescribed me bifocals. Yes, at 44 I got bifocals. Again, another learning curve that left me with some pretty bad headaches until I got used to them.

I ended up taking Skittles (my long-haired diluted calico) to the vet 2 weeks ago. Around her eye had turned red and weepy. Turns out that she got scratched on her eyelid and it got infected. Ever try to put eye medication on a cat that already hates to be touched? Yeah, it sucked and I got scratched up pretty bad but her eye is fine now.

We think that Jesper (my tuxedo kitten) is either deaf or extremely hard of hearing. BK noticed that he overstartles if approached from behind, he purrs and meows super loud, and (this is the most important) he has no reaction if you rip paper or jingle keys behind his head. I do plan on bringing it up to our vet but his being hard of hearing/deaf makes no difference on us owning him. We just need to keep an extra eye on him and make sure he doesn’t go outside.

Miss B was on my shit list for the last week or so. See, she wears upper and lower retainers. Well, she should have been. Over the summer, she decided that she didn’t want to wear them anymore and it caused her bottom teeth to shift. So, almost $500 later and me telling the ortho no to lower braces, we have new retainers.

Speaking of braces, Mr. Z will be getting upper braces after the first of the year. He also will be getting lower braces at some point, along with a Herbst device (look it up). His teeth are a mess and he might need surgery to correct everything that is wrong if the braces aren’t working.

Miss R is doing well. She was sent home from school on Monday because of a cold. She did have a Covid test and it was negative but I thought that she should stay home yesterday to get over it. She did go back today. Weird thing, though. The nurse told me that runny nose, congestion, and cough is also a side-effect of the Covid vaccine in kids her age (she got hers on Saturday). So I really don’t know if she had a small cold or a reaction to the shot.

So that’s it. I am hoping to read a couple more books off my TBR this week. I do have 3 reviews to write and will be working on those as soon as I publish this post. Look for them in the upcoming days!!

What I Recently Finished Reading:

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Kasyapa is the bastard child of a king and a village girl. On his mother’s untimely death, he is plucked from his tiny village and brought to the royal palace. Shunned by his father, the king, this lonely little boy is raised by royal courtiers. As an adult he is sidelined, but fate intervenes. The villainous Migara, the chief of the army and Kasyapa’s nemesis, murders the king and implicates Kasyapa in this hideous crime. Even though his lowly birth denies him the right to the throne, Kasyapa must act to save the kingdom. What events unfold next that drives him to build Sigiriya and rule as a god-king?

This is also the story of Amira, a beautiful red-haired, blue-eyed girl, who is only twelve years old when her father sells her into slavery. At eighteen, she is traded for a hundred pearls and joins Kasyapa’s harem. Here, she is transformed into an alluring concubine. Amira soon infatuates the king with her stunning beauty, wide-eyed innocence and good heart.

Set fifteen hundred years ago and based on real people and events, Sigiriya is a hauntingly beautiful story of palace intrigue, passion, deceit, betrayal, and tragedy. It reminds us that little has changed over the centuries. Good and evil, love and hate, decency and cruelty are ever-present. But some, by the sheer strength of character and determination, rise above their stations and do great things.

This was a book that was out of my comfort zone for reading. I will say that I absolutely enjoyed reading it and learned so much about Indian culture during that time period. It was also beautifully written. I will be writing my review today and be on the lookout for it in the near future.

What I am currently reading:

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Told by a tart-tongued young woman with a love of Bruce Springsteen, Lies in Bone is at once a mystery and coming-of-age tale fueled by dark secrets involving love, murder, and the truths worth lying for.

On Halloween 1963, eleven-year-old Chuck Coolidge and his brother Danny are lost in a toxic smog covering the steel town of Slippery Elm, Pennsylvania. When the smog lifts, half the town is sick and twenty people are dead. And Danny is missing.

Now, over twenty years later, Chuck’s teenage daughter Frank plots escape from this “busted and disgusted” town. When a murdered child is found in the river, investigators link the crime to the disappearance of Danny in ’63, and Frank’s life is turned upside down. In the face of her worst fears, she must uncover her family’s dark past if she wants to keep her sister Boots from the hands of The State. Led to discover the unimaginable truth about Danny’s disappearance, Lies in Bone culminates in a shocking eleventh-hour reveal and an emotionally charged finale.

I started Lies in Bone last night and so far I am liking it. I am hoping that it delivers on the blurb.

What books I think I’ll read next:

I know that I have a ton of books here. I am hoping to read at least 3 before next week’s WWW Wednesday. I am also hoping that some of these books are quick reads (which will make the list go down faster). All of these books are books that indie authors have approached me for reading and I am hoping to have their reviews up and published soon.

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I am a girl. I am a monster, too.

Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.

Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.

But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.

Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?
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In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.

Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book.
Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.

A – Z, 100-Wors Stories are inspired by Transylvania’s history, from the Paleolithic Period to WW1
Each 100 Words Story is followed by a brief historical reference

The unique beauty of a 100-word story is in the way the words are strung together, each one a gem, and in the spaces left between the words, and between the sentences. So much can be told, with little words. It is a challenge for the writer, and a thrill for the reader, as each time the tale is read, a new detail springs to mind.

“As an armchair historian, I love researching lost tales, traveling, exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no detail is too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100-Word Stories based on the history of Transylvania.” (Patricia Furstenberg)
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Watch out, vampires! There’s a new girl in town!

Nicoleta has never taken a life before, but she will have to make her first kill soon. Typical of girls her age, her concerns are boys and college. But when she takes a trip to Romania with several of her classmates to celebrate graduating from high school, Nicoleta is going to discover who she really is. When Nicoleta learns that she is adopted and that her biological parents live in Romania, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Finding out that her birthright is hunting and killing vampires, Nicoleta has to decide if she will remain in Romania and fulfill her destiny or if she will return to America and try to forget about the nightmare of a world that she has been thrown into.

Adding to Nicoleta’s problems, a notorious vampire named Varujan has been waiting for Nicoleta’s arrival. Her parents are called voinicos because they survived being bitten by a vampire. By birth, a voinico’s child becomes a vampire hunter, also known as a vanator. Varujan has known that the voinico’s daughter would eventually return to Romania, and he is looking forward to meeting her and killing her. With his vampire mistress, Antanasia, Varujan seems unstoppable.

Is Nicoleta ready to face Varujan and Antanasia? The other vanators have been training to kill vampires since they were children. Will Nicoleta be able to catch up with her training and be ready for the battle that is inevitably coming? Can she keep herself and her friends safe, or will they become the vampires’ victims before their trip is over? Whatever happens, one thing is for sure. Nicoleta’s life is never going to be the same again!
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What if surviving a murder attempt, a heartbreak, and the loss of the family business wasn’t the hardest thing you ever faced?

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world.
When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground.

When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life.

Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past.
They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This is a standalone romantic thriller told in alternating timelines and point of views. Warnings include character overdose and mentions of child abuse.
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When a young man’s world is turned upside down, some things become clear and others blurred. Jacob Schitz’s plain life in Florida quickly erupts into a series of drastic events as he navigates young adulthood and a bleak future. When the biker gang, The Panteras, enters his life as a third obstacle, he will begin to truly understand himself and the violent world of underground crime as their paths become intertwined.
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It’s not every day an obscure orphan girl becomes a fae queen.

Crysta and her companions have found the diadem and stone, but just when it looks like the tide has finally shifted in their favor, Crysta is sucked into Terise’s sleeping curse with no way of escape and nowhere to hide from Titania’s ruthless attacks.

And now she is permanently bonded…to the wrong fated mate.

Jareth is not only heartbroken at the loss of his fated mate bond, his mating frenzy is in overdrive, preventing him from functioning. He and Kheelan must overcome their differences if they hope to free Crysta, but they are faced with more setbacks as Titania takes faerie captives by the hundreds, building her army and growing her powers.

And the diadem, the key to Moridan and Titania’s undoing?

Tainted by Titania’s curse.

But a cursed relic isn’t the only surprise the wicked queen has in store for Crysta. The battle for control over the minds and hearts of the fae is one Titania intends to win by any means necessary.

Can Crysta and Jareth unite the Unseelie and Seelie Courts before Titania and Moridan destroy the Fae Realm?
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I can’t believe Logan’s been my partner for over a year. Actually, he’s been more than that for half as long.
I know he’ll always have my back.

But when a routine monster eviction goes horribly wrong, he’s furious that I didn’t run when I had the chance.
What’s his deal? The way I see it, the FBI didn’t hire me to run away.

They hired me to get the job done.

Plus, I’m not the type to run from anything. I did it once when I was a kid and I’ve regretted it to this very day.
I suppose that explains why I’m taking this latest case so personally.

Funny how some things come around full circle…especially when you least expect it.
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Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?
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I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side
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A college student reluctantly attends a family chili cookout that turns into a never ending nightmare. A man desperate for job skills uses a brain implant to help him learn, but it malfunctions and leaves him sexually attracted to shadows. A private investigator is hired to discover who keeps befouling the walls of convenience store bathrooms. Two deer engaged in combat find that they are unable to unlock from one another’s antlers after the fight is over. A single mother spends 2020 battling an evil landlord, a fascist neighbor, national political chaos, and a global pandemic. These are the strange stories told by regulars at the local bar on Christmas Eve, stories which each began with a phone call from someone who announced “you don’t know me, but we’re cousins.”

November 2021 TBR

Just like October 2021 TBR, I have a ton of books to read before the end of the month. But, unlike October, I am not overbooked with appointments. So, I will have plenty of time to catch up with what I am behind on and read the TBR’s for this month.

So, here’s my list. Let me know if you are reading or have read these books. I will put next to them if they are part of the backlog from last month.

Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross (part of the backlog from October)

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin (part of the backlog from October)

Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant (part of the backlog from October)

Lies in Bone by Natalie Symons (part of the backlog from October)

The Judas Robe by Larry Rodness (part of the backlog from October)

Hexes & Hairballs by Emigh Cannady (part of the backlog from October)

Heard it in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves

The First Christmas: A Story of New Beginnings by Stephen Mitchell

Transylvania’s World History A to Z: 100 Word Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Sigiriya: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, Betrayal, and Tragedy in the Royal Family by Senani Ponnamperuma

Intertwined: A Biker’s Tale by Andrew Hartman

The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult