My Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Cosy Fantasy Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Despite being a Fanarlem, a race of lifelike doll people seen as a second-class citizens, Sorla’s baking skills have earned her eager customers from miles around–and an invite from Prince Seldon himself to work at the royal bakery. The only trouble is, she needs a ride to the capital.
Dorr is a soldier who was revived fresh off his death on the battlefield, scarred, broken, and needing to get home. He’s willing to take a passenger, and she can put up with his aggravating grimness for a few days… just as he’ll tolerate her relentlessly sunny outlook.
Maybe her company isn’t all bad. Since Dorr was brought back from the dead, food has tasted terrible…all except Sorla’s pastries. And maybe her cheerful attitude is a little bit adorable, although he won’t tell her that.
When Sorla gets to the capital, she finds that Seldon has a nigh-impossible task for her: the hero of the realm was also revived from the dead, and the kingdom needs him back on the front lines immediately—but he’s not taking to it well. How can pastries alone convince someone life is worth living? She’ll need the help of her grim new acquaintance, the one who can’t help coming around to buy her pastries…
Doll Girl Meets Dead Guy is a cozy, slightly spicy, high fantasy meets cute-goth fantasy for readers of The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy or anyone who ever wished for more Jack x Sally.
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
Doll Girl Meets Dead Guy is set in the same world as the The Cursed Soul series and follows Sorla, the adopted daughter of Velsa and Grau. I just love this world the author has created and I was so excited when I heard the author wrote another book in this world and it was everything I hoped for and more. It was so fun to see more of Sorla, but for those who haven’t read the The Cursed Soul series I think it would work as a standalone too as most of the important details of her past you still hear here in this book.
Doll Girl Meets Dead Guy is a cozy fantasy romance book told from dual point of views of both Sorla (the doll girl) and Dorr (the dead guy). Sorla jumps on the chance to work at the royal bakery and needs a ride to the city. Dorr is recently brought from the dead and is going there anyway so he takes her along for the ride. These two are just so perfect together. I loved the grumpy sunshine romance trope here. Dorr has been in the war and has been through a lot and is struggling to be back alive, but then there is Sorla who is like a ray of sunshine and bakes pastries that actually taste like anything.
I just loved reading about them. Sorla is so positive and optimistic and so alive. Even with everything she has been through she is still like that ray of sunshine and I think it’s even more beautiful she can still be like that even with what she has been through. I liked her determination and how she keeps going even when the odds of success are low and she keeps this hope and determination alive. I also liked reading about her baking and the pastries she made.
I really liked seeing Sorla from Dorr’s point of view and it’s one of my favorite things about a grumpy-sunshine romance seeing how the grumpy one sees the sunshine character and can’t help but fall in love. I liked how their romance was very slow burn and build up slowly. And this is no short read either, so there’s plenty of time to see them grow closer and closer. I really loved seeing the romance between them develop. I liked how they both see the other and accept and love them despite who and what they are. And unlike in The Cursed Soul series where their romance is frowned upon, I liked how here no one in the Ven-Diri community bat an eye at the odd paring between a doll girl and a dead guy. I really liked reading about Sorla and Dorr and the way they interacted, they have some fun banter and seeing how they respect each other and trust one other was awesome. I like how they’re there for the other and they just made for such a great couple.
While the romance was very uplifting and it was such a cozy read, at times it can hit quite hard and get a bit dark in places too. The author touches upon the horrors of war, of characters being brought back from the dead and not quite being the same and figuring out where to live for. I thought it was well done, but those parts were hard to read at times. It’s interesting how the war is not really the focus of these stories, nor was it in The Cursed Soul, but we do see it playing out in this world and it is part of the world. It makes the world feel very alive.
World building wise I love seeing this world come alive even more. There’s a lot we see in The Cursed Soul series and I felt like this book builds upon that. There’s a lot more about the Ven-Diri people and I enjoyed learning about their culture and customs. I thought it was interesting to read about how Dorr was brought back to the dead, although it is a bit macabre as well, but it totally worked here.
To summarize: I loved Doll Girl Meets Dead Guy. It’s a spin-off from The Cursed Soul series, but works as standalone too I think. I really liked Sorla and Dorr together, they are just perfect together. I liked the grumpy-sunshine vibes of their romance. Sorla is just this ray of sunshine and I really enjoyed reading about her and Dorr. I liked her determination and passion for life. And I liked reading about her baking. I liked the slow burn romance between Dorr and Sorla and how they slowly grow closer. I really loved reading about them and the ending is just perfect for them. The world building is very well done and I liked learning more about the world, especially the Ven-Diri people and their customs. There also is more about the war that’s taking place and it could get a bit dakr there at times and some parts were hard to read about. I do appreciate how it makes the world feel alive with events like these going on that affect the characters, but they aren’t directly involved in. If you like grumpy-sunshine romances set in an unique fantasy world, definitely check it out! I can’t recommend it enough.