Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
Category: Fantasy, Fairy Tale
At a Glance: Highly recommended for fans of a slow building story between two damaged guys who are both afraid that they can’t really have what they want.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: David is in love with Tulip, a kind and unusually quiet fairy in his social circle. But everyone knows Tulip doesn’t date humans. David tells himself he is happy to be Tulip’s friend, because he doesn’t believe a fairy could love him and Tulip has never tried to “keep him”—as fairies refer to relationships with humans.
Fairies are drawn to David, describing his great “shine,” but David knows only too well how quickly fairies can forget humans, and thinks he’s destined to be alone. He can’t see his own brilliance or understand how desperately Tulip wants him, even if Tulip believes David can do better.
But exhausted and more than a little tipsy at a Christmas party, David makes his feelings too obvious for Tulip to deny any longer. Because of a past heartbreak involving a human, Tulip is convinced someone as shiny as David could never want a “silly, stupid fairy” in his life. Now, if he wants to keep David, he’ll have to be as brave as his shiny, careful human.
Review: While this is technically the sixth book in this series, I read it without having read the previous books and it worked quite well. That being said, I’m definitely going back to the beginning and reading all of these stories.
This is an absolutely gorgeous love story between a human, David, and Tulip, the faery he is in love with. David is a mixed race human Ph.D. student who is working on his doctorate, specializing in reexamining the literature of the past, featuring beings—particularly faeries and such—in great works such as Shakespeare. Now that beings have come out of hiding and are “known” in the human world, David is trying to put the pieces together to show that these great writers, in fact, were in contact with beings and those actual beings were the inspiration for these works. Apparently this is quite unpopular with the “establishment,” as they seem to think that such a theory denigrates the “genius” of these writers. That hasn’t stopped David, though, and he’s forging ahead.
Tulip is a beautiful faery that lives in the same building as Flor, David’s childhood best friend. Tulip is a children’s librarian and he has always seemed to hold himself back from David a bit. But it is obvious to the others that Tulip and David have had some sort of attraction going on for years.
At a Christmas/housewarming party for another mutual human friend, David is a bit drunk and a bit embarrassed after a somewhat disastrous fling with Clematis, another faery. Clem has blabbed the details of their relationship and David feels pretty humiliated. In fact, he’s avoided his friends for weeks. He’s only acquiesced to attend Stephanie’s party because he can’t come up with an excuse. While he is there, he runs into Tulip, and they flirt, but once again Tulip pulls back.
During the next few months, David and Tulip have several more encounters where they sort of dance around each other. Tulip seems sad when he talks to David but still complements David and obviously cares about him. David knows—everyone knows—that Tulip doesn’t date humans. As the story builds, we finally find the reason for Tulip’s decision. When David realizes that Tulips has been devastated in the past, he understands, but it still hurts because he really has deep feelings for Tulip.
Flor, David’s best friend, has grown up with him. They have been friends since they were young boys. David’s family is not happy that his best friend is a faery; they think he already has enough strikes against him dealing with the prejudice and assumptions about his mixed race heritage. But David is always there for Flor, and Flor is there for David. Flor is encouraging about Tulip, but things are still difficult. They have agreed to be “friends,” but it hurts both of them.
When things come to a head, Tulip confesses that he needs more than friendship. Flor is a bit of a catalyst for David and Tulip to finally move forward in their relationship. They finally are willing to take a chance. Things aren’t perfect and they still have some issues to work through, but they definitely need each other. When David and Tulip are able to overcome their fears and get past their previous heartbreaks, they are able to achieve something neither thought was possible—a truly loving partnership.
I really enjoyed every bit of this story! I’ve been a huge fan of this author since I read one of her first stories at Dreamspinner, A Wealth of Unsaid Words, back in 2011. I was captivated by the blurb and tulips are my favorite flower . . . Highly recommended for fans of a slow building story between two damaged guys who are both afraid that they can’t really have what they want. I already own all the other books in this series, and I’m off to read them because this writing is just beautiful.
You can buy A Dandelion for Tulip here: