Review // City of Souls by Mel Harding-Shaw

September 20, 2022

City of Souls by Mel Harding-Shaw

The man thought he owned her.
That was not sexy.
At all.
But somehow this draw between them overshadowed even that.

────── ♔ ──────

City of Souls by Mel Harding-Shaw

City of Souls by Mel Harding-Shaw

Soul Court Ascension #1
Release - November 9, 2022
Genre - Urban Fantasy/enemies-to-lovers
Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat - 2 out of 5 / not steamy and not closed door
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 322 pages
Publisher - Coruscate Press

Bounty hunter Hel’s life depends on staying below the radar and passing as human. But when the infuriating Lord of the City of Souls discovers her hidden power is the key to solving his problems, he reclaims her bond-debt and drags her into the spotlight. He’ll protect her secrets on one condition—that she does everything he asks.

Winged necromancer Bastion would do anything to save the city he rules from the strange magic menacing their world. Even blackmail the angry, intriguing bounty hunter who despises him. As the rulers of the elemental courts converge to face the threat, he’s not sure who hates him more—them or Hel. The only way to keep her close is to make her pretend she’s his.

With dark magic tearing at the fabric of reality and betrayal lurking behind every corner, Hel and Bastion’s fake relationship becomes the only thing either of them can rely on. But Bastion’s past might just come back to kill him.

And Hel’s might kill them all.

My Two Cents

3.5 "Thin line between love and hate" stars

Hel was being hunted and all she wanted to do was stay in the shadows. Too bad her special set of skills are required to help save the world. Hiding behind the shell of a human, she has to straddle the line between compassion and self-preservation... and resist the charms of a certain necromancer.

Bastion was everything I love about a hero. Strong and gorgeous, fiercely protective and incredibly loyal, and just a little bit broken, he was such a joy to read about. I kept turning the pages for more of him. For more of the world he inhabited. For more information of what made him such a unique force of nature.

The author did such an amazing job with the worldbuilding. It was easy to see the cities and landscapes she tried to capture. I was equally enthralled and terrified by the creatures of this strange world and all of the people who lived there. I'm still not clear on the lore, but I believe that's something that would work out as the series continues.

Fantastical imaginings, an evil slowly encroaching its way across the planet, and a burgeoning love make for one heck of a story!

City of Souls by Mel Harding-Shaw

About the Author

Mel Harding-Shaw is a Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy author from Wellington, New Zealand. Her debut novel, City of Souls, is forthcoming in November 2022.

She is also a widely published speculative short fiction writer under Melanie Harding-Shaw.

Find all of the links here:


  1. What a great quote on your banner (sometimes I miss doing graphics haha) I am glad that this was a solid read even if the lore of the world building didn't seem to quite work for you!

    Great review!

    1. Thanks so much, Renee! xo
      I'm curious to see what I think of the next book :)
      Making graphics can definitely be fun!


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