Slay Belles & Mayhem – A Medley of Dark Tales

Rating: 5 out of 5.

An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Dark fantasy and romance is not for all readers, but I realized this year that it is a genre within the romance category that I greatly enjoy. I was so excited when by author friend Brianna Hale announced earlier in the Fall that she was going to be working on this project, It’s a collection of dark romance and fantasy shorts from a bunch of authors that put them together into this collection.

Today, we’ll talk about the short from Brianna Hale: Bearskin. This is a very quick nine chapter read with an epilogue about a woman and her child on the run in the wilderness after they had to leave their village. The small village they lived in believed her to be a witch of some kind because her child was conceived without a father and she was bringing trouble to the village in the shape of wolves hunting people.

While on the run she meets Balen. A strong and able man living alone in a cabin on the mountainside. He takes her and her child in without question because he knows what she really is.

Due to the quick nature of this story, details and events unravel pretty quickly, but I think what I enjoyed the most was the twist layered in there about what she really is and why she is so important to not only Balen, but also to the wolves. A coming of age story of sorts for her and an entangled love story that brings two people together who are essentially made for one another. The quick possessiveness of Balen was endearing and the way he cares for her and her child was enamoring. You’ll definitely enjoy this fantasy read as well as the many others offered in this book!

Get ready for the holidays with a dark and mystifying collection of stories!


Stories drenched in darkness and mayhem,

These fairy tales will never be the same again.

Twists that will keep you awake,

Your sleep will be ours to take.

So if you love wickedness,

And men who do naughty things,

Join us on these adventures we bring.

Authors: Dani René, Anna Edwards, Lylah James, Brianna Hale, Claire Marta, India R. Adams, Murphy Wallace, Abby Gale

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