The Leshy and the Lumberjack was written by Ginger Streusel. It is a paranormal m/m romance, and as soon as I saw it on Netgalley, I knew it sounded like something I would like.
Isaak is a humble woodcutter who lives in a village with his family. He spends his day in the forest chopping wood, and he’s very aware of the forest spirits. He doesn’t kill any of the forest animals, and there are certain parts of the forest he doesn’t venture into because it’s the Leshy’s domain.
Isaak eventually meets the Leshy, a humanoid type tree creature who has recently inherited the position of forest protector from his father. They have a lovely conversation, and Isaak goes back every to meet up with Les. They enjoy spending time together and kissing, and as implausible as it sounds, Isaak finds himself falling in love with Les. But not everyone respects the laws of the forest, and Les is not the only creature living in the woods.
This was more of a novella than a full-length novel, but Streusel manages to tell such a delightful story in such a short amount of time. I was fascinated by the way Streusel based her story around Eastern European folklore, and I actually looked up some of the folkloric creatures on the internet to learn more about them. I also liked how the focus of Les and Isaak’s relationship was based on friendship and mutual attraction rather than the mechanics of their sexual chemistry. This is not to say that there isn’t major chemistry afoot; Streusel just chooses to fade to black for Les and Isaak’s more intimate moments.
I would recommend The Leshy and the Lumberjack to fans of m/m romance and paranormal romance and everything in between. I didn’t know what to expect from this book, and I’m glad I took a chance on something slightly different from what I usually read. I’m absolutely looking forward to reading more of Streusel’s books in the future!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.