Thank you, Hachette Book Group/Orbit, for a copy of The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy for an honest review.

Have you ever picked up a book, read the back cover, and knew it was meant for you? When my copy of Megan Bannen’s The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy arrived at my doorstep, I was happy. Then, when I peeled open the packaging and held the book in my hands, my excitement was palpable. Finally, when I flipped it over and read the back, I knew I was going to be utterly in love with this novel. Bannen has listed (quite a few) tropes that can be found in the book. They include enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine, sexy penpals, the rugged cowboy and small-town drama, to name a few.

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Now take those and set them in a fantasy world. Perfection. Utter perfection. The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a fantasy rom-com that promises to take you on a wild ride while having you fall head over heels in love with the novel’s main characters. When we first meet Hart and Mercy, they can’t stand each other. Hart is a grumpy Tarian Marshal demi-god who takes his job very seriously. As he should since it puts him face to face with supernatural creatures that are akin to zombies.

Mercy is single-handedly keeping the doors of Birdsall & Son open by filling in the role of office manager, undertaker and much more. The fact that Hart always pops up when Mercy is at her wit’s end. But over the course of the book, with the help of some mysterious letters and some “ah-ha” moments, the two realize that it isn’t hate that they are feeling towards each other. But can their tentative relationship survive not only the truth about the letters but the supernatural threats looming on the horizon?

"True love might be the death of them." written over a green and pink background with a skull below and a silloutte of a man and woman on either side.

So, as you can guess, my first draw to The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy was wanting to know how they fall in love. Because, with all romance stories, it isn’t an if but a when. It’s about the journey and the obstacles that stand in their way. But what I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the magical world built by Bannen throughout. It became very clear in the first chapter that my heart would be torn. I wanted her to spend more time building up the romance. But I also wanted to continue exploring more of the world she created. It started with little things like the things that work and don’t work within the world, like guns and technology. And then, it expands further with the god system and what lies beyond the borders.

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It’s been a bit since I found a book that drew me into the world just as much as the story itself. I want to live there and explore the town and wilds where Hart and Mercy spend their time. Then, I want to study and understand each of the gods Bannen introduces and learn more about the demi-gods. So, my official request is that The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy be the first book in a series. I would love Bannen to continue to bring us back to this world and all of its mesmerizing details. This could easily become one of my new favorite worlds to sneak away to when life here gets a little too tough.

If a rom-com with a rugged grumpy cowboy and sassy undertaker set in a gloriously magical world is what you crave, look no further than The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy. I promise you won’t regret it. The novel drops on August 23, 2022, so preorder now!

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This review was originally published on 8/14/2022.

Julia Roth
Catch Me