Review: The Ornithologist's Field Guide to Love by India Holton

The Ornithologist’s Field Guide to Love by India Holton

Olivia reviews The Ornithologist’s Field Guide to Love, the first book in the Love’s Academic Romance Fantasy series by India Holton.

The Ornithologist’s Field Guide to Love is expected to be published on July 23, 2024 by Berkley Romance.

About the Book
Series:Love’s Academic #1
Genre:Romance, Fantasy, Historical
Publisher:Berkley Romance
Date of Publishing:July 23, 2024
Trigger Warnings:
Page count:384
Book Blurb
The Ornithologist's Field Guide to Love by India Holton

Rival ornithologists hunt through England for a rare magical bird in this historical-fantasy rom-com reminiscent of Indiana Jones but with manners, tea, and helicopter parasols.

Beth Pickering is on the verge of finally capturing the rare deathwhistler bird when Professor Devon Lockley swoops in, capturing both her bird and her imagination like a villain. Albeit a handsome and charming villain, but that’s beside the point. As someone highly educated in the ruthless discipline of ornithology, Beth knows trouble when she sees it, and she is determined to keep her distance from Devon.

For his part, Devon has never been more smitten than when he first set eyes on Professor Beth Pickering. She’s so pretty, so polite, so capable of bringing down a fiery, deadly bird using only her wits. In other words, an angel. Devon understands he must not get close to her, however, since they’re professional rivals.

When a competition to become Birder of the Year by capturing an endangered caladrius bird is announced, Beth and Devon are forced to team up to have any chance of winning. Now keeping their distance becomes a question of one bed or two. But they must take the risk, because fowl play is afoot, and they can’t trust anyone else—for all may be fair in love and war, but this is ornithology.

Quote of the Book
Quote Background

“An ornithologist must be proficient in the three fundamentals of fieldwork: finding a bird, identifying a bird, and getting the hell away from that bird before it eats you.”

Song of the Book
Review

India Holton remains the queen of comedic fantasy.

I never know quite how to explain her books to people, other than “India Holton could write two people casually sitting down to breakfast, and I’d laugh out loud with every other line.” Actually, I think there was a breakfast scene in this book? And I read several of those lines out loud to my husband, in between snorts and giggles.

The Ornithologist’s Field Guide to Love follows Professors Beth Pickering and Devon Lockley, two rivals in magical ornithology who have temporarily teamed up in order to track down an elusive bird and win the most coveted prize of all: tenure. Throughout the process, they must deal with murderous birds, murderous fellow ornithologists, accidental French jokes, and terrifying public relations agents.

As has been the pattern with all of India Holton’s books, I reached for this novel as soon as I was feeling stressed, and it immediately diverted me from my problems. Somewhere in the midst of my cackling laughter, however, I still had a touching moment with the heroine, who strikes me as an autistic person who’s been (hilariously and desperately) masking all throughout the novel. In short, The Ornithologist’s Field Guide to Love was a perfect way to spend my evening—and I intend to recommend it heartily to anyone in need of a pick-me-up.

Our Judgement
Praise Their Name - 5 crowns

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