Rhapsodic (The Bargainer Series #1) By Laura Thalassa

Quick, racy and intriguing – that’s what this book is. A lot of fantastical elements have been thrown into this for that feeling of being transported into another world. There’s a catch or two, but I think you’ll like this paranormal romance.

Rhapsodic is one of those fast-paced entertainers that you cannot seem to put down once you start. However, I know of people who have despised it due to a few tropes in it. So The Bargainer is seemingly the bad guy, Callie is someone who has struck endless bargains with him, and with each bargain, she has beads added to a bracelet into her hand that can never be removed. And while the world warned her against the bad guy, she could not help but to be drawn to him. The reason of jumping into this whole bargaining-because-you-need-to-see-that-person-at-any-cost is a little cliched. And yet, I myself was drawn into the plot.


Callypso is a siren, Bargainer is fae. Both have dark pasts. One fateful night, Callie calles on The Bargainer (Desmond) so she can get away with murder (literally). She’s a minor, and he must be like a couple of hundred years old. He helps her, a bond develops. However, as they grow closer, a tragedy (and some magic) tears them apart. Years later, Des appears in her life and there’s nothing but chaos in her life. A friend of mine had an issue with this – that Des knew her since she was an kid. But he did not make a move then, ofcourse, a thorough gentleman that the bad man is.

Turns out, he’s the king of the night kingdom who needs Callie’s help in order to solve major mysteries in his realm – that’s ofcourse not earth. What the two characters battle here is their feelings towards each other, and Callie in this case, discovers several truths about herself and Desmond. She’s swooped into the world of darkness, intrigue, magic, and imminent danger as she grows dangerously serious feelings towards Desmond – all the while negotiating those ‘I owe you’ beads on her hands. Sometimes it’s romantic, sometimes it’s plain ludicrous.

The two protagonists are the only perspectives here making it more of a character-centric story and the plot is just build surrounding their traits and habits and basic nature. Through the book they go through and adventure together keeping the suspense intact, and has quite a decent ending. However, sinking into the second book immediately did not remain my cuppa.


So many elements here are fascinating – myths and folklores taken from world over, dissolved into the story with ease. These are what makes the reading experience a lot more fun!

Several elements are way too similar to A Court Of Thorns And Roses. The protagonists have a lot of similar traits and so does the plot and supplementary elements in the book. Yes it’s different, and yet way too reminiscent of Feyre, Rhysand, Velaris and the magical retellings through character names and fictional destination references. Do not want to spoil more here. Read to know!

This actually was a fun read. The first book, that is. I began the sequel to this trilogy but haven’t really moved to ahead and is on a pause. It feels like something I’ve read several times before and yet it’s just the banter and the writing style that would make me finish this series. It’s worth finishing, but I suppose I needed some distance from the repetitive tropes in there.

There are some creepy elements to it as well. Enough to send a chill down your spine or atleast appear in your sleep as a minor teensy weensy nightmare. Happened to me atleast.

Anywho, the characters do not go through any major transformation. Callie discovers a lot of things but there’s not a lot of difference in her internally, but there is some physically (read to know what.) I think if I were in my early-mid-twenties, I’d have devoured it. But, I’ve read one too many such fantasies to actually fall in love with this. It’s well-written, yes. It’s engaging, sure. It has all the elements of being made into a potboiler semi-erotic series or a film, but it’s not something I’d want to keep for life. One time read, sure, please do read it once. The repetition is at your own choice.

I do get the hype it has over bookstagram and booktube. I totally get that. The twists and turns leave you on the edge and gasping out of shock. That I’ll give Thalassa for sure. She knows just the right chords to strike with the reader. Like Callie and her hopelessness with not being able to find her life purpose or simply pining for a love that she never thought would happen. Desmond with his brooding yet naughty demeaour does not grow in anyway through the book. Their banter, their chemistry however, more than makes up for it.

Yes there are some unexpected surprises here and there. Callie and Desmond’s chemistry is sizzling yet cute. The writing style is exciting and fast (Thank God). It’s a different kind of fantasy, but personally for me, I just felt like I’ve read one too many similar plotlines, characters, tropes before.

So while this is definitely a one time read (for me), I do urge you to pick this up and let me know your thoughts. It’s a good book. Just that it’s one among one too many great books you may already have read. This is the perfect read to get you out of a slump if you’re going through one.

It’s spicy in the right places, slow burn, and if you do not mind the whole age-gap thing (sure people reading Twilight never did anyway), you can most definitely read this. The eternal romance scene when it does come, had me all mushy and soft.

“And mountains may rise and fall,
and the sun might wither away,
and the sea claim the land and swallow the sky.
But you will always be mine.
And the stars might fall from the heavens,
and night might cloak the earth,
but until darkness dies, I will always be yours.”

These are Callie’s lines when she’s trying to stop Desmond from doing something she does not want. (not exactly a spoiler ok). That got to me. The book can get addictive after a chapter or two which is a good thing. Paranormal romances can either be phenomenally great or terribly unbearable – this book falls in the “I’m good enough for you to divert your mind or simply get out of a slump or be your friend when you’re feeling lonely or get you into fantasy genre if you haven’t tried it yet or simply keep you company while going through a slump.


I think it’s a well written book. Smartly done references to global myths and folk tales, quirky banter, spicy chemistry, forbidden romance, alternate realms, unrealistically good looking characters, bad boy outside cinnamon roll inside, and a female character who’s quite the fearless fighter – I like these all. I liked this book a lot and would most definitely recommend it to everyone, just that I would not keep a hardcopy or want to go back to it anytime in the next couple of years.

It’s a 3.5/5

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