• Bad Boy's Bard

  • Fae Out of Water, Book 3
  • By: E.J. Russell
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Book three in the Fae Out of Water series 

As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is...well...there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven. 

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family - and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: He fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion - far harder to bear than 200 years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship. 

Word count: 77,000

©2017 E.J. Russell (P)2021 E.J. Russell

What listeners say about Bad Boy's Bard

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I needed to reach the HEA, but was sorry to leave

I really, really enjoyed this book. I would've listened non-stop from start to finish if I could've and was tempted to switch to print, not because of anything to do with the narration, but because I'm a fast reader and I needed to know how it would end. And of course, when it did end, I wanted there to be more, because I was so into it, the characters and the world.
I will admit to feeling a sense of dread for good deal of the time though. The blurb mentions dishonesty on the part of Niall, so it's no spoiler. Waiting for his lie to be discovered had me extra nervous, but there's so much going on, so much danger and complications for the characters to work through that I had to keep going all the time.
Niall and Gareth are very flawed characters, each guilty of monumental errors in judgment. Despite that, I cared for them both. I wanted everything to work out for them, for all their friends and family, and all of Faerie, (though not certain villains contained within).
There are occasional moments of cheesiness and convenient workings in the love story and solutions to problems, but there are also times that cheesiness is called out by characters, so that helps balance things out when there are eyeroll moments. There's also a lot of fantastic humor that had me suddenly guffawing and cackling out loud.
For the audio narration, like the previous two books, it is very representative of Joel Leslie's style. I don't know how accurate his accents are for the Welsh, Irish and British, being an American without a lot of in-person contact with people from that area of the world, but I didn't feel it terrible, so that is definitely something. I always knew who was talking and I could feel the emotion.
I only wish for more time with these characters and hope to see them again in the related series.

2 people found this helpful

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An incredible ending to an incredible series! Wow

I have to admit to dreading the major series hangover I'd have after completing the last book of the Fae Out of Water series beautifully narrated by Joel Leslie! In 'Bad Boy's Bard: Fae Out of Water Book 3' Naill O'Tierney, is the lover from Gareth Kendrick's past that was lost to the Unseelie lord two hundred years ago. Gareth had believed him lost all this time then come upon him at the joining ceremony for the Seelie and Unseelie realms and escapes with him to the outer world where he thought the human Naill belonged. But Naill has been keeping one secret from Gareth--he is the half-human son of the Unseelie King and knowing Gareth's negative feelings towards the Unseelie court, he was understandably reluctant to admit it. Gareth is understandably horrified when he discovers Naill's fae heritage yet he is even more shaken when he discovers Naill was imprisoned and whipped by his own father for failing to kill Garreth, the Seelie Queen's Bard. Making amends enough to join forces, they look to discover which current villains want to revert back to the Fairie days of old. Such a change will destroy the earth as we know it and Gareth and Naill's escape to the outer realm may have made a bad situation worse! Or does it? In this last of the Fae Out of Water series, we see the demisexual Bard Gareth regain a lover he thought lost so long ago. His disinterest in other lovers over the period of two centuries is remarkable and very touching. I wanted so desperately for Gareth to forgive Naill and he does. Once again the pacing and balance of the narrative are wonderful. The world-building, character development, and cohesion both within the book and throughout the series are awesome. The writer included enough information from the previous books for the reader to stay fully grounded in the universe and committed to the resolution of the major conflict in the series. Narrated by the simply incredible Joel Leslie, this series is one of the best EVER!

1 person found this helpful

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More Faerie!

Gareth, the youngest Kendrick brother and the last Seelie bard, gets his story when his former lover Niall returns after 200 years apart. I love this series and the world of Faerie. The story drags a little in the middle with both Niall and Gareth (especially Niall) keeping secrets and spending a lot of time mentally lamenting keeping the secrets. But overall it’s a fun and funny adventure. The commentary of the ethera in Niall's head was hilarious and brightened the book considerably. Joel Leslie’s narration was perfect. Hoping there will be more in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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enjoyed it

📖 Story comment: good pace and an interesting story. This series really needs to be read in order to understand the overall story. There is a lot going on in this book, and without knowledge of the prior stories it could be a little confusing.

It took me a while to warm up to both character's in this one, but overall I'm glad i persevered. Both Niall and Gareth proved worthy of the intricately woven adventure to get them to their HEA.

🎧 Narrator comment: Joel Leslie is a master voice actor, he has good cadence, inflections and intonations and it's easy to distinguish all the characters from each other. I'm not fluent in the number of accents he uses in this book (or series), and I don't particularly care for their accuracy - Overall he's given us an excellent performance and done a delightful job bringing all the characters in this series to life.

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Love it!!!

I really, really love this series and these characters. I'm a fan of stories with supernatural beings, and these are incredibly fun. In this book we get to learn Gareth and Niall's story. Their story started centuries ago, but they've been apart and are now getting a second chance. I like seeing them learn to love each other again after so long apart and many misunderstandings. This book is best enjoyed as part of the series.

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My heart is the hard I play for you

I don’t think you can standalone this series because there are a lot of background world building and characters that you need to know. Otherwise, you’d be totally clueless. I love EJ Russell for always being able to write intricate world building and magical fairytale creatures. They are a treat if you are into paranormal romances.

Gareth thought the love his life was gone and he’s been living his life just for the sake of it. Meanwhile, the love of his life Niall has been imprisoned for 200 years and he also thought Gareth is long since dead. When these two men met again unexpectedly, Niall realized Gareth will come to hate him if he knew of his true origins. So he pretended to have amnesia and try to rekindle the romance between them. Meanwhile, a disaster is about to happen and Gareth and Niall has to work together to save every one of their kind while trying to charter their love life.

You definitely can’t stand alone this series because it’s a bit difficult to keep track with how much everything is happening. Regardless, once you get the hang of it, you will find that this is a very enjoyable and intriguing paranormal book with lots of twists and turns. And of course, Joel’s bombshell narration was spot on. I’m sad to see that this series has come to an end but at the same time I’m happy that everyone got their own closure and happily ever after. Enjoyed it.

4.5 My heart is the bard I play for you stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫


Audio rating

Story - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Narration - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Performance - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

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Masterfully Done.

please let the series continue! Masterfully done all three books! satisfying to a high degree even if there is not a continuance. However... this old Druid wants to hear more fantastic tales!

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Missed the Hotness

Great story and all but after the other two books, this one has almost no sexy scenes. everything else about it was really great though.

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Love this series!

I have loved this series so much! I loved getting to know the brothers and seeing how this world unfolded. The different supernaturals were so much fun and I never wanted it to end! Ive been looking forward to this one for a while and it was so worth the wait! This series was a blast I really hope we get more stories in this world and get to see these characters again at some point.

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Fun listen!

Really enjoyed this fun story from EJ Russell and narrated by Joel Leslie. I loved the characters and felt like the story was totally immersive! Great job!

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 02-22-22

Enjoyable Story

The concept is interesting and reasonable well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is very good.

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  • choccygrl
  • 07-12-21

Great performance

I wanted to like this more than I did. Joel Leslie did an amazing job with the narration but I struggled with the story. No, I struggled with the relationship. Gareth has always been a difficult character to like, always blaming others including his brothers for things beyond their control, and being in his pov didn't make liking him any easier. Plus there was a fair degree of omission and deception between the MCs, MCs who were supposed to have been devastated for the last 200 years.
I'm glad I listened to it rather than reading because Leslie's performance is a joy as usual.



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  • HMM
  • 07-07-21

I tried three times

I tried to remember all those names and what they did 200 years ago. I started again twice. Then I could not read for 2 days and found I totally forgot everything I listened to.
Then I asked for a refund.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 07-01-21

Final instalment of a great trilogy

Gareth has been moping around the first two books in the series – the younger brother with an understandable chip on his shoulder. Or an ache in his heart. He’s the last true bard – taught by an undead bard no less – and although he’s in a rock band in the Outer World, he is sometimes summoned to Faerie to perform. He’s decided he’s hanging up and giving up the whole gig when he sees the one man he never thought he’d see again. Because he believed him dead.

Niall has been imprisoned for 200 years, believing the love of his life was gone forever. When he sees Gareth, he pretends amnesia so he won’t have to admit the truth – that’s he’s not human. Gareth spirits him back to the Outer World where Niall has a whole bunch of problems that fall upon him – not the least is his physical injuries of daily whipping for all those years. The reason for it was heartbreaking. Some of the details difficult to hear. Just as Gareth and Niall are starting to put things back together, it becomes clear something is very wrong in Faerie. Gareth’s older brothers – Alun and Mal – were due back and haven’t come. There are tremors in the Outer World. Collapse of everything appears on the horizon.

Only Niall, with Gareth’s help, can save everyone. But that means going back to his location of torture and seeking help from his tormentor. Not an easy thing to do. Then they have to save the Seelie court – the high Fae, the low Fae, the Unseelie and…OMG, life is complicated. I tried to follow, but I don’t read a lot of paranormal, so things didn’t always make sense. But the adventure and drama were loud and clear – those kept me engaged. And, of course, there was a happy ending – to the love story, the book, and the series.

I’m sorry to see these characters go. I’ve become quite attached to them. And after having loved the series, I think I’m more likely to pick up more paranormal books – especially those by Ms. Russell. And, of course, I can’t end this review without mentioning Joel Leslie’s brilliant narration of the book. Truly wonderful. I highly recommend the entire series.

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  • Gwen
  • 07-01-21

Reunited and it feels so good…

Gareth is a broody rock star, the last Fae bard. He lost someone dear to him long ago. When that someone reappears in his life all bets are off. Niall had to keep his identity a secret all those years ago, now he is back. It’s a great addition to the series that has such an awesome world building. There’s suspense, lots of angst and so much love. It’s engaging and also endearing and with the help of the narrators the listen was smooth and full of life.

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  • L.D.
  • 06-29-21

True Love Reunited

The Bad Boy’s Bard is the third book in the Fae Out of Water trilogy, a contemporary urban fantasy with fantastic world building. This book should not be read as a standalone – the first two books should be read first in order to fully understand and appreciate the plot and characters.

Gareth is the last Fae bard, but his unique position has come with many hardships, the greatest of all was losing his only love, Niall. Unbeknownst to Gareth, Niall is not as lost as Gareth once believed, and soon their paths will cross again. With this plot setup, there was, of course, a lot of angst, drama, and suspense. At the same time, there was also a lot of tenderness and love, and this balanced out all the angst and drama nicely. I truly enjoyed this series, and thought this book was a wonderful conclusion to the trilogy. I hope there will be future books that will feature these characters, because I really enjoyed reading about them and hope that they will appear in more stories.

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  • Magnus
  • 06-29-21

Magical

Another great story by EJ Russell, loved the series. Gareth and Niall are amazing characters to get to know and the story was a pleasure to listen to. Joel Leslie was a superstar as always with the narration. Hope to see many more stories by EJ Russell on Audible.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • XG
  • 06-25-21

A wonderful addition to this incredible series!

This is one of my favorite series, and I love how the author created a huge, amazing world and how all started in these books. I have read and re read the ebook version so much times that when I discovered it will be in audio, I have to hear it. The story is emotional and intense but also very sweet and I loved how Niall and gareth found a path to each other. I loved how the author uses the music as part of the story and how it is so easy imagining it thanks to the words and the amazing performance of Mr Leslie. He is one of my favorite voice actors because his charismatic voice, agile reading and acting skills. Definitely a great narration!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 06-24-21

Fae ever after...

I love this world and these unique characters! I'm sad this is the last one of the trilogy. I had been intrigued by Gareth from his first appearance but I will admit to not really being a fan of him and his attitude. He often came across as brash and"better". That being said I felt for him and his story and "lost" love.

I loved Niall! He's fun, a smartass, sassy, quick witted, just a barrel of mischief and fun. I feel he's sort of opposite to Gareth but when their together they match. They balance and compliment each other.

as always this story was an adventure and I loved the twists and turns. Joel is exceptional as ever! a great listen!!

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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 06-19-21

Gareth and Nile

imagine Gareth's surprise when he goes to the Wedding for Queen Katrina's wedding, where all Fae must attend, to see his human boyfriend there after 200 years, they escape Fae but for different reasons, believing to save the life of the other. Beautifully written and narrated

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 06-05-22

Bard behaving badly annoyed me!

I’ve loved the six other EJ Russell audiobooks I’ve listened to and plan to get through all the rest, this one just wasn’t for me. Bigoted, xenophobic with a special hatred for the Unseelie, and angry for centuries, rock star Gareth Kendrick is the last true Faerie bard. No wonder his long lost lover, Niall, never revealed that he is Unseelie. With the unification of Faerie in the balance, Gareth and Niall must work together to save the world - if only Gareth could remove the chip from his shoulder. If you enjoyed the first two Fae Out of Water books, you’ll want to read this conclusion story, but be warned, the title character is so unpleasant and argumentative it’s not a fun experience like the other books. I constantly struggled to get into this, I felt at sea with all the characters and info so I really had to push myself hard to keep going. Gareth’s tantrums and hypocrisy didn’t endear me to him in the first two books and he was even worse here - I just couldn’t muster any sympathy or goodwill towards him, despite his redemptive storyline. Niall had suffered much worse torments yet managed to rise above them; Gareth just used his as an excuse to treat others badly. The story itself was gripping but the fake amnesia trope didn’t win me over. Joel Leslie is always an excellent audio narrator, but the voice he used for the ethera felt really intrusive and grated on me - I probably would have been more forgiving if Gareth had been nicer!