Not for the Faint of Heart

A Novel

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Pub Date Nov 26 2024 | Archive Date Dec 10 2024
St. Martin's Press | Wednesday Books

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From New York Times bestselling author Lex Croucher comes a queer historical YA romance, with all the swoons, laughs, and heart-pounding moments you'd expect from a story about the granddaughter of Robin Hood and the girl she's accidentally kidnapped.

‘You aren’t merry,’ Clem said to her captor. ‘And you aren’t all men. So there’s been some marketing confusion somewhere along the line.’

Mariel, a newly blooded and perpetually grumpy captain of the Merry Men, is desperate to live up to the legacy of her grandfather, the legendary Robin Hood. Clem, a too-perky backwoods healer known for her new-fangled cures, just wants to help people.

When Mariel's ramshackle band of bandits kidnap Clem as retribution for her guardian helping the Sheriff of Nottingham, all seems to be going (sort of) to plan … until Jack Hartley, Mariel’s father and Commander of the Merry Men, is captured in a deadly ambush. Determined to prove herself, Mariel sets out to get him back – with her annoyingly cheerful kidnappee in tow.

But the wood is at war. Many believe the Merry Men are no longer on the right side of history. Watching Clem tend the party’s wounds and crack relentlessly terrible jokes, Mariel begins to doubt the noble cause to which she has devoted her life. As the two of them grow closer, forced by circumstances to share a single horse and bed, one thing is clear. They must prepare to fight for their lives and for those of everyone they’ve sworn to protect.

Lex Croucher's Not for the Faint of Heart is a thrilling adventure full of hijinks, found family, and romance destined to change the lives of the inhabitants of the Greenwood Forest forever.

From New York Times bestselling author Lex Croucher comes a queer historical YA romance, with all the swoons, laughs, and heart-pounding moments you'd expect from a story about the granddaughter of...

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ISBN 9781250847232
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Average rating from 78 members

Featured Reviews

One of my favourite reads of the year so far, I loved this from start to finish. This is equally funny and deeply endearing especially romance. Lex Croucher's has written another excellent LGBTQ story.

A special thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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An unforgettable romance with deep emotional resonance. The characters’ journey is beautifully portrayed, making this a truly inspiring love story. I loved every moment!

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This book was hilarious!
I loved how there was a good balance between being serious and funny, it meshed so well with the story I finished it in one night.
I highly highly recommend to anyone, it's YA but I feel like everyone would enjoy it!

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Perfect. A perfect book. Everything you could possibly want from queer fantasy, queer romance, YA, and a story set in the Robin Hood universe. (Not a retelling!) This is Lex Croucher at her absolute best. Everything wonderful about Infamous AND Gwen & Art Are Not in Love — and also, just, more. It's got all the classic Croucher Queer Found Family feelings. It's a swoony, pining romance with one prickly heroine and her counterpart who gives just as good as she gets, even though she's the sunshine half of the pairing. Deeply engaging voice, sparkling dialogue, so much hilarity. There's villains you're not expecting, heroes you wouldn't guess, and none of them are pure evil or squeaky clean. I have loved so many 0f Croucher's queer characters over the years, but Clem is my hands-down favorite. She's so competent and confident and sweet, even though she's got major PTSD. She's so funny. And, wow, so many lovable gay idiots! Also, Lex Croucher is three for three on making me yell out loud at her heroines at least once per book. I'm gonna turn right around and read this again. I've been waiting for this novel since I saw Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves at a middle school sleepover and all my friends wanted to be Maid Marian so Kevin Costner would fall in love with them, and I wanted to be Kevin Costner so Marian would fall in love with me.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press | Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book and provide an honest review.

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This was such a fun book! Lex Croucher's humor shines through at every turn and there is an endless amount of banter, adventure, and romance to be found as we ride through the forest. I really enjoyed this original take on the Merry Men and can't wait to read more of the author's work!

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This has everything you would expect from a new release from Lex Croucher: Good humour, snappy writing and good characters. There is a lot to love in this Robin Hood setting: sapphic annoyances to lovers, found family and a big sprinkle of grumpy vs sunshine.
I love Lex Croucher more than life itself.

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sapphic granddaughter of robin hood x the healer she kidnapped.


i loved this <<3 of the thirteen arcs i’ve read so far this year, not for the faint of heart is only the second i’ve given five stars to because how could i not? this was funny and wonderful and featured a found family (my favourite trope), so what’s not to love?

the humour in this book was my fave, and the slowburn romance was so cUTE! i really loved clem as a main character and seeing her breaking into the rest of the group and then breaking down mariel’s walls was everything.

i laughed loads and i cried as well and i cannot wait to own this physically when it comes out <<3

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Lex Croucher does not miss. Ever. With each release, they reaffirm why they deserve a large readership and all of the recognition they've received. Fun, emotional, romantic without being suffocating. This ripped my heart out and remade me. Croucher does so well at weaving together heavy emotions and humor, and it's such a delight to see that here.

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⭐️ 4.5

Once again Lex Croucher knocks it out of the park with an exciting, heartfelt, and hilarious adventure that’s impossible not to love. Their writing is so immersive, I was immediately sucked in and couldn’t put the book down.

I love this beautifully queer group of kids, and following them through the forest as they worked through some tough emotional situations was amazing. This is a great diverse read that I can see so many teenagers getting lost in.

I don’t think I can ever forgive the heartache this gave me, and I know it’ll hurt for a good while 🥲

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I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.

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I have recommended this to my neighbors, and my niece and nephews for a great summer book! This was phenomenal. Well done!

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I loved Lex Croucher's first YA novel, so I was excited to receive an ARC of Not for the Faint of Heart! This book was both funny and charming. I often found myself laughing outloud when any of the characters were speaking. I really loved Clem as a character, as she was the funniest to me and I loved how she handled being kidnapped. Honestly, all of the characters were very likeable and it was easy to become invested in their stories! I really enjoyed reading Not for the Faint of Heart and can't wait to recommend it to my friends!

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Not for the Faint of Heart is a thrilling adventure by Lex Croucher, brimming with found family and a romance that will forever change the lives of the Greenwood Forest's inhabitants. As Mariel and Clem navigate their growing feelings for each other amidst the dangers of the forest, they must confront their pasts, challenge their beliefs, and decide where their true loyalties lie. Their journey is filled with intense moments of self-discovery, courage, and the unbreakable bonds of love and friendship. With its richly drawn characters and a story that seamlessly blends action, humor, and heartfelt emotion, this novel is destined to captivate readers and leave a lasting impression.

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Lex Croucher saves lives, say thank you. ( No I mean it, say thank you!)

This was an incredible all around, funny, lovely blinking back tears and shrieking into the night romp of a time and what else can you possibly want???

I am beyond thrilled to be adding this to my collection of books 16-year-old me would have been feral about and 28-year-old me is very unchill about to be frank.

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Sweet historical queer romance! I adore the MC Clem and the band of Merry Men she finds herself kidnapped by. I liked how the plot didn't focus entirely on the romance and there's strong character development for both Clem and Mariel. I'm a big fan of Lex's other books, and this one did not disappoint!

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Lex does it again. This was everything I wanted it to be and more. It's an honor to have read this, honestly. A robin hood-esq sapphic?! OBSESSED

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Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest were famous outlaws and legendary characters. This YA novel continues with the Merry Men concept but they are not all men and their leader is not anything like the popular Robin.

I enjoyed the diverse characters and their camaraderie with each other especially Mariel and her group of young fighters. They were not perfect and didn’t always agree on decisions, but they supported their leader particularly through the most challenging periods.

This was an action adventure tale that contained fighting scenes. Characters were harmed and there were a few deaths. It also contained many humorous dialogue and romantic moments . So the story was nicely balanced.
I also enjoyed the few surprises the author created with some of the more familiar characters of the past.

Overall, this was an engaging and entertaining story.

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I love Lex Croucher's books, and this one did not disappoint. She has a great voice when storytelling that causes you to fall in love with the characters and root for them throughout the novel. This book was a great found family story, and I loved the characters, getting to know them, and seeing their interactions with one another. The pacing is fast and keeps you engaged; however, Croucher never skips characters and gives them each the attention they deserve, which shows a great balance between pacing and attention. This was a great book and I highly recommend it

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Not for the Faint of Heart is a YA historical fantasy rom-com that follows Robin Hood’s granddaughter’s exploits with the Merry Men.

The problem? There are several. The Merry Men have morphed. Robin Hood’s vision is watered down. Less charitable, more power hungry. Also, they may have kidnapped a local healer and still have to fight the Sheriff’s gang.

This queer retelling is Croucher’s second YA attempt. It is action-packed and features a funny, dedicated ensemble of characters.

I recommend this fun read. If you like Robin Hood or The Princess Bride (but make it an enemies-to-lover, sapphic, romantic comedy), you will surely enjoy this story.

Thank you to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press, and Wednesday Books for the ARC.

LGBTQIAP+ | Teens & YA
#NotfortheFaintofHeart #NetGalley

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This was my first book from this author and I quite enjoyed it! The premise reeled me in and I think it was executed very well. The main characters were loveable, the romance was lovely, and the adventure was fantastic. Big fan!

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This is a beautiful story written by Lex Croucher and I cannot stop until I finish reading this book. This is like a whole experience in one package and you should read it.

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loved this! great anxiety rep, and I love a good slow burn enemies to lovers. I love the whole vibe of it- like who doesn’t want to run around the woods and stop in villages??

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