Serpent and Dove (Serpent and Dove #1)

Content Overview

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood


Potentially Intense Themes


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My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) I did not know if I would enjoy a book about witches, however, this is well done and unique. I instantly fell in love with Lou and her crass mouth and view on life. She’s a character I haven’t seen in most books. The story felt new and exciting and didn’t have a typical YA feel. That being said, I feel like there is a lot of content in the book that makes it more adult than YA.

For the content, the language is extreme. There are a few f***, but mostly it’s casual cursing. The main character is crass and crude and while it’s often funny, it can be very inappropriate. There are many sexual comments here and there but my concern lies mostly in one sex scene toward the end that is pretty descriptive. You know exactly what is going on in each moment. She does it tastefully but there are quite a few details. The violence can be intense at times. People are fighting extensively, blood is spilled, weapons are used, witches are burned at the stake. There are quite a few details that go into these scenes.

Serpent and Dove (Serpent and Dove #1)

Shelby Mahurin

Two years ago, Louise Le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union–holy matrimony.

The war between withes and the Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

-Excerpt taken from book flap.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

Detailed Content Overview


F***- 10

H***- 33

S***- 42

A**- 40

B****- 6

D***- 22

Bas****- 5

Religious Cursing-

J****- 1


G**- 29

L***- 5

Derogatory terms etc-

Flipping middle finger 


Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

At a celebration people are slightly drunk. A young woman swigs 3 glasses. 

At a brothel, drunk men watch women dance. 

A woman’s breath smells of wine. 

A young woman reveals a secret after too much whiskey.

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

(**) indicates more detailed information that some readers may be sensitive to.

Brothels are common. They have also been used for meeting places. Some of the courtesans wear no clothing. Two offer to undo a man’s trousers. He refuses. 

A young woman bit a man “during one of our more passionate nights.” She likes his “tight little a—.”  She also thinks that he is terrible in bed. 

A king is rumored to have many lovers. 

While trying to grab a young woman, a man accidentally grabs her breast then grabs the neckline of her dress, ripping it as they both fall, her on top.

A man states a marriage is not legally binding until it’s consummated so he will send someone by to verify. 

“I winked. It’s not like I stripped and sang, “Big Titty Liddy.’”

A young woman slices her inner arm, drawing blood and lets it drop onto bed sheets claiming that is “proof” the marriage was consummated.  

A young woman takes off her soiled dress and stands in her undergarments. 

Men ask for details about a wedding night, saying they’d been there too. 

“I’ll give him his first f***.”

“Big Willy Billy…his knob was as long as his…” “Big Titty Liddy… bosom as big as a barn, her creamery knockers drove men off their rockers…” Pub songs. 

“What of your husband’s balls? Do they compare?” 

A young woman casually takes a bath while two men are nearby. “You can look now. All my fun bits are covered.”

A young woman kisses a man. 

“Whosoever hideth her….something about ointment and a hand… quite risqué!”

A young woman reaches into her gown to lift up each breast trying to show them off more. 

A woman pinches a young man’s backside. 

A man looks a young woman up and down and eyes her breasts appreciatively. 

A man tells a married woman to come find him so they can have fun.

There are a lot of sexual innuendos but they can be vague and easily missed. 

“It’s just sex.”

“Her breasts brushing my arm.”

A young woman grabs a man and passionately kisses him. He picks her up, and deepens the kiss. 

A young woman threatens to strip naked and dance outside if a man doesn’t listen to her. He tells her to do it. 

“Will you… stick your tongue down my throat and your hands up my skirt? My a** needs grabbing.”

**A man is a virgin. A young woman wants to show him how to be intimate. She straddles him. He unlaced her dress and touches her breast. He pushes off her chemise until she is naked on top. He takes off his shirt and they lay down kissing. He takes off her dress and looks over her body. She shows him how to slowly rock up and down. Then takes his hand and shows him where to touch her. He takes her breast in his mouth, she gasps and he bites. She demands his pants off. She traces a finger “down the length of him.” She tells him she will show him what her mouth can do later. She sinks down onto him. There’s pain but good pain, he strokes her where she showed him. He “pushed me over the edge… one final, shuddering thrust…”  “It’s a good hurt.”

At a brothel, women dance in sheer clothes while men watch. 

A young woman admits to sleeping with a prostitute. 

A young woman asks another young woman if she’s still sleeping with a young woman?

A man takes off his clothes in front of a crowd of women and sings. 

A man and young woman kiss. 

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

People are burned at the stake. 

13 bodies have been found where the death was from magic. One 24yo was found old, wrinkled with gnarled fingers- an old woman. There is a threat for the same to happen to her sister.

A young woman carries a knife in her boot. A man carries multiple knives. 

A man and young woman are professional thieves. 

A young woman gets elbowed in the nose.

Screams are heard. Witches are seen knocking people down. Some die, some end up with odd ailments like never being able to sleep again or loving someone no one can see. One child was found with no eyes. 20+ bodies are floating around some witches. Some unconscious, some trying to scream, one acting as if she’s drowning. Many people are flung back with magic. A young man tackles one, and holds a knife to her neck.  Under their spell, a brother kills his sister, a young girl kills herself. Dozens more are hospitalized with mental instability. 

A witch entrances two guards then they fall unconscious. A man is supposed to kill more with a knife. 

A young woman head butts a man, breaking his nose. He gets her on the ground and smacks her face against it, breaking her nose, blood oozing. She kicks, punches and gouges eyes. She escapes with broken fingers and lots of blood. Later she knees a man in the groin. 

A man grabs a young woman by the neck and forces her to be baptized, holding her underwater a bit too long. She tries to attack him afterward. 

A young woman holds a knife to a man’s throat, drawing blood and states that if anyone touches her without permission she’ll cut them open. 

When someone calls his wife a whore, a man bashes the handle of his sword into his head. 

A young woman has many scars on her body. Many from violence. 

A young woman lays on an altar with a knife to her throat. 

A woman uses magic to drop a sign onto the back of a man’s head. He then cracks his head on a wall. He attacks her and cuts off her airway making her pass out. He injects her with something into her throat, making her bleed. He then drops her face-first and places manacles on. 

People throw rocks at a woman as she is tied to a stake and burned. She screams. 

A young woman takes burning tongs and smashes them across a man’s face, burning her palm. Cooked flesh smell fills the room. She fights them but one grabs her throat, lifting her off the floor. They discuss how they will kill her, cutting her in pieces when she throws hot coals at them then thrusts a knife into ones throat, slashing skin, tendon and bone. He gurgles. She thrusts the knife in a chest, should, throat, blood spraying. 

A mother slices her child’s throat on an altar. 

A man has blackened skin from magic, and a dead animal in his mouth. He grabs a young woman and is stabbed in the heart. 

A knife slices a woman’s chest, then a sword is plunged through her from behind. 

A woman uses magic to throw a young man to the wall, then throws a man to the ceiling and floor. Then a woman is thrown to the ceiling. She head butts a young woman. One knees the other, and elbows her. One injects the other with paralyzing substance. After fighting back and forth, a young woman slices a woman’s neck, blood oozing down her arm and pooling at her feet. A young woman is injected again and passes out. 

A man carries the body of a woman. Her neck is sliced. It bleeds and lolls to the side. Another man carries another woman, blood from the injection dripping. Many women are dead. The bodies will be burned. They are placed in a large pile, blood pooling on the floor. 

A man punches a man. 

A woman threatens a young woman with killing her love and making her eat his heart. 

An 11year old is burned at the stake. 

A man is tied up, blood leaking from a cheek wound. 

A woman plunges a knife into a woman’s chest. A man takes out the knife and tries to stop the bleeding. The woman holds a knife to him. He grabs her wrist and shatters the bone then grabs her throat until feeling the windpipe give. She used magic to tie him, the binds causing blood. Two more are bound. A young woman is placed on an altar to sacrifice. A woman stabs another woman by her throat. A young woman holds a knife to a man’s throat, threatening a man holding a knife to a woman’s throat. A young woman’s throat is slashed open. A man plunges a knife into a man’s chest, pushing down harder to reach his heart. . An arrow lodges in a woman’s chest. Men started attacking a crowd of women and children. Arrows are raining down. 

Potentially Intense Themes

People affected by magic have unique problems. One head turns around in circles, one person’s skin moved from bugs underneath, one man has hundreds of small sores leaking poisoned blood. Men experiment on brains and with injections. 

A baby is abandoned in a garbage. Someone rescues him. 

A woman drinks the blood out of a rabbit. 

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