Blurb (from Goodreads):
I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.
“Vivid and enchanting . . . Dark’s letter-perfect gothic style is a satisfying tribute to previous gothic novels, and the paranormal elements, including incubi, fae, vampires, and witches, make this a stellar romance.”— Booklist (Top 10 SF/Fantasy)
“[Juliet] Dark develops a complex, detailed world where magic, reason, and gothic literature enjoyably intersect.”— Publishers Weekly.
My rating: 6.5 out of 10 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Random House Publishing Group and Netgalley.)
Callie McFay is looking for a teaching position at a college after getting her PhD, and publishing her first book (Sex Lives of the Demon Lovers). She goes to an interview at Fairwick College, but has no intentions of taking the job until she falls in love with a house nearby (Honeysuckle house). The realtor seems reluctant to even show her the house, but eventually she does, and Callie buys it.
Once in Fairwick, Callie finds herself visited by a demon lover, a man who appears to be made of moonlight, who visits her and has sex with her every night. It also seems that this demon lover is the very same one who visited the house’s previous occupant Dahlia LaMotte, who was also an author.
In a case in the attic, Callie discovers all of Dahlia LaMotte’s original drafts for her books, and decides to use the work to write her own next book.
Callie has more than just her demon lover to contend with though, when secrets are revealed to her about Fairwick College, and her colleagues, and a new man comes into her life.
What exactly is going on at Fairwick College? What are these nights with her Demon Lover doing to Callie? And can she trust the new man in her life?
I’m slightly torn over this book. It was okay, and I even liked it in parts, but it had its little issues as well.
Callie was an interesting character, although she did seem to make quite rash decisions at times. She told her boyfriend that she would delay accepting a position at Fairwick until she heard from the college in New York where she actually wanted to teach, then turns around and accepts the position and buys a house all in the same breath! Not surprised that the boyfriend wasn’t impressed about this.
Callie’s reaction to the demon lover was also a little strange to me. He was basically turning up every night and raping her, but she liked it! He basically forces himself on her, and instead of being upset or scared, she looks forward to it! She also realises that her lover is the same one who has been doing the same thing to the previous occupant of the house, but this doesn’t seem to put her off either.
When she eventually decides that maybe all this sex with a demon might not be good for her, she then tries to summon him to tell him to go away. Does anyone else think that this is a bad idea? I can’t honestly say that I don’t think summoning a demon is ever a good idea, especially to tell him to go away. I mean how does that even go – ‘I summon you demon!’, ‘I’m here what do you want?’, ‘I want you to leave me alone!’, ‘But you summoned me here!’, ‘Yes, and now I’m telling you to leave.’ – make up your mind.
The thing is though, that even once Callie had decided to ditch the demon, she was still very much in two minds about it – she wanted rid of the demon, but at the same time was quite enjoying the attention. Maybe these feelings are totally normal for someone who knows that was they want is bad for them, I get that, but maybe she shouldn’t have tried to banish the demon if she wasn’t 100% sure about it? Especially when she’s told that she has to want the demon to go for the spell to work.
There was a lot of paranormal stuff in this book, not just demons, and we met witches, fairies, incubi, and all sorts of other weird and wonderful things, so there was no lack of variety. There was also more than one mystery to solve, and several other side-line stories, with twists that I couldn’t guess.
I think the strangest thing about this book though, was the fact that ‘the demon lover’ storyline was missing from a big chunk of this book – and isn’t that what the book is supposed to be about?
The storyline went – demon lover, decision over demon lover, banish demon lover, big load of other crap going on, romance, mystery, big load of other stuff happening again, demon lover, the end. It was almost as if the whole demon lover storyline was forgotten about for a large part of the story, and then touched briefly upon at the end again, so much so, that you could almost forget that the demon lover part had ever happened. Bit strange.
I will say that overall I enjoyed this book, but at times I felt that the story dragged, and the above issues were a little annoying at times. Would I recommend this book? I’d say borrow rather than buy this one personally.
6.5 out of 10.