9.28.2011

ARC Review: The Demon Lover (Juliet Dark)

Synopsis:
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 in my breath 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 writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds 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: He’s 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 incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.

Review:

This book felt like a roller coaster ride!  It started out well enough, escalating quickly, slowed down in between, picked up pace for a bit and then... ended.  Almost abruptly.

Callie was an okay main character, but I didn't find myself connecting with her.  Sure, I was reading about what was going on in her life and hoping she found the truth she was looking for, but I didn't really "connect" with her.  I felt more of a connection with her house than I did with her.

Speaking of which, the author has an amazing descriptive voice.  In the beginning of this book, I found myself wanting to visit Honeysuckle House.  It's a character on it's own in this book and I could almost feel the energy of the house wafting off the "pages" of my Kindle.  I could picture the house and it's surroundings, I could smell the honeysuckle, I could hear the creaks of the floorboards as she walked through.  The house really brought this story to life.

The same went for the town, as well.  It wasn't hard for me to picture the town, with all the shoppes and houses covered in ice after a huge storm.  Again, Juliet Dark creates a whole new character with her description of the town.  Without the "characters" of Honeysuckle House and Fairwick, I think this book would fall flat.

Sad to say, the secondary characters didn't really do much for me, either.  Maybe it was the way Callie so easily accepted the supernatural revelations, one by one, without so much as batting an eye.  Or it could have been the fact that there was just too much going on.  There were demons, witches, vampires, succubi, incubi, fairies and more.  One more mythical creature and this book would have burst at the seams!  Plus, it seemed that everyone she met turned out to be one of the above.  I got to the point where I thought she should just introduce herself and say, "Hi, I'm Callie.  Are you a witch or a demon?"  The only person through this whole story who was human (that I can recall) was Callie's boyfriend.  But he wasn't even a secondary character, only having a few brief appearances.

While I did enjoy most of this book, I have to say that the "stories within the story", the books and manuscripts that Callie finds in the house, are better written.  I felt like in the short clips that I read, I connected more with that main character than with Callie.

The ending fell flat for me, too.  I quickly figured out who the "bad guy" was, though I'm not convinced he was all bad.  Callie was alone and depressed at the end and I felt there was no real resolution.  Of course, there was a bit of a twist that I didn't expect, but there were also some loose ends that were left hanging.  Characters disappeared and I don't know what happened to them.  Maybe that will be addressed in the next book, which, despite my "issues" with this book, I will probably still read.

Rating:


As I said, a lot of this story fell flat for me.  I started out loving this book before the mythical creatures started pouring out of the woodwork.  There was mystery, suspense, anticipation and lots of goosebumps.  But when every character turned out to be some sort of magical creature, it sort of became routine and lost much of the intrigue.  

Heat Factor:


There was a bit of steam in this book, but the characters from the "story within the story" got some hotter action than the actual characters.  I see a lot of reviewers claiming that it's excessive in the sex scenes, but I think my readers are used to something a bit spicier. 

The Demon Lover is scheduled to be released on December 27, 2011.

A copy of The Demon Lover was provided to me for review by the publisher and netgalley.com.

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