These novellas are very quick reads, some I liked, some I didn’t. I read the first three in the series in an anthology format and I’ll review them accordingly, all at once.
Book 1 – The Demon’s Bargain
The first book, The Demon’s Bargain, was a fun read. I’ve read Adler before and I do enjoy her writing style and this first in the series was no different. The premise of this entire series is about a post-apocalyptic world where Demons and Faes battle it out for supremacy over each other and humans. The tool of choice is magick along with some tomfoolery and shenanigans but the best part is that they use the energy that is stored from the humans they imprison. I’m not sure what happened to the government but that doesn’t matter because this is about the world of Demons and Faes. Sounds like fun, right?
Completely bored out of his mind, Vetis, the Demon of Corruption, is presented with an offer he can’t refuse. One of the humans that he lent a hand in corrupting through gambling has come to pay his debt. The currency – his human wife. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. The wife, Amara, is not someone or something that Vetis is expecting, but that’s okay by Vetis because in the end, the debt must be paid.
Amara is an interesting character. She’s so unhappy in her sham of a marriage – this particular degradation is nothing new and nothing that she can’t overcome. I really liked the way that Adler wrote Amara. Not too sweet, but not too sour either. She’s the perfect challenge to get Vetis out of his boredom. The chemistry between Vetis and Amara is surprising, sweet, and real (as real as you can get in a post-apocalyptic world full of Demons and Faes). Vetis wants to please her and Amara just wants to get the debt paid and go home so she can handle her business. Along the way both of these characters see the good, and not so good, in each other but acceptance and love can go a long way towards forgiveness.
I didn’t really care for this one as much as I did Book 1. The storyline didn’t flow as well and the sex scenes took over too much of the story. The good news is that it picks up directly after Book 1. Prince Gaap, commander of the Water Elemental Demons, has his work cut out for him trying to figure out what the Faes are up to. Lili, a human, is out for revenge after she’s viciously attached by the Fae. The only way that she can get her revenge is by summoning a Demon and offering herself for payment. Gaap gladly takes her up on her offer but he wants payment up front.
The chemistry between Gaap and Lili felt contrived. The attraction wasn’t as palpable as Vetis and Amara. I’m not sure if it would have been better for me to learn more about Lili’s past, but she’s the one I had trouble with. She just seemed – I don’t know- sketchy, and I just didn’t buy what she was selling. Gaap is a recurring character but his personality is delved into a bit more and as soon as I started liking him, the story ended. The plot in this one was lacking, and like I said before there was just way too much sex – that gets redundant after a while.
The Demon’s Seduction, made up for Book 2. Now this is not a m/f like the first two – it’s a m/f/m and m/m/f and it works primarily because of Thalia. Thalia is one of the three Graces that were introduced in Book 2.
After the Demons and Fae rose up and came into power, Thalia is one of the humans who lost everything including her family. With no money nor skill, she sold herself to the Demons in exchange for a food and shelter. Assigned to sexually servicing the Lesser Demons, Thalia nonetheless falls in love with her boss Zepar, the Demon of Seduction. Zepar is on a quest to find a human to love but Thalia is not anywhere on his radar. In fact, he uses Thalia as his procurer for eligible women. Douchebag!
Leraye, the Demon of Battle, was mortally wounded at the end of Book 2 and his injury continues in this story. Thalia, in her kindness, visits him every afternoon for a one-sided conversation and to vent her displeasure about the way that Zepar treats her. Leraye has his own unrequited feelings for Zepar but he knows that Zepar is not receptive so he does the next best thing – get to the goose through the gander. I found myself really liking Thalia and Leraye. Their chemistry worked well and the way that Zepar paid his penance to them was well worth my time (that’s right – it’s about to get freaky).
The happy ending for these three was hard-fought and deserving. I can’t say that the whole voyeuristic thing works for me but it does work for the story. I’m in a conundrum about saying more but if I do, I’ll spoil the fun.
Happy Reading folks!
Overall Rating: B-
*Book provided by author for review.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Demons Unleashed (Vols 1-3)
by Lisa Alder
February 12, 2013