This is a new to me author, but not my first IR MC themed story. It’s part 1 of Shyla Holt’s ‘Dueling Devils’ series and tells of Ardy Larking and Demon’s (no idea of his real name) relationship. Because of the ending which was abrupt, not really HFN or HEA – like someone just stopped writing or chopped a longer story in two, I clicked on a few links and found out that Ardy and Demon’s story continues in book 2 – Payback.
Ardy’s and her siblings are from a caucasian Catholic father and an African-American Baptist mother. As the oldest, she’s been working in the family bar and taking care of her brothers and sisters for a long time. Somewhere along the line, the bar was in financial struggles and took a loan or some kind of assistance from Demon’s group. What I don’t know is if Demon caused the struggle so he could have the bar owner indebted or if it was for some other reason. There aren’t a lot of explanations in this story – circumstances just seem to be what they are.
As Ardy’s father is unable to repay the debt, whatever that is, to Demon, it’s decided that Ardy will suffice as said payment. Is this how this is done now-a-days? We just repay in human flesh? The thing is, her father didn’t even put up a fight. He grumbled and puffed up a bit but that was it. And Ardy is hesitant but not outraged that this is happening. She just goes along, very much like sheep. I would have liked to see a more bristled attitude, towards Demon and her father from her about the circumstances she’s in.
This story felt disjointed. Ardy goes from a reluctant yet excited reception of Demon’s personality to a ‘I want in your pants’ within days of their time together. I have no idea where the change came from. It just is. There’s a lot of jumping from scene to scene, but it doesn’t flow well. The editing errors are plenty and let me not even get started on the lack of character development. Ardy doesn’t get a back story, so she comes off just as she’s written – vapid and one dimensional. Demon’s story is the focus, but only as it relates to his two children and the mother those kids. I’m guessing that the second book in the series, Payback, has good character development and plot execution, because this one didn’t.
Happy reading folks!
*Book provided by author
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Shyla Colt
Release Date: June 1, 2014
Publisher: Inspired Ink