Title: In the Company of Witches
Author: Joey W. Hill
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Arcane Shot (Book 2)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425250849 (Penguin/Berkley)
ISBN-13: 978-0425250846 (Penguin/Berkley)
Reviewed by: Kristie
All witch and part succubus, savvy businesswoman Raina has converted a Southern plantation house into an extremely profitable old-fashioned bordello. Because of her abilities as a witch, the demons under Raina’s protection can feed off the sexual energy of their clients without killing them—definitely a good thing for repeat business.
But when a rogue incubus shows up on Raina’s doorstep begging for asylum, the witch’s well-run business is put in jeopardy. The incubus has stolen an object of great power from Lucifer, and Underworld Dark Guardian Mikhael will do anything to get it back—even if it means incinerating the incubus on Raina’s porch to get the answers he seeks.
Not to be trifled with, Raina enters a dangerous match of wits with Mikhael to achieve their mutual goals—only to discover that the reluctant attraction between them is the most hazardous game of all…
Quick & Dirty: Mind-blowingly good sex but a lot of it bogs down the plot. When the plot moves along it is a good story.
Opening Sentence: Something was coming.
Raina is half-witch/half-succubus and as such she runs a brothel that is a safe haven for some incubi and succubi. She has created wards around her home that helps protect them from killing the humans they feed off of. She has a familiar, Cathair, a raven. He sometimes delivers some funny moments in this serious story. At the beginning of In the Company of Witches, Raina feels an incubus running towards her home. She has many protections in place to ward off and detect strangers on her property. The incubus, Isaac, is being chased by a Dark Guardian, Mikhael. Isaac has stolen something from Hell and Lucifer wants it back.
Raina offers Isaac protection from Mikhael as long as he divulges the information on what he took, where it is at and who he stole it for. Unfortunately Isaac is more scared of the enemy then Mikhael so he doesn’t talk. Raina offers up temporary sanctuary hoping Isaac will change his tune and stay on as one of Raina’s wards. Mikhael believes that whoever is after Isaac will show up at the brothel so he refuses to leave. He offers up more wards for protection of Sweet Dreams, Raina’s bordello, in order to keep his eye on Isaac.
Mikael has been a Dark Guardian for many years. He is also a half breed like Raina, but instead he is half angel. There is something about Raina that he wants. He believes that they are more alike than Raina would like to believe. He knows that there is something deep down inside Raina that needs healing and he uses their best assets (meaning sexual intercourse) to help Raina through her problems.
There is a lot of sex (as if that is possible) at the beginning of this book. They are like a couple on their honeymoon at first, just exploring each other’s bodies and what they can handle, sometimes pushing the eroticism envelope. Of course, there is a purpose here. Raina has some issues from her past that need to be overcome and do weight heavily on the final conflict. The sex really weighs the plotline down at first, but about halfway through the book the plot picks up and moves along.
The scenes where Mikhael and Raina hang out in town are probably my favorite part of this book besides the final battle. You get to know a lot more about their characters, even a little bit about what makes them tick. Mikhael is not truly evil. He is dark but helps the light side. Raina is light but realizes that she may just have a bit of darkness inside of her. (I really wish I had someone like Mikhael at a movie theater frying people’s phone batteries or at least just blocking them from working.) The story is told just from their points of view.
Mikhael is not like he was in Something About Witches. He is not the crass masochist he comes off as in the first book, something I was a little wary of coming into this story. He reads people and can give them what they need in certain situations and that is not what Raina needs. He still likes to play at master but not to the extent of SAW.
I still really enjoyed the world that Joey W. Hill has created with these supernatural creatures, learning about the Dark Guardians and Succubi more in depth. Places in the Underworld are explored, adding more layers to this supernatural world, even though the bulk of the story is told from Raina’s house and brothel Sweet Dreams.
Overall, after the slow start to In the Company of Witches, I really enjoyed the story. I was enraptured by Mikhael and Raina’s relationship. If I complained too much about the sex scenes, I am sorry because it actually suited this couple’s story and background. It would be something they would do and have no qualms about it.
“I offer very few, Jorge. The invitation is always there for you.”
“Perhaps not. I have heat burns between my shoulder blades. The man turned then, giving Mikhael a direct look. “This one is asserting a claim on your affections.”
So he’d known he was there the whole time, and hadn’t missed a step. He’d probably added a few of those more blatantly sexual moves to prove the point. Pretty ballsy old bastard.
“He only has my attention for the moment,” Raina said. “You have my heart forever.”
Jorge kissed her hand and held it to his chest. “If my Juliana hadn’t taken mine with her, I might have offered it to you. But any man would.”
“No. Men offer women their souls, but rarely their hearts.” Raina touched his face. “Thank you, as always, for teaching me to love your dancing.”
“Thank you.” Jorge kissed her hand again, then turned to Mikhael. “I relinquish her to you, but only because your jealousy has propped up an old man’s ego.”
The Arcane Shot Series:
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of In the Company of Witches. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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