Title: The Demon Lover
Author: Juliet Dark
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Fairwick Chronicles (Book 1)
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback, 450 Pages
ISBN-10: 0345510089 (Random/Ballantine)
ISBN-13: 978-0345510082 (Random/Ballantine)
Reviewed by: Kristie
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.
Quick & Dirty: As a dark, gothic novel The Demon Lover is a fairly good read, but since it is marketed as a paranormal romance, it was a bit disappointing.
Opening Sentence: Best keep your door locked, Miss.
The Demon Lover was not what I expected. The book is labeled as a paranormal romance. Yes, it is paranormal but it is not a romance, at least in the general sense of romances.
Callie McFay has lived her life hearing of fairytales from her parents but never actually believed they were true. Her parents died when she was twelve and ever since then she has dreamed of a dark male figure, a figure that never truly shows his face. He watches over her during the night and sometimes recites more fairytales to her when she is upset. Then life moves on for Callie, she would go on to college, graduate with a Ph.D., writes a best-selling book and has a long term, long distance relationship with her boyfriend Paul.
Callie has plans for her future and when she interviews with Fairwick College she plans to turn down the job offer but then she sees a beautiful house hidden in the woods. The house was once owned by a gothic, romance writer. Callie is a fan of the writer, Dahlia LaMotte, whom helped influence her own work. The house also comes with Miss LaMotte’s hand-written manuscripts. Callie kicks her plans out the door and impulsively buys the house. The night Callie moves in she is visited by an incubus. At first she believes that it is just a dream but it doesn’t take long for her to realize that her dreams are all too real.
Callie learns pretty early on that she is special and that her co-workers are also more then they appear to be. The town of Fairwick is a melting pot of fae, witches and demons. Of course, there are a few humans who don’t know about the supernatural around them, so they must still hide their powers.
The Demon Lover is plagued with a slow-moving and unclear plot. The incubus is banished fairly early on in the book, Callie’s roommate goes insane, a good-looking teacher comes to town, the college is also afflicted with a sickness that makes quite a few people ill. Callie is also looking into lifting a curse on one of her students, and even more strange things happen in Callie’s personal life with her boyfriend, most of which were predicable so I won’t go into that.
Callie inevitably ends up in a relationship with the new teacher. The relationship moves really fast. The only buildup is the one time that she thought he might kiss her, and then of course the actual kiss. She does pretend to hate him for a while but it doesn’t last long, when she gives in they spend several weeks in bed together (which just happens to be winter break at college). I realize that for Callie this is a relationship that had been forming since she was a little girl so it may not move fast for her but it is hard to feel the love between these characters when they are just having sex and he is crazy obsessed with her.
I did like the world-building in The Demon Lover. The world that Ms. Dark (aka Carol Goodman) created with all the different fae and other creatures living together was enjoyable. It is really nice how the town comes together to protect each other. The atmosphere was dark and gothic, it reminded me of the Victoria Holt novels that I read when I was much younger (just with a lot more sex), which is appropriate since she is mentioned several times in The Demon Lover. I am guessing she was a huge influence. The Demon Lover is strictly told from Callie’s point of view, minus a few manuscripts that would be from Dahlia LaMotte’s view.
Overall, I would recommend The Demon Lover more for its’ world building and dark, gothic atmosphere. I would not recommend this book as a paranormal romance. There is no HEA in this book. I would have thought this to be a self-contained novel but I did see a sneak preview for The Water Witch and it looks like it is narrated by Callie which makes me thrilled to know that her story isn’t over. All reservations aside, I really do want to know what is going to happen next for Callie and her incubus.
I shook my head. “No,” I said. “You’re a phantom, an incubus. You’d suck me dry and leave me dead . . .”
“Not if you loved me,” he whispered, his voice a warm wave that lapped at my ear and filled me with longing.
“That’s a big if,” I replied. “Love comes and goes in my experience. I wouldn’t bet my life on it.” Images of my parents appeared in my mind—of my mother caressing the love letters my father had sent her, of my father’s face as he lovingly gazed at my mother—but I quickly banished them.
The coil that had been wrapping itself around me paused. I felt his . . . it’s . . . hesitation. When he spoke again his voice sounded different—less silky, more real . . . and laden with the soft burr of a Scottish accent. It made me realize he’d been acting up until now. “That’s been your experience?” he asked. “Poor lass . . .” And then the silky voice was back. “Perhaps that’s how you feel with your human lover because you’ve been waiting for me. Have no doubt. Your experience with me will be vastly different.”
Maybe it was my loyalty to Paul (I still had some, didn’t I?) or maybe it was the disdain in his voice when he said human, or maybe it was just the cocky attitude that he knew what I wanted, but I was suddenly disenchanted with this creature.
“You’ve got a lot to learn about women, pal. There’s more to love than being good in the sack,” I said, tensing my muscles and trying hard not to think about how good he was in bed. “Or maybe it’s been too long since you were human to know that.”
The Fairwick Chronicles Series:
2. The Water Witch
FTC Advisory: Random House/Ballantine Books provided me with a copy of The Demon Lover. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.