p>By Katherine Deane
Now, I will be honest. I went into this story, knowing almost nothing about it. All I knew was the title, the author (an awesome spanking romance author whose books I love!), and a thumbs up from Patricia Green, whom I also adore. That was enough for me.
What I found was a balls to the wall, horrifying yet mesmerizing, engaging story that had me glued to the edge of my seat one moment, and throbbing with desire, the next.
The interesting thing, was that there were no spankings. But this story was so incredibly satisfying that it scratched every spanking itch I have- without the spankings.
This is one of the most intensely satisfying books I have read in a long time. Even without the spankings.
My congratulations goes out to Penny Alley (Maren Smith).
Well done. Very well done!
Here is the rest of my review.
I went through so many emotions while reading this story. I cried after a few scenes, they were so well done. The passion and energy built to such a high crescendo, there were times I couldn’t breathe. Then the author relaxed the pace, and built up the characters some more, giving more insight into their lives. It was an emotionally charged thrill ride of passion and horror that pushed my limits and kept me reading into the late hours of the night. I had trouble putting the book down. And I can honestly say, I went into this book, blind. The first chapter was so terrifying and vivid that I had to rethink my nighttime reading habits. It was deliciously frightening. And it got even better from there.
The main character, Veda, and her village are attacked on the night of an Incubus Moon. Succubus and Incubus Horde savagely attack everyone, using the humans for their sexual release, also breathing in their life essences, and killing them. All but Veda die agonizing deaths.
Veda awakens to find herself barely alive, her throat ripped out, her body ravaged and sore. She panics when she is picked up by another set of Incubi, who claim that they are not evil like the others.
Emen, an Incubus leader of a Settlement, promises that Veda is safe, and promises to protect her. But Veda has a horrid realization that she is becoming one of them. She yearns to feed like them. She is crippled by overwhelming, powerful lust and hunger, and agonizes that she is turning into what she despises most. She fears herself and loathes what she is becoming. Veda turns into the monster she most fears and hates. It consumes her, yet she fears hurting the humans, and begs for help.
She finds herself drawn to Scar, an early antagonist in the story, who satiates her sexual needs, and gives her pain during their interactions. Veda not only accepts this, she revels in it, because she wants to be punished for what she is feeling and becoming. So she keeps punishing herself, by going to Scar, and pushing him to be rough with her.
These scenes were intense and hot. I loved them.
The settlement in which they live is inhabited by both succubi / incubi and humans. They have learned to help and trust each other. This is out of necessity since the Incubi need the humans for their life essence, and the humans need their strength to keep out invading hordes of incubi.
As intense as the action scenes are, the sex scenes are even more intense! We are talking about sexually driven demons, so the sex is carnal, lusty, highly passionate, and breathtakingly erotic.
Veda is torn between two alpha males, as different as night and day. Both offering her the energy and physical and sexual release that she needs, but in completely different ways.
Emen, the leader of the group, is dark colored, strong, firm, loving, kind hearted, and romantic. He falls in love with Veda’s beauty and compassionate nature. He leads with firm compassion and understanding, but still makes difficult decisions based on the good of the many. He takes Veda into his care to protect her from those that might hurt her, and to protect her from herself. Though he falls in love with her quickly, he allows her the freedom to look elsewhere for her sexual and physical needs if she needs them.
Scar, is the bad boy of the group, a loner, light in color, prideful, arrogant, strong, quick tempered, passionate. He falls in love with Veda’s strength and anger. He likes it when Veda fights him, and their sexual encounters are raw and animalistic. Veda goes to Scar whenever she needs to hurt. And Scar provides her with pain in order to help her get past her moment of internal pain. Theirs is a relationship of fire, pain, and raw energy. Scar pushes Veda to the very edge of her physical and emotional desires, because he understands her needs. And the pain he gives her alleviates her own pain.
Veda is so confused by her feelings for each man. She needs them both- each for something different and she loves them each, differently. They are fire and ice, each doing something that the other can’t. The whole relationship has a beautiful set-up for ménage, which I would have loved to have seen.
Veda is so upset by her transformation, and blames herself and the demons who did this to her. She has a very difficult time coming to grips with all of this.
This leads to one of my favorite quotes from a story, when Emen explains that Veda does not have to continue being a victim, that she can be stronger than she realizes possible. He offers to help Veda learn to control her hunger and urges. He also offers to help her learn to safely feed from humans without killing them.
“A victim of circumstance does not a victim forever make.”
I loved this quote.
Another recurring theme in the story is redemption. Even though Veda condemns and hates the Horde for what they did to her village, she has conflicting emotions and desires to accept the Settlement Incubi as good. She always tries to see the good in everyone, confusing her even more. Demons are demons.
There is one really cool scene, when they come across a cricket like creature, a spikey. Emen and Scar want to kill it, explaining that the spikey is dangerous, and will kill other people when it gets older. But Veda stands her ground, saying they can’t hold this young demon responsible for crimes committed by its family, just like the Incubi from the Settlement can’t be held accountable for the Horde’s actions. They agree to take the young Spikey with them. Veda finds out his name is Keegee, and cares for Keegee as if he were her son.
The plot is amazing. There are so many twists and turns. An antagonist at every turn. A bad guy who is actually a good guy. A good guy who has a very bad past. Even Veda ends up doing something horrible, that she feels she can never atone. But they still band together, forging stronger bonds, to protect themselves from the Horde.
This book was brilliantly done. If anything had been changed, it could have easily fallen into the category of abuse, rape, and horror. But instead, it was exciting, invigorating, erotic, dangerous, and horrifyingly titillating.
I loved this book!
I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.