The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark is very deceiving, in more ways than one.
I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
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.
Look at the cover. It looks like a Young Adult book. It caught my eye because it’s very similar to the covers for the House of Night series by P.C. Cast. It was the crescent moon that looked very familiar. Strike one.
Now read the Synopsis. Doesn’t it sound like a trashy paranormal romance novel? I thought so, I picked it up fully expecting a damsel in distress haunted by a mysterious and sexy demon and ultimately, they fall in love sparked by their deep passion for each other. Well, it’s not that kind of story. Strike two for Ms. Juliet Dark, or should I say Carol Goodman seeing that Juliet Dark is her pen name.
This story is very much an adult book but to me it’s more a Mystery Fiction than a Romance. There is still love in the story but it’s more a story about love than a love story. There is far more to this book than meets the eye, in fact, there’s an entire world filled with fairies, witches, creatures of the night and demons. There is a lot of substance to this story; the plot is driven by the misadventures of our female protagonist, Callie, as she discovers the secret of Fairwick College which, consequently, is directly correlated to her love life.
As much as I could predict Callie’s relationships with her long distance boyfriend, Paul; her fling with Liam; and her mind-boggling affair with her demon lover, I was still surprised a few times with the plot twists. I had my suspicions but in the end, they all turned out wrong. Juliet Dark has a way of letting her readers in but never giving anything away. It makes for a good mystery.
The concept of Gothic literature oozes out of this book; there are gothic themes and the main character’s inner monologue references gothic literature many times. I loved the Honeysuckle House, the old Victorian home that Callie lives in, and the dreary weather of upstate New York, and who could possible forget the mysterious “night-mare” that visits Callie in her dreams for a little sexy time. This book is every gothic literature buff’s fantasy novel!
Although, this book wasn’t anything close to what I was expecting, it was an alluring mystery with erotic elements. I’m not a huge fan of the mystery genre, but with the paranormal added in, it wasn’t half-bad. I certainly appreciated the amount of detail Ms. Dark went into relating her characters to classic novels and modern-day pop culture. Her references made me smile. However, the bizarre ending left me unsatisfied and caught unaware which I found unsettling. The next book in this series, The Water Witch, was released on Sept. 13, 2012. I’ll evenually get to the sequel to see what happens next, but until then I’ll try to classify whether the strange ending was strike three or not.