The Demon Lover (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
The Fairwick Chronicles #1

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 in my breath 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 writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds 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: He’s 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 incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart. 

When Callie interviews at Fairwick College for a teaching position, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an old Victorian named The Honeysuckle House. She knows she has to live there, so she quickly accepts the position. Yet strange things start happening that she cannot explain. The most pressing of issues is the extremely erotic dreams she has with a mystery visitor each night. She quickly gets led down a path that blurs the line between fiction and reality and knows that she will never be the same.

Callie was quite a frustrating narrator, or at least rather unrealistic and quite naive. I mean the woman studies the paranormal and is a successful author of an academic novel on folklore and the like. Yet, somehow she never once had considered that there could be at least some fact basis for all the stories. So, it takes her a very long time to open her eyes to the idea that the stranger in her dreams could actually be real despite plenty of evidence that he is. In fact there were so many clues to things not being entirely what they seem in Fairwick that I was surprised that she could be so oblivious to it all. Then when she finally opens her eyes, she is rather blaze about it. So like I said, quite frustrating.

So the ending. Yeah, it was horrible. For the entire book I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, and then when some of my suspicions are confirmed, every hope I had for happiness is utterly destroyed. I'll be honest that I had thought this was a stand alone paranormal romance novel before reading it. So, the lack of a HEA was quite a shock. It is quite obvious now that this was merely the setup for a series, but in the end that still doesn't change my opinion of the ending. To avoid spoilers I'm just going to say that I feel a certain character was too harshly judged and punished for something that may or may not have even be true, or at least may never have come into play. It just seemed a little too easy to label this character as evil without taking everything into account. Perhaps I am just a sucker for the bad guy/gal. 

I have a feeling that a lot of the reasoning behind my dislike of The Demon Lover had to do with the excessive amount of narrative. I prefer my books to be heavy on dialog rather than narrative, or even a healthy mix. However, The Demon Lover was incredibly sparse on the dialog, with pages and pages of constant narrative that I found myself constantly skimming it. To be honest I am not sure I really missed anything by doing this as nothing really happens for the entire book. Well, right up until the very end that is, but I'll get into that in a minute. You would just think for such a long book there would have been more action or romance. Just something to keep the reader attached to the story.  That being said, I will still probably read the next book as I want to see if anything gets resolved with the character that I felt was unfairly treated. I do feel a little guilty rating this book the way I did because it really had potential, but in the end I just have to be honest with myself that it just didn't work for me. That being said, it may very well appeal to others and if the description intrigues you I'd recommend giving it a chance.

(Received a copy from Netgalley)


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