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.My Thoughts: Before I start, I'm going to say that I ended up really, really liking this book. That said, I had the hardest time sticking with it and getting it read. I think a lot of it was because I hit a point in the book where the ending that I wanted looked like it wasn't going to happen. I know my odd little disconnect had nothing to do with the writing. Honestly, the writing is downright gorgeous and so incredibly evocative that is captured me. In fact, the author brings her setting to life beautifully. The landscape, the town, the college, Callie's house - they all feel like something straight out of a sweeping Gothic novel. There's enough brooding scenery to make you shiver.
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.
My problem was that I wanted the incubus to have a happy ending. I wanted him to find a measure of peace and early on in the book it didn't look like there was any way that was going to happen. Come to think of it, up until Callie found out the town's secrets things were moving a little on the slow side. Once she became part of the secret, things began to look up. But, I still wanted that poor soul-sucking incubus to end up happy.
As you can probably figure out, I stuck with the book despite my fears. And, boy, am I glad I did. Once Callie begins to dive into the different aspects of what makes Fairwick so extraordinary, the book flew by. The mysteries that Callie works on untangling with the school, her students, and her fellow teachers weren't too terribly hard to figure out (and please remember that I'm the person who you'd never want to be in charge of your murder investigation because I'm terrible at following clues) but they were engaging and helped move the plot along nicely.
There's a lot of setup for things to come. A lot. This is one book that I'd be upset to not get a sequel to because while the ending was satisfactory in one regard, it didn't give me even close to all the things I wanted in another. In other words, I want more.
More books by Juliet Dark
Reading challenges: Ebook Challenge
The Demon Lover was provided for review by Random House through NetGalley.