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.(synopsis from Goodreads)
Juliet Dark is a pseudonym for Carol Goodman. Goodman writes historical gothic fiction and literary mysteries. This is her first romantic paranormal fantasy and she succeeds beautifully. The imaginary she creates is vivid and her attention to detail has you immediately loving the small college town of Fairwick in upstate New York and the characters residing there. “The Demon Lover” is the type of book you want to savior, like that perfect cup of coffee on a cold fall morning. This book immediately made me think of “A Discovery of Witches” with its gothic, myth and folklore imagery. I found this aspect of the story as intriguing as the suspenseful mystery.
Dr. Cailleach (Callie) McFay is our young protagonist; she has recently graduated from college and published a book entitled “The Sex Lives of the Demon Lovers”. Callie arrives at Fairwick College to interview for a position teaching folklore at the campus. She isn’t sure about taking the job; her dream is to be in New York, but while visiting there, she comes across an old Victorian home called Honeysuckle House and learns it’s for sale. It was originally owned by historical romance writer Dahila LaMotte. The realtor informs her that all of LaMotte’s notes, journals and unpublished books come with the house, but that these books can never leave the home. Callie sees this as an opportunity for a new book. Callie accepts the teaching position and moves into Honeysuckle House. Every night she is visited by a man of shadow and moonlight, who seduces her and leaves her aching and satisfied in the morning. As Callie reads LaMotte’s journals and explores the college town she begins to realize there is a lot more going on here. Callie is a strong educated character and you can’t help but like her. She battles with her brain, and looks for solutions head on. She is flawed, but tries to do the right thing.
I would love to share so many details about the book, but do not want to spoil the story for you. For those of you who love to read, you will get a kick out of the references to authors, such as, Charlaine Harris. Dark made me laugh out loud with these references and some off handed comments to those who scorn paranormal /urban fantasy literature.
I know some of you will detest the ending, but although I can find no reference to it, this book has ended in such a way that I feel another book will be coming. This reader certainly hopes so.Release date December 27, 2011.
…. A special thank you to netGalley and Ballantine Books for this ARC.
I give this book 4 coffee cups out of 5.
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