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Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Alexine Coridan is lonely and unlucky in love. Vowing to live her life with no more regrets, she decides to have a onenight stand with the Nightfall Art Gallery’s reclusive owner, Ren Aloysius, but is he more than she is looking for? What forces will be unleashed when she sheds her inhibitions for a man who promises ecstasy with just one touch? Showcasing his darkest erotic artwork and needing to feed his sexdemon counterpart, Ren is intrigued by Alexine’s passion. After his demonic side decides to assert itself into their sexual interlude and claim her as his soul mate, he’s forced to let her walk out of his life. Fate returns Alexine to Ren’s side, but will her feelings for him be enough to tame his demon within?
Alexine is petty.
An admirer of fantastical artwork, Alexine visits a renowned gallery noted for displaying pieces by the anonymous artist of erotic demonic paintings at the bid of her employer/hardcore crush, James. The owner of the gallery, and coincidentally the man behind the anonymous paintings, Ren, takes an interest in her. Ren and Alexine spend the night together. Then something weird happens. Ren transforms mid-orgasm into something from a damn nightmare. But Alexine is, strangely, okay with this.
There is no pet peeve of mine that is a greater irritant than awkwardness, especially the “interrupting sex” kind. Ren’s mother, a succubus, by the way, shows up and challenges Alexine to be mated to Ren for life because Ren is half-sex demon and when a sex demon meets someone he can be himself with, a Femina Divine, mothers have to barge in on the lovemaking to threaten the female’s life, apparently.
There’s a lot of thoughts of “bitch this” and “bitch that.” Not only between Alexine and Delilah, Ren’s mother, but Pam, James’ fiancée, and Phaedra, Ren’s ex from hell. I don’t know why these women can’t be civilized to each other, but it might have something to do with the fact that they keep referring to the other, verbally and mentally, as a bitch. I find it incredibly childish for grown ass women to be slinging that word around like school girls. Endrant.
I didn’t expect much from this book. It was free, for one. For another, it’s erotica. There ain’t a lot of gems in this genre. But it did have variety, in a manner of speaking. Alexine’s best albeit absentee friend is Latina; Ren’s business lackey, gallery manager and accountant, David, has major hots for his boss; Ren himself is either a closeted homosexual or a greedy pan/bi/omnisexual; and there’s exploration in a demon realm. More than what I usually get out of an erotica, so for that Corrales gets props.
For the characters, not so much. Her males were spot-on great characters: the divided half-demon (Ren), the unaware object of desire (James), the creepy, self-sufficient demon (Sindriel—my favorite), the abandoned erstwhile lover (David). Not the most stellar cast of people, but individual through and through.
As for the females… Alexine has the thoughts of a child or better yet a teenaged little girl. She is petty, cowardly (for the first half) and only clever because the book calls for it. She makes up for her pettiness with loyalty, however. Loyalty to James, even to the end when she lets go of him but still wishes the best for him and his (admittedly a bitch) fiancée. Loyalty to Ren to accept his inner demon, Vain Glory. And loyalty to Vain Glory, who initially wants to fuck her to death. Even loyalty to David, who is cast aside by Ren when Alexine arrives on the scene. She goes through a whole hell of a lot for that man, and that’s admirable. At least she wasn’t petty enough to leave him battered and broken-spirited out of the picture.
Delilah, Ren’s mother, was flat. Miranda, Alexine’s twice-mentioned best friend, was flat. Pam, Alexine’s “rival” and James’ new fiancée, was flat. Phaedra, a freakin’ succubus, for cryin out loud!, was flat. Even Alexine’s sisters were flat—merely mentioned as a point of pity for Alexine, as they pretty much just call her a Debby Downer and do some major shit talkin behind her back about how she shouldn’t show her face at family gatherings anymore. That’s just sick. (And sad.)
Also, the writing was stagnant and abecedarian with little crystals of real writing, few and far between. I was unimpressed. However, Sindriel and the demon realm did give me some glimmers of hope that redeemed this story. The sex wasn’t even that amazing.