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Demon’s Embrace: Book one of the Redemption of the Fallen

By Scarlett J Rose

Published by: Far Horizons Publishing

This book kicks off with a dramatic concept. The end of the world is not just nigh, it has already happened. Armageddon, the battle between Heaven and Hell, has occurred and in the final stages both God and Lucifer vanished leaving their armies trapped on earth and entirely without purpose.

Enter our hero, Evie MacIntyre, whose job it is to find work for the dispossessed and bereft former denizens of the higher (and lower) realms in a world where demons walking the street is a every day occurrence. A series of ugly encounters with Marius, one of her clients, a demon who thinks humans like her are just playthings to be used and abused as he wills, sees Evie saved by Decimus – a demon who has slightly more honourable ideas about what he wants to do with Eve and who becomes our hot love interest.

What follows is a strange mix of erotica and urban fantasy which does not really seem to decide fully on what it wants to be. The development of Evie’s relationship with Decimus is definitely along the lines of an erotica with decidedly BDSM tones. His tastes, while more vanilla than Marius’s fantasies of Evie as a very Gor like slave, still carry the forceful and domineering traits that make such alpha male characters so popular in romance and he is certainly not averse to the use of bondage and blindfolds. Sex scenes are described in exquisite detail with no risk of fading to soft candlelight and there is no doubt that the author intends to arouse the reader with her writing.

However, overlaid on this is a good urban fantasy tale that explores the changes brought to the world by the presence of Angels and Demons. Such things as the existence of an agency that specifically works to integrate demons into human society being a rather neat example. The plot follows Marius’s attempts to claim Lucifer’s throne at the expense of the people of earth and Decimus and Evie’s attempts to stay under the radar as they carry out their love affair but of course ending up dragged straight into things. The supernatural elements are nicely underplayed – neither the demons nor the angels are woefully overpowered – and the changes wrought on earth seem appropriate to the events that have occurred. Overall a decent Urban Fantasy novella.

The main issue comes in the fact that the story seems torn between its two halves. Some UF fans may be put off by too much erotica and erotica fans may be alienated by not quite enough sex. Though, having said that, the style is very similar to other self published UF such as Dianna Hardy’s Witching Pen series (which has the angel as the BDSM dominant rather than a demon) so maybe there is more of an audience out there for this than I think. Still, for my personal preference, I would have liked to have seen more of the world building and plot development showcased and hope that this will be possible in future instalments.

Another, relatively minor issue comes in an aspect of the formatting. There is a tendency for some phrases in the text to be bolded and in a slightly larger font than the rest. I am guessing this is in order to provide emphasis and give tone, especially to dialogue, but in practise I am not sure it works and can in fact be distracting, especially when there are pages that are mostly dialogue. It is also not really necessary as the tone is quite well portrayed by other means. I suspect that this is a case where the writer needs to trust her audience to understand what she is saying.

Minor issues aside, I found this to be an entertaining read with some very interesting ideas which I look forward to seeing developed in future instalments of the series. Recommended if you like your demons kinkily dark and your angels a bit grubby.

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D.A Lascelles is the author of Lurking Miscellany, Transitions (Mundania Press) and Gods of the Sea (Pulp Empires). He lives in Manchester UK. You can sometimes see him writing about Zombie porn on https://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ but he mostly blogs about books, vampires, science fiction and Terry Pratchett. He is inordinately proud of the fact that one of his Pratchett articles was referenced on the French version of the author’s Wikipedia page.

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Twitter: @areteus

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