Pleasure Unbound ~ Larissa Ione

  • Title: Pleasure Unbound
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Series: Demonica #1
  • Genre: PNR, UF
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .


**Warning: I am giving my review an R-Rating. It is meant for adults. Considering the nature of the book, it is also clearly meant for adults.**

Review:  Take 2 scoops each of paranormal romance and erotica, a dollop of urban fantasy, a generous sprinkle of demons and a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and you get Pleasure Unbound. This is what I would call a bubble bath book; sexy, light and fluffy. It was a bit silly and ridiculous, but once I accepted that, I allowed myself to turn my brain off a bit and enjoy the humor, whether it was always intended or not.

The world-building was not too deep, but it was interesting. I really liked the concept that the demon world is the flip side of humanity, that demons are mostly evil with good exceptions versus there being evil exceptions to the basic goodness among humans. Plus, there were some kick-ass fighting scenes, which always make me happy.

**Spoiler Alert – detour to avoid spoiler content**

Another aspect of the book that I really appreciated was Tayla’s difficulty in reaching the Big-O. Romance authors are so gratuitous with their orgasms that we see the achievement of multiples during virgin deflowering scenes. HUH? I think we can all agree that while we’d love to see fireworks every time, but it is not just reality for most of us. I think this made Tayla much more relatable and Eidolon more endearing for his determination to get her there. Now, as for the lame insta-psychology healing of deep mental trauma, well, not quite as well-played.

Speaking of Eidolon, for a demon he was a bit of a Marty Stu. He heals everyone who comes into the hospital, even if they are the enemy (Hello, Tayla). He takes beatings on behalf of his ego-centric brother with a tortured soul. All he really wants is to find someone to love & raise a family. Aww, do they have picket fences in the underworld?

As for Tayla, she is hot mess of a demon slayer grappling with the discovery that *gasp* she is half-demon. Didn’t see that one coming (said with the barest hint of sarcasm). I was bit disappointed in the Buffy societies gullibility and lack of knowledge. They were portrayed as this elite order with a long history of demon slaying, and yet they knew very little about demons and were very easy to infiltrate. Hmm. Maybe they needed Giles.

**Spoiler detour – you are clear of spoilers beyond this point**

I personally prefer a book with more depth and plot, but I can definitely see the appeal in this book for its intended audience.

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Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend ~ Linda Wisdom

  • Title: Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend
  • Author: Linda Wisdom
  • Series: Demon’s #1
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer—that is, until she’s assigned to protect a teenager with major attitude and a sleazy boyfriend. A group of satanic Mayans priests has decided Courtney has a drop of divine blood in her—making her just the virgin sacrifice they need to release their God and rule the world.

To prevent this catastrophe, Maggie must team up with half fire demon Declan, the proprietor of Damnation Alley, an underground club and busy demon portal. Declan will be damned if he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some evil Mayans. So he decides to seduce the sexy witch in an effort to discover what the law enforcement agency knows about the Mayan’s plans, but then things get more than a little hot, and Declan finds himself seriously entangled with the sexiest woman he’s ever met…

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  Maggie O’Malley isn’t a typical petite blonde in skimpy club clothes. She’s a centuries old Witch and a part of the Hellion Guard. The Guard is a select police force for the supernatural community that lives amongst the uninformed average Dick & Jane. Maggie’s group followed a lead to capture a Bloater at Damnation Alley. Everything went as planned until the Bloater blew up and splattered icky goo all over Maggie and the club. First impressions matter! It’s a good thing Declan, the club owner, saw Maggie before the goo-tastic explosion because more than one kind of spark lite when Maggie and Declan meet for the first time. Add a mouthy, rebellious teenager, grumpy gnome boss, portents of world destruction and a mile high ice cream sundae to get a small but hilarious insight into Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend.

The story caught my grin with the first page! I was chuckling and laughing a lot as I read the novel. The characters are engaging, the plot moved along at a decent clip, and it was easy for me to imagine the world that Linda Wisdom created for the book.

It’s very cute. I suppose I should think Maggie is badass and Declan is swoon worthy but I see them as a cute couple who kind of fell into another Armageddon plot and kind of saved the world in passing. The story isn’t about being a great warrior or witch. It’s about Maggie’s family of friends, falling in love, and figuring out how to make that all work despite ingrain prejudices.

I love a steamy love scene. However, I think this story would have been better if the love scenes were more vague and leave it up to the reader’s imagination. Most of the time, I thought the scenes were corny or very awkward. The dream sequences were great! I enjoyed the creative flair and depth of a different kind of romance.

Initially, I wanted to rate this story 4 stars because I enjoyed reading it a lot. However, a few consistent points keep me from rating it higher. I don’t get a sense of why certain things work the way they do in the story. Maggie’s magic is very powerful and seems to have no drawback. The deal with the Mayans and the climax feels like a passing byplay that I can’t make myself care about too much. I should have been really engaged by the climax and I found myself not caring by the scene. I grinned when the God of Destruction ends up being a Goddess. I rolled my eyes at the events following her appearance.

Yay for Maggie starting a family of her own and finding love! I look forward to seeing what happens to the gang in the next book. I hope the world becomes more fleshed out and that the action of the story is as important as the characters living in it.