A Calling for Pleasure
Author: JL Merrow
Title: A Calling for Pleasure
Series: Damned If You Do 1
Pairing: M/M, M/F, Bi
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
If you summon this demon, he’s guaranteed to come!
With a killer succubus leaving a trail of desiccated corpses, Detective Lars Thornsson of the Paranormal Enforcement Agency knows he shouldn’t be falling for a suspect. But a hot little piece of demon tail like Rael is impossible to resist. Slender, snake-hipped, and dark skinned, he swears he’s innocent—of murder, at least.
Rael is delighted when a summoning brings him up to Earth, filled as it is with hot guys walking around like an all-you-can- eat buffet. He’s not so happy about the mean old detectives interrupting him halfway through his dinner—but he changes his mind after getting an eyeful of Lars’s muscular, Nordic charms.
Now Rael has a vested interest in keeping Lars safe from the real killer, even if that means putting himself into the killer’s path.
This story was short and sweet, so sweet I think I might have gotten a cavity. When Rael, a rare male succubus, is accidentally summoned to the mortal world he takes advantage by going out on the town to find some fun. The only problem with that plan is that another succubus is already out playing and she's been killing her victims. The supernatural police are on the hunt for a succubus and they find Rael first. That's pretty much the extent of the plot.
Overall, it was definitely well written. I enjoyed the police hunt even if it ended far too quickly. The world Merrow created was explained too briefly, yet it was very well developed. Magical creatures and humans live together knowingly sharing the same world. At the same time, there are other worlds such as Hell where the demons come from. I wasn't entirely certain how all the magical creatures fit together and whether all cops are supernatural ones or if Lars is part of a special division. Basically, I really want to know more about this world. The tiny window Merrow provided in this short story was only enough to whet my appetite.
I found the romance itself disappointing. There wasn't enough time for any real feelings to develop between Rael and Lars beyond the lust any succubus inspires. Merrow compensates for that by having both characters come to the realization that they were practically made for each other, but it was a hard sell for me. It was inevitable that they would fall into bed, but while the sex was well written I didn't enjoy the characterizations that accompanied it. Suddenly tough cop Lars is a teddy bear and succubus Rael can't control his sexual urges. There just wasn't enough build up to the scene for me to believe it was true love and that both men were changed for the better because of it.
Overall I did enjoy this really short story. The world Merrow created was interesting and her characters engaging, but the story was too short to fully develop any of it. The romance in particular needed more time to grow in order to feel believable. I would recommend this story with the caveat that readers keep in mind the limitations inherent in a story this short.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.