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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gentlemen Prefer Succubi (Succubus Diaries #1) by Jill Myles

Were it not for the offer of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi for a blog tour, I'm not sure I'd have read this book. The cover and the title combined make you think this is a lighthearted romance, and this book is not a lighthearted romance. It's an urban fantasy with worldbuilding that is really well done. The author has drawn from biblical and Egyptian histories and myths (oh, and a bit of apocrypha) to create a world that makes sense, so you can see that this is a (fantasy) reality that could be believable based on the mythologies that are out there.

The basics to this world include angels, fallen angels, vampires (fallen angels who have made a deal with the devil, sort of), and demons (though we haven't met any demons yet, that appears to come in book two). And amongst the immortal (well, sort of immortal) we have succubi. I say sort of immortal because a succubi is created, and if her creators die, then she dies. Or, if she refuses to "feed" (have sex on a very regular basis), then she can die. Other than that? Stuff can hurt her, but apparently can't kill her.

That feeding thing? What happens when a human who is a prude gets turned into a succubus who has to have a whole lot of sex? Well, that's pretty much what happens here. Which means our main character, Jackie, doesn't jump into bed with everyone right off the bat. It also means when she does jump into bed with someone, she feels bad about it. But, once she starts getting the hang of things, she stops beating herself up over it. Jackie is nothing like Anita Blake. Nothing at all. And I know that's what people will think when they hear "has to have sex or she dies", and I suppose there was that danger there, but the author has successfully sidestepped the danger, and this storyline and character steer a good ways away from the the other one.

Which brings me to a discussion of how the sex is handled... and that is, quite well. Some of the sex scenes are glossed over, but others give us a very descriptive play by play that is smokin'. But, the book is not mostly about sex. I didn't do a page count, but I'd guess the sex takes up maybe 10% or less of the book. The book is mainly about a woman who is turned into a succubus without knowing it, and then who is used as a pawn by the angels and vampires. She has a fallen angel and another succubus in her corner, but she's still mostly in a pretty tight spot while she's trying to figure out the "rules" to her new body and her new life.

So don't let the cover and the title fool you: This is not a lighthearted romance. There is some romance in the book, but the parts of the book that reeled me in were the worldbuilding and the plot.

Gentlemen Prefer Succubi has great dialogue, a nice plot with appropriate twists and turns, good sex, solid worldbuilding, and perfect pacing. I give it a 10 of 10.

Book Rating: Gentlemen Prefer Succubi: 10 of 10

The minute I finished Gentlemen Prefer Succubi I went onto Amazon's site and ordered Succubi like it Hot. I can't wait for it to arrive. The author's blog says she's still working on book three, which means it's going to be a while before we see the third book.

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