The path to paradise begins in Hell. ― Dante Alighieri
It’s difficult being a detective with the Paranormal Enforcement Agency when your only claim to anything even remotely magical is that your mother happens to be a Valkyrie, which means you happen to be half immortal. At least, it’s a bit of a thorn in the side of Detective Lars Thornsson, seeing as how being the son of one of Odin’s “choosers of the slain” didn’t gift him with any sort of special powers to aid him in his career; it just made him gorgeous and large, which, if you stop to think about it, could really come in handy in some instances; say, when you’re hunting a succubus who’s draining the souls out of men through their…well…their little soldiers.
Rael is a saucy and sexy little minx of a demon, one who defies labels, seeing as how he’s a succubus rather than an incubus. But, really, who cares about the label? It’s the suspect behind the latest rash of succubus murders that counts, and Rael happens to have found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, when Lars and his partner Rochelle show up at the scene of the latest soul-sucking (emphasis on the sucking part) crime only to find a dead body, and Rael doing what he does best.
Well, it doesn’t take long for Lars to discover that Rael’s a rather pacifistic demon—he’s a lover not a killer—and while he’s certainly capable of murder, he simply lacks the motive and the malevolence to commit such a crime. He’s just far too busy being adorable and irresistible to be a villain, but that’s not much of a character defense, and Rochelle remains not only unconvinced but unenthused, as well, by…yeah, pretty much everything. Honestly, if she weren’t one-hundred percent human, she’d make a very convincing demon herself. She pretty much rocks at the giving of hell.
So, what’s a sex demon to do when he needs to feed but is capable of sucking the very life out of a human? Well, luckily for him he finds a half-immortal Viking who can take everything Rael can dish out. And luckily for Lars, the demon he finds utterly mouth-watering is willing to be a one-man-demon for the right man. And, yes, Lars is absolutely the right man. They’re meant for each other like a starving demon at an all-you-can-eat buffet of sex, they are.
JL Merrow has written four stories, each set in a world of magic, a place of witches and their familiars, of demons and vampires and pseudo-genies who grant questionable Wishes, a place where nothing at all is alien as long as it has a green card. There are crimes to solve, crimes in which the suspects aren’t always the worst of the bad guys, really. In fact, some of them are downright loveable—if only to the good guys who find them so.
A Calling for Pleasure, A Blast from the Past, A Wish Too Far, and A Glutton for Punishment are brimming with mischief and mayhem, offering more than a few chuckles along, with some downright laugh-out-loud moments, too, courtesy of JL Merrow’s clever ways, and the wicked tongues that wag their way through these deliciously demonic tales.
If you love a paranormal story that doesn’t take itself at all seriously, if you’re looking for a little tongue planted firmly in the cheek take on demons and sex, and demon sex that burns hotter than hellfire, then I suggest you give Damned if You Do a good seeing to. It’s devilishly fun!
Reviewed by: Lisa