Title: Love Tokens
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 40 Pages
At a Glance: I quite enjoyed this short story revolving around an adorable little bloodthirsty demon with major possessive issues, and a romantic incubus with trust issues.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Chanda is the Lord of Honey Flower House, which caters to those who have a taste for the paranormal between the sheets. Being an incubus makes him all the better at the job, even if it also leaves him lonely.
Then a demon appears on his doorstep in search of a missing person, and Chanda is quickly reminded why he prefers the relatively quiet life as master of a pleasure house—but is also reminded of a bitter past he’s tried to leave behind and dreams he gave up on a long time ago.
Review: Let’s be real. When I sign up for a short story, I go in knowing there is only so much world that can be created, only so much character depth that can be formed, and only so many plot points that can take place. What I hope to find is something that somehow manages to find a good balance of the three. As far as I am concerned Ms. Derr did a pretty bang-up job. Could the characters have been a little more fleshed out? Of course. Did it really take away from my enjoyment of the story as it was? Not really. Love Tokens manages to pack quite a bit into the shorter length, and I was very much engrossed from beginning to the end. Somehow, in forty pages, she managed to create a fascinating little story revolving around two paranormal beings who aren’t quite what the stereotypes claim they should be.
Chanda, an Incubus, is lonely. Burned in his past to the point he has some pretty glaring trust issues, he still longs for something most people don’t think incubuses are capable of—romance and love. Totally misunderstood, so he runs his house of pleasure and sips on the residue of lust to keep himself fed. He is no pushover but also, he has a sort of gentleness about him.
Azar, a demon with a mission, enters the Honey Flower House hunting for something, and finds himself face-to-face with Chanda. Azar knows what he wants and makes no apologies for what he is and what he wants, and he goes after it fully, making no apologies for how he decides to pursue his desire. And he desires Chanda. All he needs is the perfect love token to prove to Chanda what he feels.
The story has sort of a dark quality, and frankly, Azar (the demon) is quite a bloodthirsty guy. I found myself smiling at their byplay. Despite the fact one of the MCs is an Incubus and owns, essentially, a brothel, don’t get fooled into thinking this is going to be all kinds of sexy times. There is an overall hot-steamy-sexy-tension between Chanda and Azar throughout the story, but not a lot of actual between-the-sheets action, which, okay, I admit I would have liked a little more of since their interactions had me sort of geared up for more. But, there is only so much page time, and the missing person needs to be found, and they follow that trail while they try to work out the mystery of the disappearance and figure out the obstacles of their relationship.
Do I wish the story was longer? I do. But that is nothing new. I find my preference generally seems to be in more lengthy books that have more time to develop and flesh out the characters, their personalities and backstories, and don’t feel as rushed. But life happens, and sometimes I just don’t have the time to set aside for a story that can be so time consuming. I still need my fix, though, so I need a good little read that manages to hook me so I can wind down and go to my happy place, even if it’s only for a little while. All-in-all, Love Tokens fit that need, and I found I quite enjoyed this quick little story revolving around an adorable little bloodthirsty demon with major possessive issues, and a romantic incubus with trust issues.
You can buy Love Tokens here: