Title: Once a Demon
Author: Dina James
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 31st October 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: She made a wonderful effort to pronounce it, and asked if she could shorten it to simply ‘Kail’.
Katrina has decided that Kyle needs a good friend. With the help of her husband, she lures this reclusive vampire into their home. But, when she finds out more about his past, she has to question everything that she’d believed to be true.
Unlike many of the short stories found in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, the two leads in this story aren’t the love interests. Actually, there’s no romance whatsoever between them with Katrina being a very, very happily married woman and her counterpart in this tale being a fairly notorious recluse. I liked the departure from the expected. It was nice to have two different people who had found their soul mates connecting on a more platonic level and finding common ground in their stories.
I absolutely adored Katrina in this story. She was so obviously in control of all of the men in her life and it was her very naïve sweetness that allowed her to do this. A bit of a reminder that we can conquer all with our femininity, as well as with a sword (but that would be other stories which feature a sword). Having the men wrapped around her finger helped to draw out the other characters and almost offer a sense of healing that was previously missing. Something that I think is so important, and completely beautiful.
Using a demon / vampire hybrid was totally unexpected. But very much welcomed. I’m actually quite disappointed that this is just a standalone short story. I would have loved to explore both the powers of Lucifer’s son and the politics behind his fall. Because, although the fall was beautifully described in this short story, I feel like there could be so much more going on behind the scenes… maybe I’ll just have to make it all up in my own mind’s eye.