Tag Archives: Demons

The Demon’s Secret by Nathalie Gray

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: The Demon’s Secret
Author: Nathalie Gray
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 30th March 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Without bothering to warm up the car, he just drove it to his temporary home at the foot of the Jacques-Cartier bridge.

Synopsis

Cain is in service to a demon, but there is some hope on the horizon… if he’s only brave enough to take his chance on love.

Thoughts

From the very beginning of this story, I thought that it was that Cain. And even though I did guess this, I was still quite pleasantly surprised. After all, it’s one thing to suspect, and another to have your suspicions confirmed in the best way. Adding to that the fact that it was in such a wonderfully surprising manner, with a fantabulous twist.

This is a pretty action packed short story from the very beginning – it involves two demon bounty hunters who are collecting secrets racing against the clock. The fact that there is an extra layer of enjoyment and lust just settles you completely into the tale. And yet, even with this bit of extra lust, it doesn’t quite feel like a… lustful and sexual story. Rather, it’s all kind of sweet.

I’d probably reread this short story. It was a genuinely fun and easy read. One that swept you away, without making you forget about the realities of the world. The perfect balance for ease of access and enjoyment. And, all in all, an incredibly sweet ending.

<- Spirit of the PrairieMarine Biology ->

Image source: Amazon

To Hell With Love by Jackie Kessler

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: To Hell With Love
Author: Jackie Kessler
Series: Hell on Earth #3.8
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 7th February 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Walk only where I walk.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Sometimes love is everything you could ever want. Sometimes it’s just a real kick in the teeth.

Thoughts

I really liked the world building in this story. It featured twins that weren’t really twins, a demon, and a long-lost love. There is nothing I love better than a story that has this much power and just plain, downright awesomeness. It drew me in from the beginning and even a few days after reading it and sitting down to (finally) write this review…. I’m still enjoying the storyline.

Relationships are built upon memories. I love that this story is all about those memories. Those key moments that we all have and that each of us remember differently. I love that sin an attempt to reconnect with a lost love, it’s a memory that is shared. The fact that this memory box sends a demon twin into a hell dimension and all sorts of horribleness… well, it just wouldn’t be a good story without such a spanner in the works.

This was an incredibly quick and easy story to read. It swept me away and took me on a fun little adventure. One that I completely wasn’t expecting but enjoyed regardless. I love the idea of demon twins and having to protect demons. Hell dimensions and loves lost or regained. It was just… fun and a great set up in a relatively few number of pages.

<- The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2Princes of Dominion ->

Image source: Amazon

The Demon in the Dunes by Chris Grabenstein

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: The Demon in the Dunes
Author: Chris Grabenstein
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 22nd November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: I held up two warm beer cans.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

He’s reminiscing about the demon in the dunes and the summer of 1975. Will he finally be able to figure out what the demon was warning against all those years ago?

Thoughts

This is the prefect story to discourage idiots from smoking. I mean, the whole thing is just completely creepy and uncomfortable. And then, when you get to the twist at the end and the consequences are realised. Well, it becomes just that much more powerful and intense.

The Demon in the Dunes is a fun short story that uses the past and foreshadowing in a perfect way. It makes you want to race to the end to find out what the demon was doing there, even if that will ruin everything. I love stories that use foreshadowing well, it gives an extra sense of suspense to a story line that would not necessarily have it otherwise.

The Demon in the Dunes was a great short story that pulled me in from the very beginning. In fact, I kind of walked into a doorway while I was reading, I got that wrapped up in the book. Which is not always a bad thing…

<- The Heart is Always RightHome from America ->

Image source: Amazon

The Perils of Effrijim by Katie MacAlister

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: The Perils of Effrijim
Author: Katie MacAlister
Series: Aisling Grey #4.5
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 13th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: I’m a sixth-class demon.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Effrijim just wants to spend his ten day vacation with the love of his life. But things don’t quite go as planned when a She-Bitch gets involved.

Thoughts

The first comment in my notes was “Poor Effrijim”. After all, this story is just one calamity after another. Just a whole series of problems that stop him from having a relaxing vacation and leave him feeling frustrated and ready to scream. It’s just not the optimal vacation and left me feeling seriously bad for Effrijim, even as I laughed and laughed at all of the bad that befell him.

Titania and Oberon made a great cameo appearance in this story. They’re altered story line was fun and entertaining. I also loved how militant and kick ass Titania was. After all, she is completely unorthodox and has been wronged. I also love how she decides to keep Oberon in line from now on…

Jim’s torture is what dreams are made of. It was the kind of torture and storyline that had me laughing happily throughout the entire story. I finished this with a huge grin on my face and a desire to just read more.

<- Seeing is BelievingThin Walls ->

Image source: Amazon

The Devil’s Jack by Laura Anne Gilman

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: The Devil’s Jack
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal fantasy, Weird western
Dates read: 12th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: “But you waited.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Jack knew better. But he still made a deal with the devil. And now he’s Devil’s Jack, running errands for seven and seven and seven again.

Thoughts

A deal with the devil is never a good idea. But it is a really fun thing to read about. I mean, a deal with the devil is guaranteed to be an interesting beginning to a story. And a great driver for morally grey characters. After all, if they’re doing evil things, then it’s because the devil asked them to and it isn’t because they are evil themselves…

I love how although this is a story about a man who has sold his soul to the devil, it’s primarily about him outsmarting the devil. And the fact that both he and the devil know that even if he’s momentarily outsmarted the devil, it’s just a moment. A quiet little rebellion that ultimately does nothing for Jack.

This was a really fun and humorous short story. I absolutely adored it and had a huge smile on my face the whole time that I was reading it. It was funny and cute. Full of clever, witty moments and just a seriously enjoyable read.

<- What I Assume You Shall AssumeThe Golden Age ->

Image source: Amazon

The Last Master of Aeronautical Winters by Larry D. Sweazy

Overview
Image result for westward weird book cover

Title: The Last Master of Aeronautical Winters
Author: Larry D. Sweazy
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Weird western, Westerns
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: It was like they were real, burrowing into my own eyes with anger and resentment or maybe doubt of my fortitude.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

They’ve been friends and companions for years. But it isn’t until his secret identity gets out that their friendship is truly tested in this fun little Weird Western story.

Thoughts

This is a fun little short story which features an illegitimate heir and cowboys. Demon hunting and secrets. It’s an interesting mix that features your ideas of a western cowboy. But also partners that with ideas of the monarchy, which kind of took me a little bit by surprise. A good read and one that I would probably pick up again.

I really liked the idea of cowboys going demon hunting on the mean streets. That the gunslingers are the ones who are bringing down creatures from hell. It made for a fun little diversion and journey that I really wasn’t expecting and thoroughly enjoyed.

I seriously enjoyed this story. It may not be one of those that is crazy, rich with detail and intense. But it was most definitely an enjoyable journey. One that I look forward to embarking on again in the future.

<- The Temptation of Eustace Prudence McAllenLowstone ->

Image source: Amazon

The Temptation of Eustace Prudence McAllen by Jay Lake

Overview
Image result for westward weird book cover

Title: The Temptation of Eustace Prudence McAllen
Author: Jay Lake
In: Westward Weird (Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Weird western, Westerns
Dates read: 16th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Daw Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: His shout smoked the air blue and called dark clouds into swirling overhead.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Eustace Prudence McAllen is being blamed for the fires being set in his town. So he goes on a ride to find out what is starting the fires in Hell’s Kitchen….

Thoughts

I really liked the way that this story was told more in the traditional oral style. It was like a conversation with the narrator. Even including some not-so-veiled insults throughout for interrupting the flow of narration. It was really quite clever, and whilst not out and out hilarious, it was quite entertaining. And left me smiling throughout.

This story combines fires, the devil and cattle. Cattle rustling and cattle farming. It had all the elements of what I picture when I think Western… but included with that is also Lucifer and the problems that a conversation with The Devil come with. Actually, throughout this whole story, all I could think about was stories of deals at crossroads and the song The Devil Went Down to Georgia. There was just this great, hauntingly familiar feel to the story line. One that felt a little like coming home.

This wasn’t a hilarious short story. But it was an entertaining and slightly funny one. Mostly through the voice of the narrator – the narrator added an extra sense of flair and humour to the story line that I really wasn’t expecting. And honestly, I just really enjoyed this unique take on a Western story.

<- Westward WeirdThe Last Master of Aeronautical Winters ->

Image source: Amazon

Red Phoenix by Kylie Chan

Overview
Image result for book cover red phoenix

Title: Red Phoenix
Author: Kylie Chan
Series: Dark Heavens Trilogy #2, Dark Heavens #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Chinese mythology, Demons, Gods
Dates read: 3rd – 9th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Voyager
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: We moved the Wudang Academy from the Mountain to here in Hong Kong.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

IMMORTALS, MARTIAL ARTS, GODS AND DEMONS

The intrigue deepens as the demon threat closes around mortals and gods alike…

When Emma Donahoe took the position of nanny to John Chen’s daughter Simone, she never expected to be caring for the child of a Chinese god, and she didn’t expect that demons would want him dead. Nor has moving from nanny to partner in his heavenly realm made Emma’s life any easier.

Now a powerful race of demons has been created to hunt her and her family from Hong Kong to Europe. And she and Simone have become targets – pawns to be used in a deadly celestial power play.

Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I read this. And now I’m remembering why Dark Heavens is one of my all time favourite series. I think that come the new year (since my TBR starts again at the turn of the year) this will be the first series I sink my teeth into. There is just an amazing style, writing and storyline to this story. It is intense, fast-paced and filled with a great sense of humour. Which, since Chan is an Australian author, it’s the kind of humour that I love and recognise.

I picked this up in the week that I was not only feeling a little sad, but I was also feeling really, really sick. Normally I read a booka  day, plus get all of my work and housework sorted. Yet, I’ve barely been able to pick up a book. So sinking myself into the world of Emma, John, Simone and their incredibly off-centre family was the perfect anecdote for my horrible week. There’s nothing like a well-loved story to help pick you up.

I knew it from White Tiger, but Red Phoenix highlights how truly insane Emma is. I’m all for doing anything in the name of love… but what she does and gives up in the name of her love… I actually can’t fathom that. Which of course, makes this a brilliant book because it takes me to places that I would never willingly go myself (even though it’s actually not possible… but you get my drift). I also love that she is so loyal. Everything she does is in honour of the people she treasures. That part I can actually completely understand.

This is the book in which Michael first joins the family. He’s such a great addition to the storyline, and, if memory serves me (it’s been a long time since I’ve read the books), he becomes a really powerful character within the storyline. The web of family, relations and loyalties is getting more and more complex, and this is exactly why I love this series so much. The connections between the modern world and the mythical. And the relationships between father and son, father and daughter, so on and so forth.

 <- White Tiger ReviewBlue Dragon Review ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Wick’s End by Joanna Parypinski

Overview
Image result for book cover haunted nights ellen datlow

Title: Wick’s End
Author: Joanna Parypinski
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Horror, Tricksters
Dates read: 17th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Blumhouse
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: His soul was turned away from the light, and turned away, of course, from that seething pit of terror known as hell, as the devil kept his promise.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

A trade-off of horror stories late on All Hallows Eve. Each one scarier than the last. Each with their own, hidden message.

Thoughts

There is something that is just so… recognisable about telling ghost stories. It doesn’t matter what age or setting, telling tales that are sure to freak out your friends, peers and family is just… well, fun. Which of course meant that there had to be an exchange of ghost stories in a collection of Halloween tales. The fact that it’s an exchange of steadily creepier stories in a bar in the middle of nowhere… well, that had me grinning and clapping my hands like a little ninny.

This is a bit of a trickster tale. After all, the trickster is constantly outwitting and outmanoeuvring his enemies. And often times they are far more powerful than him. Which is what the man in this tale does… but with the devil. And yet, you know, since it’s the devil… that there will be some form of comeuppance at the end. The devil really doesn’t like to be bested, so he’s going to find a way to get his revenge… which creates an amazing cat and mouse story that I’m really disappointed ended so quickly. I mean, I would have loved to continue the cat and mouse game a little longer!

I’ve never understood what is so “cool” about Jack O’Lanterns. Or however you spell it… they’ve always seemed creepy. And I’ve watched rom coms which feature their carving as some romantic moment… ummmm. No thank you! This is a bit of a Jack O’Lantern origins story. One which far better suits my freaked out opinion on them than anything else I’ve read or seen in a long time… they are not cute and cuddly!

 <- A Small Taste of the Old Country ReviewThe Seventeen-Year Itch Review ->

Image source: Amazon

Once a Demon by Dina James

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

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
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She made a wonderful effort to pronounce it, and asked if she could shorten it to simply ‘Kail’.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

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.

Thoughts

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.

 <- Grace of Small Magics ReviewNight Vision Review ->
Image source: Goodreads