by Zoe Winters, fantasy (2011)
IncuBooks, $13.95, ISBN 978-0-9-8194363-3
Anna Worthington finally comes back to Golatha Falls when her father passed away and left her everything, including the rather creepy house on Cranberry Lane. The house is exactly the kind that you'd find featured prominently in a horror movie. Predictably, the house is haunted. But there's something else in the house aside from ghosts: our hero, Luc, and he's an incubus stuck in the house due to a curse.
This story isn't a typical sex-filled romp featuring randy alpha males and Buffy clones, though. Like the author's previous works, this one is... well, it's different. I'm sure you will agree with me that mainstream romantic urban fantasy stories tend to cheat a little, usually by having vegetarian vampires or werewolves or demons whose inhuman traits are rarely anything more than a dynamo-like plot device to let them shag the heroine for twenty hours straight without rest. Think about it. Edward Cullen only drinks blood from animals and nobody seems to know what Jacob Black eats when he's hungry.
Ms Winters, however, doesn't play that way. Therefore, with Luc being an incubus, he needs to feed during the sex act, and his feeding tends to kill his sex partner. Anna is not magically immune to his feeding habit, so this story sees Anna doing some... er, interesting things to keep Luc fed. Anna isn't a nice and noble heroine either - she's frequently self absorbed and selfish. These two characters are pretty flawed in their own right.
And yet, the relationship works well, mostly because Ms Winters doesn't try to force her characters to conform to typical romance character code of conduct. Instead, the romance flows along its own unorthodox currents, and there is a raw and honest "Yeah, we're both screwed up, that's why we're good together!" vibe to the romance that makes it work. There is some interesting mythology here too, although the length of the story prevents it from being better developed.
Save My Soul is different yet entertaining. If you want to get this one, however, adjust your expectations accordingly and keep an open mind for some unorthodox elements in this story, as it's definitely not an everyday kind of romance.
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