Apr 17 2015

A Review of Tethered by Pippa Jay

Tethered by Pippa Jay

Tethered by Pippa Jay

What is the place of Succubi and Incubi in science fiction? That is something that I have thought about in the past and i came to the conclusion that they could very well have their own world and yet still exist within the galaxy as a whole.

The question of the society, of who and what they are is a more open one and it allows for the Succubi and Incubi to be transformed. But at their core there are some things that they need to have. They need to know passion, they need to see worth in themselves, and in the end they need to believe in themselves.

That’s a story that I find fascinating.

The story tells of:

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.
For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.
Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

Tyree is very good at her role in life. She is one of the Inc-Su, a race of beings that are very much like the legendary Succubi and Incubi. Tyree’s role is that of an assassin, but when she is told she must take the place of one of her clone sisters to save the universe, things begin to unravel for her. She questions her motives, her past and what she knows about herself. She also discovers something that her kind have not been allowed. The capacity to love and to be loved. And what that new emotion will teach her.

Tyree is a very complicated character from the first moment she appears in the story. She’s a bit headstrong, her will and abilities are just as powerful and as a female lead character she is well suited to the role of a force in her own right. But there is a part of her that her own society had no use for and has tried to, for lack of a better explanation, burn out of her and her kind. There’s no place for love and compassion in the world of the Inc-Su even though their trade is through sex and with that comes some of the abilities of the legendary Succubi and Incubi.

Tyree has no horns or tail, she does not look like the Succubus of legend physically. But she has several powers that are Succubus-like such as being able to turn into mist and pass through walls or other items. She also can use a bit of mind control over others, and she, like the legend, can kill others through sex with them. With that there is also a need to feed on sexual energy to live which is also somewhat Succubus like. But with all of that there is a certain amount of coldness in Tyree that takes away from her a bit. As the story is told that changes, and the changes are exactly right, but somehow I felt like beings for who sex and sensuality is such a part of who they are I would have thought there would be more… soul… in their society and in themselves.

When she meets Zander, she begins to lean that there is a part of her she has buried deeply because of what her society forced her to do. She finds her thinking changing, turning towards Zander and as that happens there is a change not so much in who Tyree is, but rather what she wants. It is that growth in her character, the shift from cold and calculating towards making a connection, being wanted and wanting in return that I really did enjoy. Tyree at the beginning was nothing in comparison to Tyree at the end of the work and it is a change that does not come like the turning of a switch. It happens over time, slowly and in a way that is amazing to watch.

Zander is as headstrong as Tyree, perhaps a bit more so, at least he is single minded for most of the work. Again there is a shift from he mourning his lost wife and having to deal with Tyree being there and looking exactly like his wife. The shift in his thinking is a bit more hidden, not perhaps as bluntly told as the story is see mainly from Tyree’s viewpoint and that’s a bit of a shame as I would have liked to see when the shift in going from “just being” to “living” happens.

The story is well told, the universe is richly detailed and the work holds onto the reader and keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next. There is a touch of erotica in the work which does not detract from the story. The moment isn’t wrong for when it appears and I enjoyed the way the connection between Tyree and Zander is transformed through that moment and the moments that come before.

The writing is solid, there really wasn’t anything that took me out of the story. At the end I was left wanting to know what happens next between Zander and Tyree, what happens with the Inc-Su, and what the future holds for them all. The work as a whole tells a captivating story and I enjoyed that.

The one issue I had with the story was mainly in the Inc-Su society, the harshness of it. The punishments were severe, the threats that pushed Tyree to be who she became from where her life as an assassin began were very hard to read and they, at least for me, took some of the joy out of the story. I do understand that it needed to be the way it was for the sake of character growth and to get the characters to progress. But I felt that it might not have been necessary to tell considering where the rest of the story went.

I’ll give this work four pitchforks out of five.

A unique version of the Succubi and Incubi that I found riveting, well considered, and with that came a history that told much about them. I wish the race as a whole were more passionate, more in tune with themselves more than anything else and that hardship didn’t quite work well for me. In the end, Tyree’s passage from who she was to who she becomes makes up for much of that and I do hope there is more to be told in this universe about the Inc-Su.

I don’t believe their story is finished yet.

 

Tera

Apr 16 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 378

I find it very hard to like Succubi with demon. or demon-like wings. They just don’t work for me very much for a lot of reasons that have to do with my own ideas about Succubi. Sometimes however, an artist does something a little different with them and it makes their Succubus art… different. More alluring. More… interesting. I like interesting.

Succubus by きっしー

Succubus by きっしー

I found this art on Pixiv, and you can see the original page with this art here.

As a whole, I love the look this Succubus has. Her hair is amazing, the stockings and shoes just look exactly right on her as well. An interesting pair of horns, and her tail is, of course, a devilish thing on its own. I’m not so sure about the red in her eyes… Green or blue might have looked better, at least might have stood out more than they do here.

But what’s really interesting to me are her wings.

For one thing, they are not torn or damaged, or look poor when compared to the rest of her body. There’s a beauty in them, just as much as she is herself and that’s something that really isn’t done often with wings like these. Usually they are an afterthought, more or less, which really they shouldn’t be.

She seems like she would have a very strong character and personality and that I think can be seen in her eyes and expression here.

A lovely, sensual, powerful member of the Succubi…

And that’s always good to see…

 

Tera

Apr 15 2015

This must be a definition of a sexy Devil costume I wasn’t aware of…

Sexy Devil CostumeJust what exactly makes a costume sexy? While that is, of course, in the eyes of the beholder, a more important question to ask is… Why is it that costume manufacturers cannot seem to take a basic idea… and make something of it?

Perhaps I will admit, my expectations and tastes are more than they can ever manage. For, just this once, let’s consider a costume that isn’t really too sexy, but might fit the bill for a more… mainstream… party…

This is called the Sexy Devil Costume and it comes with the red and black mini dress which has a tail attached to it, the sleeves and a red soft horned headband.

The shoes, the pitchfork, and the fishnet pantyhose are not included.

It sells for $35 US on several sites I found this for sale on, but with shoes and stockings, this would run up to $65 US.

Ordinarily, I would dismiss this out of hand, but thinking this over a little bit, as a “fun” thing to wear to a party it’s really not that awful. At least, if nothing else. there is a certain kind of kitsch to it that is, at least, a little attractive.

The shoes don’t match however, the pitchfork is the lousy one that I dislike to no end as well. As a whole both of them just take away a lot of the kitsch and make it more blah than anything else.

Still… Really it isn’t all that bad all of the other costumes I have reviewed of late considered as a whole. That doesn’t say a lot for it… But it’s something. Would I buy this? Maybe as something to wear at the door when I give out treats… or tricks… Depending on my mood…

I’ll give this two and a half out of five pitchforks.

At least there is kitsch.

 

Tera

Apr 14 2015

A Review of The Initiation Of The Incubus by VZ Fauchard

The Initiation Of The Incubus by VZ Fauchard

The Initiation Of The Incubus by VZ Fauchard

It seems like there are many authors who are publishing works with either Succubi or Incubi, or both, as characters in their stories. While that’s a good thing where I have continuing problems is when the story seems to indicate that there should be another story to come, but it never does.

It’s more so when the story tells of what might be called a society of Incubi and Succubi, tells of some of their members, talks about their customs and actions but then just sets all of that aside. That’s a shame because after all of the build up, walking away from that part of the story seems to be a waste to me.

The story is about:

For as long as she can remember, Jase was like a big brother to Courtney, always looking out for her. When he vanishes without a trace for six months, she know something has to be terribly wrong. When he finally resurfaces, she can hardly believe what he tells her: he’s been turned into an incubus, a demon that feeds on sexuality. But the shock of that is nothing compared to what he has to do to complete his initiation into their ranks…

Jase vanishes one night and Courtney is devastated. When he suddenly reappears, that seems to be a good thing. When he explains that he is an incubus, and that both they are succubi are real, that’s a bit worrisome. But when Jase asks Courtney for something she never expected… Then things turn a corner that she didn’t expect.

The one thing that hooked me in this work wasn’t the erotica by far. What did catch me was the characters, especially Courtney who was just amazingly well described and had a strong presence in the work. The story of the succubi and incubi in this world, how Jase gets involved, what he has to do also made for some interesting reading but also some really funny moments that I think worked exceptionally well.

Jase is not exactly an incubus, though he claims to be in the story. He seems to be a bit of a mix between an incubus and a vampire, but the latter aspects are very fleeting thankfully. He has horns, if barely, can make himself invisible and has some rather vampiric powers beside. But he isn’t stereotypical in his actions and most importantly the work doesn’t end poorly with him causing Courtney’s death. Overall I liked his character and what he offers to the story, but with some small reservations.

There’s a bit of an attitude about him that creeps into the story, one that considering what each of the main characters reveals to one another doesn’t quite sit well. There is the occasional comment he makes that didn’t fit in the moment and took me out of the story for a time trying to figure out if he was serious, joking, or if the words weren’t really supposed to be there.

The erotica itself is a hot flash, but there’s more than enough buildup and story to make it worthwhile even if it is a somewhat taboo subject considering their relationship. It does have some silly moments and surprises which I think worked well and held the tone of what happened from becoming uncomfortable.

The one thing that does bother me is that there is so much time spent on constructing this universe, setting up the whys and hows of Jase’s transformation. There seems to be a society of incubi and succubi with their own rules and so on which have a central role in the story’s erotica, but they are fleeting. After the climax of the work is past, Courtney makes a comment which seems to lead towards there being a follow-on story, but there isn’t one.

It’s disappointing because there’s a really good story to be told and it would have been nice to see where it did turn to. One of the most obvious ones is whether Courtney becomes one of the succubi or not and that’s a point which is dangled out to the reader but nothing comes of it, even if she does.

A strong story, very good characters with a lot of history to be told. It would have been nice for the work to continue to a satisfying conclusion, but it really didn’t which is the bigger shame here.

I’ll give this work three and a half out of five pitchforks.

I liked the concept of the succubi and incubi, though I could have done without the blood and gore aspects. There’s a lot of very good universe building and ideas that I would like to see developed more, but were not. More is the shame that with the obvious open paths for the story to take, that never happened, at least to the time of this review and it really should have for all of the promise that seemed to be here.

 

Tera

Apr 14 2015

A Review of Masquerade on Poker Night by Victoria Pond

Masquerade on Poker Night by Victoria Pond

Masquerade on Poker Night by Victoria Pond

One of the things that I do enjoy in stories about Succubi is when they can be the hero of the story. It’s more wonderful when the Succubus of the story is intelligent, has a strong will, and does the right thing for the right reason.

The thing about being a hero is, when you think about it, you act because it is the right thing to do. You don’t consider who is in trouble you don’t worry about what they need help for. You simply help if you can, comfort if possible and… occasionally…

You might find someone to love.

  • Title: Masquerade on Poker Night
  • Author: Victoria Pond
  • Length: 21 Pages
  • ASIN: B00MGBXWSS
  • Publishing Date: August 5, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

Boys who like girls who like boys who dress like girls. In this erotic short story, a man on the run hides in a crowded café that happens to be run by a succubus. Oh, and he’s wearing a disguise.

Evan should never have cosigned for his brother’s loan. Now creepy loan shark thugs are after him. When he squeezes into a minidress and finds a busy café, he’s sure that he can hide. But the thugs still find him. Luckily, the café’s owner is a succubus who is more than capable of protecting this “damsel” in distress from a bunch of male goons.

Evan has a problem. The problem is that his brother asked him to help with a loan and now the people that want collect are looking to do so from him. Finding a wig, dress, and heels, he transforms himself into a waif of a woman and goes to hide at a small cafe. He then finds that a Succubus named Miriam and her sister Beth own the cafe… and for Evan and Beth, it’s the start of something unexpected and wonderful.

Evan is a fascinating character in many ways, not the least of which is his inherently kind and caring personality, how much he cares about others, and what he’s willing to do for them. He really stood out for me in the story in how he related to Miriam, how he was attracted to her, but most of all, the connection that comes between himself and Miriam that I think is one of the most wonderful passages that I have read in quite some time.

Miriam is a rather unique Succubus in some ways and thankfully she isn’t stereotypical or flat in how she expresses herself in the work. Whether she has wings, or a tail, isn’t really spoken of but it is quite clear that she is a Succubus, she has the powers of one to control through sexuality and though that have dominance over males foolish enough to cross her path and fall upon her somewhat darker side.

Her sister Beth however… really isn’t talked about all that much. Beth makes a momentary appearance, pushes Miriam in the direction of Evan and then vanishes into the background for the most part. I think that’s a bit of a shame as what little is told about her from the perspective of Miriam makes Beth something of a mystery and it is one that prods a bit. There is a story around her that isn’t told and I would have liked to know more about.

Regardless, the core of this story is the encounter between Miriam and Evan, how that unfolds over the course of the evening and really that is an amazing thing to watch the author tell. There is a touch of erotica, a bit of submission on the part of Evan to Miriam, and with that, Miriam’s dominance peeks through here and there in the story. But it’s more than that and for me, that was the part of this story that I liked most of all.

I was fascinated by how the relationship ebbed and flowed between the two, how at one point Evan was in control and in the next Miriam was. The connection between the two just felt right, worked amazingly well, and made this work really something special.

The work came to a close at a deliciously perfect point that I thought brought the story to a satisfying close. But in spite of that I would like to see more story about these characters, where they go from there, what happens next are open questions that I think need to be told. The question about Beth, the one she is with, and what that might mean for Evan and Miriam’s future i think would make for a really telling part two… Perhaps that will come sometime.

I’m giving this work four of five pitchforks.

Lovely story, enthralling characters and the moments they share are beautifully told. As a whole the work is a cute story about perception, need and discovering that sometimes the someone that you need is there in front of you… You just need to be able to see, try, and, most importantly, trust.

It’s not the easiest thing to do, but if you can manage it… Anything is possible.

 

Tera

Apr 13 2015

Some Thoughts by TeraS

Unexpected situations, like one I was in yesterday, sometimes lead storytelling to unexpected places. Still, the thought counts, in many ways, and so …

 

Some Thoughts
By TeraS

 

The chambers of the Court of the Realm were, as they tended to be, a quiet place at three o’clock on one particular morning. Most rational members of the Realm where off in their beds, or snuggled with their Eternals, or pets, or … well, to be clear, there were many places for them to be and, as such, that wasn’t an odd thing.

While the chambers were quiet—the walls in shadow, the night filling the space—off behind the throne there was a small alcove. It was the spot where, on occasion, in the past, an advisor of the reigning monarch would be positioned to listen to the goings on and, sometimes, whisper some needed fact or other tidbit so that the one making the decisions could do so with a good grasp of the situation. But, for quite some time now, it had not been used, because Tera didn’t feel like using the throne, or the chambers for that matter, when decisions had to be made. Oh, it was fine for pomp and ceremony, of course, but, for the most part, Tera would be out and about, meeting with others as needed and avoiding this place which wasn’t where she wanted to be.

On this particular night, however, someone was sitting in that alcove, and that someone was Tera. She reclined there, in a space where she was not really meant to be, and she remembered …

She remembered sneaking into the chambers one day, quite early, and wedging herself into the alcove long before her mother and father arrived to hold court. Being that, at the time, she was a child, her understanding of things was a child’s understanding, and she thought of the alcove as more of a hiding spot to see what her parents were doing. She smiled as she realized that, while a child could well hide here, an adult, such as herself, would have never been able to do so. Still, she recalled listening to the pages and others rushing about the room, none of them looking into the alcove and seeing her.

None of them, that is, until he spoke to her: “Princess Tera, what are you doing here?”

Queen Tera remembered him well. He was quite old, even all those years ago. His white hair had always fascinated her at the time, because, as far as she knew, he was one of the oldest of her kind there. He was a kind, patient soul, one that she loved dearly for all that he had taught her.

“Uh … I wanted to … sort of …. well …”

She remembered his red tail: how it always held a quill, and how she never quite understood how he managed to write with it.

“Princess, you shouldn’t be here. After all, your mother expects her advisor to be where you are, to assist her in matters of state.”

How she replied, was, as she thought about it now, a clear indication of who she would eventually become: “Can’t I help?”

She always wondered why he didn’t just take her hand and lead her away, or scold her for being where she was. Instead, he just nodded: “Very well. But you must not speak unless asked a question, Princess. This is important.”

She remembered zipping her lips and nodding enthusiastically then crossing her heart: “Promise! Thank you!”

She had scrunched herself up into a smaller space, so that he could be where he needed to be, but, instead of doing so, he walked away for a time. She had feared that he had gone to tell her mother what she had done, expecting her mother to appear and scold her for being inquisitive. What happened instead was that the trumpets sounded, the chamber filled, and then her mother, the Queen, was announced along with her father, the King. She didn’t have time to question why he didn’t return to his spot in the proceedings before she heard the voices of her mother and father as the day began for them.

Tera remembered how boring everything sounded, how there was all of this pomp and ceremony, how her parents spoke in such an odd way. She knew it was her parents, but it wasn’t how they spoke with her. It felt as if they were putting up a wall between themselves and those who approached them.

She managed to make it through the morning attendance, not even falling asleep, as she recalled. She remembered her father calling the proceedings to a close, bidding all in the room good day, and then hearing sounds of everyone leaving the room. Young Tera remained there, out of sight, but thought about how strange it was, how odd, and, eventually, she made up her mind that really all of this … stuff … wasn’t for her.

She didn’t move until she heard the last footsteps leave the room and the doors close. Once that happened, she wiggled herself out of her hiding space and looked around the side of the alcove, intending to leave for her room, this adventure having run its course.

Except it didn’t.

The sound of her mother’s voice was clear in the empty space: “Tera, come here, sweetheart.”

When Tera poked her head around to look, she found that the place wasn’t as empty as she thought it was. Not only were her mother and father there, but the white-haired incubus was, as well. Worse still, the entire court of the Realm was there, too. Two thoughts came with that realization. One was that it was a good thing she had dressed up a little—though what she was wearing would never be appropriate for the court—and the second was that it was a good thing she hadn’t said a word. Embarrassing her parents by being there would have been bad enough, but speaking out of turn at a wrong moment could have done a lot of harm. She remembered standing in front of her parents, fidgeting and knowing that every eye in the place was looking in her direction.

Her father asked, “Tera, why were you hiding?”

Her answer, as she thought about it now, was truthful: “Wanted to help. But … this place isn’t for me.”

“Why?”

Tera smiled in the present as she remembered how blunt her words were then, a clear message to her parents and the assembled court that she was going to be a pain in the tail: “I can’t hide me. Don’t want to dress up, be something I’m not. Want to help as me.”

Tera realized that she got her little quirk of tilting her head to the right from her mom, as she remembered her doing the same thing, but to the left, before she replied: “Tera, you don’t have to dress up. You don’t have to hide yourself. But you do have to be yourself.”

The chuckle from her father echoed in her thoughts even now: “But next time, no running shoes please? They squeak when you are hiding.”

She blushed as she recalled that first time that she remembered her father chiding her gently: “Yes, Father, I promise.”

There was the sound of a door opening and a ray of light from the outside hall etched itself across the chambers to where she reclined. A figure called out to her in a familiar voice: “That place is too small, you know.”

Tera sat up and looked at him across the way. So many years had passed and yet he was still the same as she remembered him: the only one in the Realm with shockingly white hair and a red tail.

“I don’t believe my tail is all that fat.”

She watched him enter the chambers, the sound of his walking stick clicking on the floor as he did so. When he saw Tera getting up, he waved his hand at her: “I’m fine. No reason for you to get up.”

She paused at these words. She was the Queen, she didn’t have to do as he asked, but she was going to. They had an understanding, one that she respected and cherished. “I was just … thinking.”

He stopped to her right, looking past the throne and where she rested: “About that first time you snuck in here?”

“Yes. Why did you let me stay?”

She saw him scrape the tip of his cane on the floor before he replied: “You were the Princess of the Realm. You had every right to be there with your parents, to rule with them, to advise them.”

She knew that he would see her tail making a question mark as she answered: “I was a child. I didn’t know the first thing about what was going on.”

Turing to look at her, he replied: “You knew enough to know that you wanted to change things. While that took until you became Queen …”

She narrowed her eyes, knowing full well that he knew how she felt about being called by her title and not her name.

Still, he continued nonetheless: “… Speaking your mind showed that you weren’t going to be a pushover, which is what your parents wanted the court to see.”

Tera blinked: “You set me up, didn’t you?”

She could just make out his smile: “You granted the opportunity. I had concerns that you might be influenced by others, that you would allow yourself to be pushed around, guided, told what to do.”

Tera sighed and ran her fingers through her hair: “The crown weighs heavy upon those that wear it.”

“It does. But then the crown does not weigh upon you like it did your parents. It is there, you accept it, to a point, but you do not allow it to become you, Tera.”

She could just about here the word “Queen” in his voice: “I’m too stubborn for that.”

“True. But you have something that your parents did not. Something I was not.”

Tera just looked at him. He was their closest advisor, he was family, he did so much and more for them all.

“I was not their heart. The one you call your heart has done more for you than anyone in this court could.”

“He’s family … He’s …” Tera shrugged: “He’s my heart.”

He nodded: “Precisely. He knows the Realm, your soul, that of your Eternal. He knows when things are not well, when you are not true to yourself. He does not influence you, he speaks truths that you know.”

Tera brushed off her legs and stood up: “My heart is wise, and I trust in his wisdom.”

He nodded: “But the choice is yours, the decisions are yours. He supports you in whatever that will be. He is the Queen’s heart, the only one that has ever been.”

She walked over to her old friend and trusted advisor, placing her hand on his that held his cane as he continued: “Did you know there is only one koi pond in the entire Realm?”

She smiled: “It is, as you know, a rather large one. I don’t think we need a second one that big.”

He patted her hand: “Quite true. We would have run out of room by now.”

Tera leaned in and kissed his cheek: “Thank you, uncle.”

He gruffly answered as he turned around to leave the chambers: “For what?”

“For telling me.”

He gave her a hug as they walked away from the spot where Tera’s reign started so long ago: “You deserved it. Besides, you’ve been listening to my ranting this long.”

“Ah, but I love hearing from you. So, tell me, how did your team do today?”

As the doors closed, from out in the hallway his voice could be heard … ranting about hockey, of all things … and Tera’s voice, giggling softly as they both went on their way …

For no king, no queen, no counselor, not even one’s heart can match the thoughts shared between an uncle and his niece …

Apr 12 2015

A Review of Demon in Disguise by Roxie Lee

Demon in Disguise by Roxie Lee

Demon in Disguise by Roxie Lee

Once again a review of a work that was intended to be the first in an ongoing series which never materialized in the wake of it appearing. It’s a shame this happens so often because there are a lot of good stories and ideas that come from these works that wind up leaving the promise they hold behind in time.

There is such a thing as soul mates. Where the questions begin is: What does that really mean? Does it change you, do you have any kind of choice in the matter, and if not, does the one that claims you actually have the understanding of what that really means?

It is the story of:

When Lacey Michaels receives a surprise invite to Incubus—a notorious BDSM club in San Francisco, she jumps at the opportunity. After all, she’s a journalist and curiosity is her middle name. What’s more, if she finds the rumors about the club are true, she’ll make a name for herself in the business.

A Demon by nature and a soul catcher by trade, Kurt Samuelsson is enchanted by the beautiful dark-haired stranger who visits the club. He instinctively knows she’s everything he needs in a woman, and is therefore his promised one—the soul mate who will be his for eternity.

As Lacey discovers all manner of strange phenomenon pointing to demons and devil worship at the infamous venue she becomes frightened, but also sexually drawn to the good-looking guy who always seems to be staring whenever she glances in his direction.

Lacey hadn’t reckoned on falling for the tall, enigmatic stranger with the mesmerizing eyes, and as a result her priorities become unclear.

Should she sample the demonic sexual fruits on offer from Kurt, or should she see sense and simply run from Incubus with her story, never to return again?

Lacey goes with a friend to the Incubus club, where she believes that something odd is happening there. She meets someone who takes control of her, mind, body and soul, and then has no other choice but to submit to his command.

The theme of this work revolves around the idea of soulmates which I hoped would be approached in a tasteful way. The thing is that, at least for me, it really isn’t. There’s a good deal of “instant” mind control being used on Lacey by Kurt, the incubus, and it feel very wrong when Lacey’s personality goes from independent, intelligent woman into simpering love slave. It’s a bit worse when all of the talk of love and compassion that Kurt thinks about after meeting Lacey gets tossed aside for a erotic scene that takes a position on D/s relationships that I cannot subscribe to.

Lacey’s treatment, after her mind is changed, her past is forgotten and her world is twined around Kurt’s finger is what many poorly thought out and misunderstood ideas about D/s relationships go. There’s no compassion, no understanding, no depth of caring or concern. It all circles around Lacey falling to her knees and Kurt doing whatever he wants to her. Incubus or not, that just didn’t have any heat for me and I didn’t find that enjoyable.

All of what I didn’t enjoy takes up the latter third of the work and before that point occurs, the story prior to that moment is so much better and so much more interesting. Lacey has a past, a goal, a life and a purpose. She’s conflicted in a lot of ways, but tries as well as she can in the situation she finds herself in. Even when she meets Kurt for the first time, she doesn’t fall under his spell completely and that’s good because it’s more interesting to read the struggle, to see her thoughts as she experiences events and try to understand what happens.

The same can be said of Kurt, to a point, in that his background and story are interesting, if only fleetingly delved into. Again, before he turns into “Master” he is much more interesting and has more depth than when the erotica starts and his attitude changes dramatically, every bit as much as Lacey’s does.

There is a lot unspoken in this story, mainly around why Lacey’s personality changes and how. There’s also the question of what the club is about, what the plans of the incubi characters are, what some various references mean and so on. It’s confusing at times to trace the path of the story and it need not have been.

In a lot of ways the story gets washed out by the D/s themes, how Lacey is treated and how things are spoken of before that moment. Talking about caring about soulmates and then treating one poorly doesn’t feel right. It’s a problem that shouldn’t be. Yes, there are dominant characters and yes there are submissive ones. Both should be treated with respect in a story. It is a two way street, mind changing powers or not and that doesn’t happen here.

All of this was meant to lead towards a series and the next work in it, but that never has appeared. As a result the work ends at a point where there are many questions, many paths to take, and a lot of explaining to do. Whether or not that would have transpired in the next work cannot be said, but at the least I would have wanted to understand what, exactly, soulmates mean to the incubi in this work. From all appearances, my definition of that word isn’t what this universe believes it to be.

I’ll give this work three out of five pitchforks.

I have to assume that a lot of the open questions left in the wake of this story would have been answered in the next work in the series, but that hasn’t appeared as of the date of this review. I want to understand how things work in this universe, there’s too much hand waving and not enough substance at times. The D/s theme was uncomfortable and far too one sided for my personal tastes as well. Rushing through a story simply to get to the erotica is a problem and considering the building up of the story before the main characters meet, what follows afterwards is a misremembered dream.

 

Tera

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