The fifth review of the ongoing series called Lily Quinn written by Natalie and Eric Severine this time on the Tale, though as the author calls this a short story and the fourth-and-a-half work in the series you can think of this as that if you’d like. You can find the first review here, the second review here, the third here and the fourth here on the Tale if you’d like to know my frustrations and amusement with the series so far, of which there are a lot of them honestly.
Part of Lily’s past and present, and I hope future, involves Max, her closest and dearest friend. There has been a little told about Max, what he does, but like in the case of Lily’s past, little really has been revealed about him.
We know he cares about Lily, and she about him. We know what he does and how knowing Lily has effected his life. We’ve seen Lily and Max being entwined together many, many times in the series. There’s an obvious connection, but neither of them do anything about it. Being friend zoned is a terrible thing sometimes. Especially on Valentine’s Day and your friend is a Succubus like Lily.
- Title: Max’s Long Night
- Authors: Natalie Severine and Eric Severine
- Length: 31 Pages
- ASIN: B01AJ8MSY8
- IBSN: 9781311902580
- Publishing Date: February 14, 2016
- This work at Amazon.com
- This work at Smashwords.com
It tells the story of:
My name is Maxwell Ferguson. Max. My best friend is Lily Quinn… but she’s probably not like your best friend. For one, she’s not entirely human. Lily’s half succubus and uses the power that sex gives her to hunt down monsters on behalf of the College of wizards. So let’s just say that being Lily’s friend can get really interesting.
Now she’s invited me out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. The restaurant is nice and everything seems pretty normal so far, but there’s no way things will go that smoothly. You know Lily better than that. What have I gotten myself into this time?
It’s Valentine’s Day and Max finds himself going on a date with Lily, even if it really isn’t a date, they are the best of friends after all. Lily has a surprise for Max, one that gets very hard for Max in a very short time. After finishing dinner, a drive together leads to a surprise that neither of them expected.
While the rest of this series, so far, has been told from Lily’s prospective, this work is seen from Max’s and being so there are quite a few hints and revelations about Max, who he is, and how he sees Lily. But there’s more than that. Max is a good soul, he cares very much about Lily, and only wants the best for her, even if he can’t give that to her. There’s a telling moment in the work when Lily tells Max an important truth, one that matters very much to their relationship and in that moment I found the real Max and Lily, and it was almost perfect.
Almost because it seems that neither of them can get past being “friends in a relationship” and to the point of being “a relationship” which is a sad thing honestly. There are so many hints that seem to float right over both of their heads, it’s very clear they are meant for each other, somehow, but that just doesn’t come in this work. Perhaps in the future, I can hope. That thought brings up an interesting thought about Max, one that if it is true would solve a lot of problems, explain some interesting things about Max, and more importantly, get both of them past the awkwardness and to where they should be as a couple. But getting there will involve at least one detour along the way it seems from this story and that might be the catalyst for what might be.
There is purpose to this work and it mainly comes to telling more about Max, understanding his feelings and how he fits into Lily’s life better than has been explained. There are two main erotic passages in the work, involving a few moments in the restaurant, and the other in the back of ‘The Truck’ which made me giggle I have to admit. The work has a tone in the erotica that is less to the point than it usually is and that means there’s more characterization for both Lily and Max. There’s time to see them together, to watch them dance around each other.
Eventually there is a crisis, one that Max gets involved in with Lily which unfolds rapidly. That’s mainly because Max doesn’t know, or see, all that happens, but in spite of this, he is… well… Max in what he does and being so was exactly right.
The writing is quite good, as it has been through the series. There was more story in this work, though there was still the main focus on the erotica. Regardless of this, I felt like this work was the best of the series so far because of the change of tone. There was nothing of Lily being flippant, self-centred, or similar and that meant there was more story, more dialogue, more exposition. I found myself liking Lily more because she cared about Max, he was the centre of her attention.
I would have loved to see Lily and Max move on in their relationship a little more than it did. I would have liked to see “friends” become “lovers”, mainly because for the most part, they are there already save for expressing that to each other. I’m hoping there doesn’t come a time in the series when Lily will bemoan not seeing what she had when she doesn’t anymore because that would be the worse thing of all.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The story matters, the fun along the way makes it stronger for being so. Two souls orbiting each other closer and closer, but where that goes is to be seen. The next work in the series will be a collection of the first four stories and this short story. The next new work in the series will be Raising The Dead which, at least from the summary I have seen, appears to take the series back towards the main plot which has been languishing for a time. I think that will be interesting.