A Review of Scarlet Desire by Jack Harmen

Scarlet Desire by Jack Harmen

Scarlet Desire by Jack Harmen

The thing about succubi, at least in many stories, is they only really care about sex. That’s the impression one receives at times and when that becomes the core of the story, not really telling the story of the succubus herself, it’s a bit disappointing. The erotica can be very hot, the temptations quite telling and delicious, but if there’s a lack of telling a story, pulling away the veil to show what lurks beneath, then there’s something missing.

Sex alone doesn’t quite make for a really good story. Offering a teasing glimpse of a character at the very last moment, then pulling them away is difficult to enjoy. To take the time to construct a facade, then not really offer what awaits beneath, just leaves a lot to be desired.

Desire is, after all, that which succubi know best, but it isn’t all they are.

The work tells of:

On a blind date set up by a co-worker, Luke meets Julia, a beautiful, and forward woman. They waste no time getting to their ultimate goals. A quick romp through the whirlwind of a week Luke experiences with the almost to-good-to-be-true beauty Julia.

Luke finds himself on a date, not expecting much to really happen. Julia walks into his life and from the first moment, there’s no question what she wants, how willing Luke is to give her what she wants as well. But among the heat and passion there lurks a mystery. Julia isn’t quite what she seems and Luke will discover that coming to terms with Julia’s nature is a sexual rollercoaster he’ll never forget.

The work is told from Luke’s perspective and as such how the story unfolds, the moments entwined with Julia, are told from his perspective. Luke is an interesting character, really well developed and has a very strong voice. Being so, there’s really not much in the way of Julia being more “within” the story. By that I mean there’s nothing really told about Julia herself beyond what Luke knows, her sexual cravings and how she seduces him and vice versa.

There are quite a few points at which Julia’s succubus nature peeks out at times, but really never comes to the fore. The fleeting glimpse of her being a succubus is, at least for me, a terrible tease and it leaves so many questions unanswered and story unfulfilled. That story, who Julia is, her nature, what she needs and how she came to be, are left to the imagination and while that’s a delightfully contemplative thing, it leaves something to be desired within the story itself.

The core of the story focuses upon Julia’s sexuality, her teasing and controlling of Luke. How he’s drawn into her orbit, fulfilling her needs and his as well. There’s a delicious symbiotic relationship that boils through each erotic scene which worked well I thought. Julia’s directness and sureness in what she wants, and how she’s very willing and able to have Luke perform, I enjoyed from the perspective of her being something of a soft Domme in her nature, but not being so controlling that she wasn’t willing to give Luke the reigns to her needs.

As much as the erotica is well written and Luke is a well developed character, there’s a piece missing to the puzzle and that’s Julia herself. There’s really nothing told about her succubus nature and I really wish there had been. There are hints, some very good ones and with each one I really wanted to see that peek out more, but it didn’t happen. As such, when the climax of the story came there was a feeling of something important missing and that took a lot of the enjoyment of the work out from under me.

The story is very much one-sided, being that it’s told from Luke’s viewpoint and that limits, in a lot of ways, really anything that could be told about Julia beyond her obvious sexuality, desires and needs. I feel like there needs to be a second story, one from Julia’s perspective. Not necessarily the other side of her encounter with Luke, but rather to tell about her being a succubus and who she really is. Filling in that gaping hole in the story would make this story feel more complete and whole overall I think.

Lovely heat, the erotica is really well done. Luke’s character is wonderful, but Julia is a mystery not answered. While the story is, for the most part complete, there’s questions left behind and that feels very much like a tease as in many ways Julia herself is at times. Heat alone isn’t the whole story, and not telling Julia’s was a shame.

Three and a half out of five pitchforks.

I’d like to have seen the other side of this story, that being from Julia’s perspective. While Luke is interesting on his own and it is a good story, I just found myself not really that enthralled by constant sex and not very much in the way of character development. That, to be clear, just comes to having so many questions about Julia that aren’t ever touched on or answered.

The ending points directly towards the question of Julia, if there are others like her, and the possibility of Luke encountering them. That for me is a story to be told and it’s far more interesting than how this work turned out. It’s a lovely hot flash, erotically, but it’s missing that connection to make it something more memorable.



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