Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Series: Lily Bound #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available: 7th March
Lily O’Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker–an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before–has escaped to reclaim his “artwork,” Lily knows she’s next on his list. With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn’t expect to fall for Archer-and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim…
Source: ARC from Diversion Books via NetGalley
I loved the sound of this book, especially the tattoo artist coming back to claim his artwork, and I remembered reading a Yasmine Galenorn book before and enjoying it, so I thought why not. Then I started reading and remembered that actually, that book I liked was by someone else and I actually didn’t like the Galenorn book I read before, and after that it became a slog to get to the end.
On the one hand, this world is interesting, peopled with all kinds of fascinating creators beloved of UF/PR stories – Fae, witches, weres, demons and evil vampires – but on the other, Lily is useless. Seriously, the woman does nothing for most of the book except sit around her kitchen table talking with the other about how terrible this is and aren’t vampires awful and how will we ever stop them? We’re all going to die, etc. She does change as the book goes on, but only to get worse. Several times she makes exceedingly foolish decision, until by the end she was firmly in TSTL territory and I wanted someone to kill her.
Then there’s Archer, with whom she has zero chemistry. I get why they sleep together the first time – she’s a hungry succubus and he’s helping her out – but there’s no spark between them. Well, apart from the actual zap on their first meeting, but it definitely doesn’t come across. It’s not sexy and the idea that there’s anything more than lust between them isn’t believable.
I was also disappointed in how human they all seem. Archer is a chaos demon, who has clearly been around a long time, but I have no idea what powers he has. He’s no different to Lily’s human friend, Nate, and the weres are just thugs. Even Lily seems human for most of the book, showing little sign of her long life. Her succubus hunger is just a handy excuse to have more boring sex with Archer, and even then she doesn’t seem to notice it after the first time.
The only things that aren’t that human are the vampires, because they’re the bad guys. The all powerful, all rich, controlling bad guys, who have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. While it was refreshing that demons weren’t lumped in with them for a change, I found Archer’s comparative weakness to them rather disappointing. What’s the point of him if he can’t kick ass?
I did, however, like Whisky the cat and I really liked Lily’s trip to Winter’s court. That definitely felt otherworldly, even if again the characters were all very human.
So overall this was kind of “meh” for me. The idea has potential, but there was too much sitting around talking about stuff instead of getting out there and doing something. Throw in Lily’s seriously lack of judgement at times and I found it disappointing. Guess this author just isn’t for me.
Souljacker is out March 7th.
Visit Yasmine Galenorn for more information.