I just kind of loved this! The romance was really sweet and fun. The characters were lovable. One of them was a hellhound, a supernatural I had never read about before. The other was an incubus, one of my favorite types of supernaturals. The sex was hot without being too serious. The story was good. That description doesn’t do the book justice though. It makes it sound kind of like every other paranormal romance out there, but this one really stood out to me.
This book didn’t have all the tropes I usually come across in paranormal romance. No protag who was too feisty for their own good. No brooding love interest. No overly eloquent or poorly timed love speeches. No instalove. Yeah, there was some secret-keeping that you knew was gonna blow up in one of the character’s faces, but even that was mild and quickly handled. The whole story, including the characters and the romance, felt grounded and realistic (well, realistic if there were really demons living in the world and accidentally falling for each other). Mal was a little gruff. Jory was just trying to get by and make the most of his lot in life. Both had done some questionable things, but neither was a bad person.
Another thing I loved, even though it didn’t have much impact on the story, was the hellhound portrayal! The author had a cool take on that.
I admit I was confused about all the demon stuff at the end. Who hired who. Who was in charge of who. What everyone’s motivations were. It got complicated. It was all very incidental to the story though, which means it probably didn’t need to be that complicated (unless there are going to be more books), but it also means you don’t really need to understand it to enjoy the book. And I so thoroughly enjoyed everything else that I didn’t even care.
Also, keep in mind that I listened to the audio for this, and when I’m listening to a book as opposed to reading it with my eyes, there are some things that bother me more, other things that bother me less, things I don’t notice or don’t understand as well, etc. The audio itself was great though. The narrator (Noel Harrison) did a wonderful job. Everything sounded natural. I would definitely recommend the audiobook for this one.
Most importantly, I was rooting for these two characters, both separately and together. I even developed a soft spot for some of the supporting characters too. I just really enjoyed this and kept wanting to get back to it every time I stopped. I smiled and chuckled and said “awwww” and made that little frowny throat whimper sound you make when you feel bad for someone—does anyone know what I mean?—so many times throughout the story. Ultimately, this book made me happy, and anytime a book can do that, it’s a great thing!
Anyone who likes sweet M/M paranormal romance without too many tropes, books that make you smile, and lovable demons.
Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.
But the minister who exploited him wants him back.
Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….