Title: The Demon Lover
Author: Juliet Dark
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Callie McFay wrote a bestselling book called The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers, and now she’s received an offer to teach at Fairwick College in upstate New York as a result. She’d rather teach at her alma mater, NYU, but there’s something that pulls her to Fairwick, that convinces her it’s the right decision. Soon after accepting the position, Callie begins having charged dreams that she assumes are just a product of her imagination. But Callie realizes that there is more going on around her than she thought and that the man visiting her might not be a figment of her imagination.
The Demon Lover isn’t exactly my normal type of novel, but when I discovered that Juliet Dark is a pseudonym for Carol Goodman, an author I adore, I knew I had to read this novel as soon as possible. Goodman writes atmospheric, beautiful novels with a strong sense of mystery. They often have academic settings, which I love, so I was eager to give The Demon Lover a try.
After reading The Demon Lover, I can understand why Goodman wrote it under a pseudonym. It has many common elements with her other novels—an emphasis on academia, great atmosphere, and a strong female character—but also a few differences, which her regular readers might not love. First, there is an emphasis on sex, which can make some readers uncomfortable. Second, the novel incorporates the paranormal quite a bit. In fact, it reminded me of a sort of A Discovery of Witches-lite, without quite the depth of that novel.
Callie is an interesting main character in The Demon Lover. She’s very well-developed and believable, and the descriptions in the novel are really great. The plot moves along at a steady pace, though it’s a bit thin in places. It’s clear that this was meant to be the first novel in a series, and that it’s setting up a world for books to come. It will be interesting to see what Goodman does with the next installment.
Overall, The Demon Lover was an interesting departure, and the storyline and backstory have potential. It wasn’t perfect, but it did have a lot of elements I enjoyed and kept me interested enough to make me want to read the sequel. While I’d love it if Goodman went back to her literary suspense novels, these are an understandable new direction, given what’s happening in the book world.
Other books by Carol Goodman: