Redonk Nutshell: PhD expert in folklore has explicitly intimate encounters with the subjects of her study upon moving to a small secluded Northeastern town to teach at a small college

Though this cover is beautiful, it screams YA! to me.  Note to all: THIS IS SOOOOO NOT YA. No, no, my fellow Raunchers.  I was delightfully intrigued to find The Demon Lover was an enthralling sultry and intellectual story, a combination that reminded me of Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches, which attempted the same alchemy but didn’t…quite…make it.  Juliet Dark, aka Carol Goodman, bursts out the door running with her first supernatural erotic thriller.  I ended up really enjoying this book and am likely going to list it in my top favorites for 2011.

Dr Cailleach McFay is an independent brilliant woman who is interviewing for positions as a professor of folklore at several colleges.  She’s charmed by the small school town of Fairwick and ends up accepting a position.  She falls in love with an enchanting Victorian home with something of a sordid past, and before long she realizes that things aren’t quite what they seem in the small town of Fairwick.  Her coworkers are a bit…unique.  Her house is harboring a…sex demon.  And Callie realizes she herself might be the key to something hidden deep in the thicket surrounding her home.

Most romance novels are fluffy, fairly quick reads that are perfect for the beach or a quick getaway.  The Demon Lover is too rich, too heady to rush through, and would be best relished on a cool rainy day with a cup of your favorite hot beverage.  It’s a fantastic Gothic treat.  Callie’s knowledge and experience with Gothic fiction and folklore add an intellectual perk to the dark and ravishing plot line, forcing the reader to slow down and process what’s being thrown at them.  There were moments where I checked out and had to go back and re-read, some details that didn’t seem vital to the plot, but it didn’t drag down the overall enjoyment of the book.  Unlike A Discovery of Witches, this story was passionate and erotic while still maintaining an intellectual flair.

Author Carol Goodman stretches her legs in the paranormal fantasy genre under the pseudonym Juliet Dark.  I have not read anything else by her (yet), though I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.  I had previously thought to read The Watchtower, another paranormal fantasy by Lee Carroll, who I discovered is actually a team comprised of Carol Goodman and her husband Lee Slonimsky.  Now I’m definitely going to add it to my TBR stack.

Sexy, dark, and thrilling, I would consider The Demon Lover to be one of my favorite discoveries of 2011.

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Rating: B+

Romance: 3/5                       Raunch: 4/5

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