“The Demon Lover” by Juliet Dark

Oh my gosh, this book. 😀

Anyone who knows me for any length of time knows I love fantasy, magic, and the supernatural. It’s one of the first things I’ll either tell you or you’ll deduce within 10 mins of meeting me.

When I was in middle/high-school, I would hurry home after school activities or hanging out with my friends to catch episodes of Charmed, a TV show about powerful witches living in Los Angeles. In college, I procrastinated on homework and projects by watching reruns of Ghost Whisperer, a TV show about a woman who can see and interact with ghosts, and when I got my first job and had the opportunity to work from home, I’d do so while watching reruns Supernatural, a TV show about brothers who’re bounty hunters of supernatural creatures.

I loved all those shows and continue to watch reruns of them to this day. Charmed is the one that started it all and since discovering it and watching its episodes so many times that I know a few by heart, I’ve tried to find TV shows and novels that are similar and are about witches.

Witches of East End, the TV show that aired on Lifetime back in 2013, came close, but the plot and characters started out weak and became worse as the story progressed. I thought the novel, written by Melissa de la Cruz, would be better, but unfortunately it wasn’t. Since then, I’ve continued trying to find TV shows and novels similar to Charmed without luck until I saw The Water Witch on my library’s Overdrive app. It’s the sequel to The Demon Lover and it sounded so interesting that I decided to give the series a try.


Paranormal/supernatural; romance


December 2011

Goodreads summary:

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.

But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.

The Demon Lover (Fairwick Chronicles, #1)

My thoughts:

I’m surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. Paranormal/supernatural romance isn’t a genre I often reach for because I usually become frustrated by it early on and have to give up on the story, but this one held me captivated. I was so hooked that I completed the novel in a week. I just could not stop reading the book. It’s as if the incubus compelled me toward the novel as it beguiled the protagonist to submit to him.

The story has its faults. There are some plot holes because I find it odd that despite writing a book called The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers, Callie doesn’t realize what is happening to her, though I guess it can be excused since Callie begins the novel believing that supernatural creatures and magic does not exist in this world. Also, one of the conflicts, the curse, wrapped up too easily, and there are many sexual encounters in which the female does not give her consent yet the demon lover has sexual intercourse with her anyway (usually happens while she’s asleep) and the protagonist never considers these events to be rape.

But I couldn’t stop reading or enjoying the story despite those faults. What I liked the most about the story is its setting — a charming small town in upstate New York where everyone knows each other and Callie’s Victorian house, which I wish I could see a picture of or tour — and the inclusion of magic and fantastic creatures, similar to what I see in the TV shows mentioned above as well as Grimm, which I recently started watching again.

This story has a variety of fantastical creatures besides the incubus — such as boggarts, brownies, and gnomes — that can all assume human form. I like how that works in the story because assuming a human shape makes it difficult for characters to determine what kind of creatures are among them and makes one of the conflicts in the plot a little difficult to figure out. I actually didn’t figure out what the cause of the mysterious illness and loss of energy in some characters was until right before it was revealed.

Another reason why this story was so compelling is the writing. I love descriptive writing and this story contains that. It made the story so immersive that I felt as if I visited Fairwick in my mind. I love it when a story pulls me into it and makes me so engrossed in reading it that I sometimes don’t notice the passing of time. That’s the experience I had with The Demon Lover.

Other things I liked: it refers to events in modern-day society, such as the scandal regarding James Frey lying in his “memoir,” and this creature, which I wouldn’t want to find in my books:

“A lacuna,” he said, his voice trembling. “A biblioparasite that nests in books and grows when it smells blood. Nasty things.”

(Btw, the word “lacuna” is defined as “an unfilled space or interval; a gap.”)

After completing the novel, I learned that the author’s name, Juliet Dark, is actually a pseudonym for mystery writer Carol Goodman. With the exception of The Demon Lover, I’ve never before read a book by Goodman or heard of her, but now I think I’m a fan. I definitely plan to continue with the next book in the Fairwick Chronicles — The Water Witch.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

The story has some faults, but I enjoyed it so much and was so hooked that I can’t wait to read the next book.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

If you also want to read books similar to Charmed, then I recommend this to you.

Quotes from the book:

“Once a persecuted group finds its own place in a culture, their members draw a line around themselves to keep their own places secure.”


Top Ten Tuesday #33: Spring 2018 TBR

It’s TBR time!!! 😀 😀 😀

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Books on My Spring TBR

I love creating TBRs, so I’m excited to do this post. Before we get started, guess how many books I read from my Winter TBR???

**Hint** It’s slightly more than the amount I usually read from my TBRs.

Highlight here =>>   2  <<= for the answer. 😛

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Seasons 1 & 2 of the TV show are on NetFlix. I’m watching them and I’m so hooked, which is weird because when season 1 aired on MTV, I lost interest after a couple episodes because it started to lean toward a love triangle and I hate those things. But now I’m hooked on the TV show (when it’s been canceled; SUCKS!) and want to read the novel to see if it’s as good. Many vloggers I follow on booktube say it sucks, but I’m willing to try it anyway.

Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb

The third and final book in the Tawney Man trilogy, which I’m buddy-reading with Emily from Embuhlee liest. I’m so hooked on the second book, The Golden Fool, and we’re about halfway through it. I’m pretty sure we’ll start of Fool’s Fate in the spring.

The Devourer’s by Indra Das

I’ve been curious about this book since its publication and am looking forward to reading it. I plan to buddy-read it with Rachel from Life of a Female Bibliophile.

Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn

I placed this on here because the turquoise color on the cover makes me think of spring.

Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

I watched the movie and loved it and got excited when I heard about the book. I got lucky at the library and was #12 when I placed a hold on the book. I’ll get it by spring, I bet.

The Park Bench by Christophe Chaboute

A graphic novel about a park bench sounds perfect for spring, I think.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

I really need to get started on this. It’s been on my TBR since forever.

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

I’ve heard great things about this and am eager to read it. It strikes me more as a winter read though, but we’ll see if I get to it in spring.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

I have this book. I like its cover. The cover makes me think of spring. I want to read it in the spring.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

I’m just super excited about this edition of the book and can’t wait to read it.

Notable mentions:

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Because I’m rereading these books

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

Because I’m rereading these books

Forever in Blue and Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Because I want to complete the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (illus.)

So I can FINALLY return it to the library. I’ve had it checked out for over a year now. …sorta. The librarian overlooked it and didn’t actually check it out to me.

Anyway, what’s on your spring TBR?

“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

I heard many great things about this novel when it was published, but I wasn’t interested in reading it. If not for a bookclub I recently joined, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book.


Contemporary; literary


September 2017

Goodreads summary:

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

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Weekend Reads #82: Can’t Focus

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This week’s topic:

Lacking focus

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve taken time to sit and write. I no longer seek a moment of peace to engage in this activity. I sometimes feel as if I no longer think because it’s becoming harder to hear my thoughts in this modern world filled with noise and distraction.

That’s what happens when I take a moment to think and write — I get distracted. My phone vibrates and I have to pick it up to see why. I overhear a conversation and I have to get up and find out what’s being said. I recall a TV show or movie and I have to look it up and watch it for a while to remember what it’s about. An odd bit of fact pops in my head and I have to research it immediately on Google, though I have no need for the fact at that time.

It’s either that or my house is so noisy that I can’t think straight or hear my thoughts. I live with my family and my parents recently learned how to play the silly videos their friends send them on their phone. I hate whomever it was who taught them to do that. The speaker on their phones isn’t great so when heard from afar (because they play the videos loud), the sound is squeaky and annoying. It grinds my nerves. There’s no way for me to concentrate through that. The only thoughts that come through is “SMASH. PHONE.”

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Top 5 Wednesday #24: Kids Books for Adults

It seems that I have a trend here of posting these memes things late because here’s my Top 5 Wednesday post on Thursday. Then again, my whole week has been skewed since Monday felt like Sunday, which made me think Tuesday was Monday, so all this can be excused since I’m confused about what day it is.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Children’s books to read as an adult

Well, here are 5 children’s books I’d recommend to adults. This will be a combination of middle-grade novels and picture books, which are usually the forms of children’s books I consume.

For the artist…

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (illus.)

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Top Ten Tuesday #32: Totally Surprising

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books that Surprised Me

For this, I’ve decided to focus on books with plot twists I either didn’t see coming or suspected but was surprised by it anyway.

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Birthday Book Tag

It was my birthday this past weekend. YEAHIE ME!!! 😀 😀

It was very low-key, though it’s also a huge milestone since I’m now in the 30s club, but I enjoyed it and am glad for how it turned out. I neglected my blog all weekend because I spent the time doing other stuff I enjoyed. I attended the NoVa Teen Book Fest, where I met and spoke to an author I admire — Rachel Hartman — and also got to see other authors speak, like Susan Dennard and Tomi Adeyemi, whose debut novel I bought at the festival. I also spent the weekend catchin up with a friend, visiting the movies, and, of course, stuck in a bookshop. 🙂 I enjoyed it.

Well, I decided to jump back into blogging by celebrating my birthday on here with this Birthday Book Tag that I found on Antonia’s Always Books.

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