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Heart of the Incubus

Heart of the Incubus (Demons of Infernum) - Rosalie Lario

As an incubus, Cresso Taylor relies on sex to survive. A promiscuous lifestyle comes naturally to him, but when he lays his eyes on coworker Genevieve Russell at a holiday party, he discovers that he's actually a one-woman-only type of guy. The only problem is, Genevieve doesn't seem to be interested in him at all. But when Genevieve starts getting creepy letters and packages from someone, she turns to Cresso for protection, and he uses this opportunity to try to get her to see past his specie's tendencies to his own true colors. 

 

 

So, here's the deal. On December 30, Entangled Publishing is re-releasing this book and another one called Break Out and they needed reviewers before release day. Well, Break Out sounded super interesting so I immediately requested that one. I wasn't really interested in this one because 1) shirtless guys on the covers of books actually make me want to read them less because, in my experience, it usually is a sign that the story lacks substance and 2) the plot summary just didn't do anything for me. When my contact at Entangled got back to me, she said they only had a limited number of copies of Break Out available so she'd have to get back to me (good news - I did get a copy, and I will be reading that next), but in the meantime, she sent me HotI to read and review. So I'd like to preface this review by saying that I was less than enthusiastic about reading this book and it's entirely possible that my preconceptions have led me to like the book less than I may have otherwise. Additionally, it is part of a series (another reason why I didn't really want to read it - I hadn't read the other books), and so I may not appreciate it as much as those who have read the other books in the series would. Regardless, this book really was not my cup of tea. 

 

For starters, the story was VERY cliche. It opens by talking about how Cresso has this huge problem, one that's actually idiotic: he's in love. I actually rolled my eyes after reading this - it is SO not a good way to open a story. We go on to learn that not only is he "in love," but his crush is so not interested in him and she even despises him! And then when the POV switches to Genevieve, we learn that Genevieve doesn't actually hate him - she's really very attracted to him, but based on past experiences, she doesn't want to be and so she's a total witch in hopes of scaring him off. 

 

Sound familiar? Because it reminds me of the premise of a bunch of stories that I've already read. 

 

Well, of course, circumstances force Genevieve to depend on Cresso against her better instincts and this gives him the opportunity to try to win her over.

And, of course, he does. (I suppose the spoiler alert wasn't really necessary, but you know - better safe than sorry!)

(show spoiler)

 

To be honest, I don't even know why these two are even making the effort, especially Cresso. I mean, as is the case with most romance novels, they're both devastatingly attractive. So there's that. But beyond that, they don't really seem to have much in common, but I can't really be sure because they never discussed their interests beyond sex and there was very little character development beyond Genevieve's backstory. A backstory wasn't really given for Cresso at all (at least, not much of one), but I got the impression that he's been featured in other installments of the series so maybe one was given in one of those? But on top of not having anything in common, Genevieve is so mean to Cresso. The things that she says to him are AWFUL. I honestly don't even know why he tries so hard to win her over. Yes, she's pretty - so? He literally seems to know nothing else about her, yet this is enough for him to give up sex (which, by the way, in Lario's world, an incubus must have at least once a month or he'll die), unless it's with her, which for most of the story seems a bit unlikely (even though we all know it'll happen soon enough because that's just how these things work in romance novels). So their relationship/romance just seemed very unbelievable to me. 

 

The one positive note that I have for this novella is that the world that Lario built seems really cool. There aren't too many details given about it in this book, but I'm sure that one of the previous books in the series describes it much more extensively. It reminded me of the same sort of set up as in Danielle Monsch's Stone Guardianas in the human realm somehow merges with a supernatural realm. That really did interest me and I liked the few tidbits that were included in this book. 

 

Honestly, I probably would only recommend reading this book if you were a fan of the other books in the Demons of Infernum series. I definitely do not recommend reading it unless you have read the other books - it's not really a book that can stand well on its own. If you did enjoy the other books, then I would guess that you'd probably like this one, but since I haven't read them I can't guarantee that. To me, this book came across as cliche and predictable, which was disappointing since I usually really enjoy the books that Entangled sends my way. But maybe, if you liked the other books in the series, you'll have a better experience. 

 

Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from Entangled Publishing, but in no way did this influence my review.