Plot overview: Demon Belial bets God that he can corrupt Dara Strong. If he wins, Satan will promote him to a high-level managerial position in Hell. But Dara proves to be a tough nut to crack.
So, this one might not be a slam dunk for everyone. It’s a super slow-burn romance (Dara manages to resist Belial’s, um, charms for a really long time), and when sexy times do occur, they’re fairly tame. But I personally adore a good slow-burn romance, so it didn’t bother me at all. Honestly, I’m thrilled to see authors who dare to take a less-is-more approach with their sex scenes in this day and age of reverse harem and BDSM erotica.
I liked Dara as a heroine, even if she wasn’t always super likeable in the normal romance heroine sense. Sure, she was downright mean to Belial at times, but heck, she knew he was a demon. I would’ve been irritated with her if she’d immediately trusted him and rushed into bed with him. She was no pushover, even if she was incredibly physically attracted to Belial, and I respected that. I also liked that she’d survived great losses, but picked herself up and carried on with her life. She didn’t wallow in self-pity. She devoted her life to helping others. There’s nothing better in romance than heroines with surprising inner strength.
Belial was a good anti-hero, too. (Well, he was a good anti-hero at first. He eventually became a good hero, minus the anti...but I’m not going to give away too many details about that. You’ll have to read the book to find out more. *evil grin*)
But honestly, even more than the romance, what I liked best about this story was the world building. The idea of Hell being set up like a corporation with a CFO and a marketing and tech department was endlessly fascinating to me. The idea of God sitting around a poker table with Satan, Zeus, Loki, and a fallen Angel was SO MUCH FUN! It reminded me of something I might see on Supernatural. And y’all know how much I love Supernatural.
So, long-story-short, I think the world building alone makes this one worth a read. The fact that it also includes a nice romance is frosting on the cake.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Crushing the stigma all over the damn place.
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