Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

ARC Review: Getting Familiar With Your Demon (That Old Black Magic, Book 4) by Jodi Redford





 Title: Getting Familiar With Your Demon
          (That Old Black Magick, Book 4)
Author: Jodi Redford
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Samhain
Category: Paranormal Romance
Type: Kindle





      
                             


Book Blurb:

He should push her away…but he’d rather have his wicked way with her. 

That Old Black Magic, Book 4

After too many years learning death from the inside out as the familiar of a voodoo queen, soul collector Samael Gorasola betrayed his boss, which landed him on demon death row.

He should have known not even his punishment would come easy, but the deal he’s offered to escape his fate stinks. Become the indentured servant to his despised enemy? No thanks, he’d rather be six feet under. With that in mind, he picks a deadly fight with two demon hunters, only to be rescued by one misguided, deliciously innocent white witch.

Marabella hasn’t a clue what possessed her to help Sam, particularly since he’s not the least bit grateful. She blames it on her overwhelming attraction to the dark, dangerous demon, and her exasperating quest to rid herself of the stubborn curse that guards her virginity. If the guild finds out, though, she can kiss her white-witch status goodbye.

A kiss is exactly what she gets, followed by a consuming hunger that breaks down all heavenly and earthly barriers…and leaves Sam saddled with the one thing he never wanted, a conscience, and a connection to Marabella that puts her soul on the line.

Warning: This book contains torturous use of disco music, one sinfully sexy demon who revels in being bad, a virgin witch whose innocence runs more than skin deep, and plenty of wicked, forbidden sex with explosive side effects—literally.

Book Excerpt:
Grumbling, she reached for her Cosmopolitan and took a fortifying sip. She immediately choked on the swallow as an unexpected wave of dark, intense energy wafted across her. She shivered, a colony of goose bumps dotting her skin.
There weren’t many times she’d encountered this kind of energy, but she knew well enough what was responsible for it. Trying not to draw attention to her actions, she carefully scooted closer to the edge of the bench seat and peered at the patrons congregated around the bar.
Where are you…?
An enormous guy wearing a navy-blue tracksuit shuffled out of Marabella’s vision, and her attention fell on the tall, sexy and decidedly dangerous individual striding toward the bank of stools adjacent to her. A harsh breath lodged in her esophagus. With his carelessly tousled midnight-black hair and strong, beard- stubbled jaw, the stranger was the living definition of bad boy. The fact he was a demon only made his off-the-charts sex appeal that much more alluring to any unsuspecting female.
Fortunately, she was more than aware of what he was, which made her reaction to him incredibly disturbing. Jerking her focus from his sinfully gorgeous features, she squeezed her thighs together, desperately willing away the hot, decadent arousal beating deep in her core. She sucked in a shaky inhalation. What the hell is wrong with me?
She’d been attracted to her fair share of men before, but none of them came close to inspiring the same breathless excitement as the too-scrumptious-for-words demon standing across from her. If she pressed a hand between her legs, she was half terrified she’d find out just how dripping wet she truly was. For him.
Lusting after a demon—it was the pinnacle of wrongness. The cardinal sin topping all others.
She struggled against the overwhelming urge to peek at the demon before finally giving up the battle. Mr. Tall, Dark and Deadly stopped beside a scruffy-looking dude wearing denim coveralls and a battered baseball cap. The man took one look at the demon and quickly vacated his spot. Apparently used to strangers giving up seats to him, the demon straddled the stool and snapped his fingers at the stressed-out bartender.
Marabella tried not to notice the intriguing flex of muscles beneath the demon’s snug black T-shirt as he leaned toward the bar, but failed miserably. When she imagined sliding her hands beneath the cotton to feel the sinuous ripple of those muscles for herself, she grasped the delicate stem of her martini glass and slammed two large gulps of her Cosmo. The fruity alcohol provoked an unladylike sputter from her, but at least she had something else to concentrate on other than her traitorous attraction to the demon.
I should absolutely get out of here before I do something stupid. Her mind was on
the right track. Too bad her body refused to obey. She plunked her glass down with trembling fingers and fumbled for her purse. As she lifted it toward her lap, her attention locked on the two men farther down the bar who were staring at the demon with bloodlust glinting in their narrowed eyes.
Oh. Shit.

Dialogue Highlight:

She licked her lips, and his gaze became hooded. Sultry. Her damn traitorous nipples tightened. “I—I mean it. I want you to leave.”
“Not until I get what I came for.”
“But…there’s nothing here for you.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, sweet little Bella.”
The only person who’d ever called her by the shortened version of her name had been her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Davies. But the velvety way Sam said it was infinitely sexier. His face inched closer, filling her frame of vision. She stared at the beard scruff shadowing his chin and jaw, remembering the delicious rasp of it on her skin while he’d kissed her, and wondered what it’d feel like on other parts of her body. No, she definitely didn’t need that thought in her head, damn it.
“What do you want?”
Those skillful, tempting lips crooked upward. “To get laid.”
She blinked. “Pardon?”
“You heard me.”
“But…why?”
He chuckled, the sound dark and smoky, just like him. “Because I’m horny.”
Heat crawled beneath her skin. “I figured that part out. What I don’t get is why in the world you would seek out someone here.”
“Variety is the spice of life.”
The teasing way he was looking at her was just as distracting as the nearness of his mouth. She swallowed. “So you’re saying if you find a willing bed partner, you’ll leave?”
“Why? Are you putting yourself on the offering block, sweet Bella?”
The thundering of her heart was so loud she feared he’d be able to hear it. Could she actually go along with this insane proposal? Of course, the curse meant she really wouldn’t have to go along with it at all. But Samael didn’t need to know that. As long as he thought he was going to get lucky, she’d be able to get him away from the mansion and potential chaos.
This could work. Keeping her expression bland to hide her inner triumph, she nodded. “Okay. I’ll do it then.”
His devious grin slipped. “What?”
“You want to get laid? Fine. I’m your girl.”
Eyes narrowing, he stared at her for a long moment as if she were yanking his chain. “You’d honestly sleep with me just to get me to leave?”
“Yes.” Well, at least that wasn’t a lie.
A considering gleam dancing in his irises, he moved back, granting her some much-needed space. “If that’s the case, then we can go upstairs right now.”
She gaped at him. “Are you nuts? I’m not sleeping with you here.”
“How convenient.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
One of his dark eyebrows cocked upward in challenge. “Like I don’t know you intend to ditch me the minute we step outside.”
She rolled her eyes. “You’ve got some serious trust issues.”
“Hell, darlin’. You don’t know the half of it.”
She tossed her arms up. “Look, we’ll compromise then. You come with me in my car, but this is going down on my turf, capisce?”
Wickedness once again flashed across his features. “Don’t worry your pretty head over that. I sure as hell plan on going down on your lovely turf. Probably all night long, so prepare yourself.”
It took a second for his meaning to register. Once it did, a persistent throb shuttled through her clit. She squeezed her thighs together, praying he wouldn’t notice. “Must you be so crude?”
“Yes. Get used to it. You’re going to hear me saying a lot worse than that tonight.”
His sinful promise was enough to make her panties uncomfortably damp. She bit the inside of her cheek and discreetly shuffled her feet. “Does that mean you accept my offer?”
“On one condition.”
The notion of giving him any wiggle room in this negotiation made her nervous, but what could she do? She didn’t want to risk him calling it off. Besides, did it make a difference? It’s not like she’d have to go through with the ultimate deed. “W-what?”
“I get carte blanche to do any damn thing I want to you.”
She gulped. Oh goddess. What have I gotten myself into?

Review:

Oh Sam! Sam, Sam, Sam! Where can I find my very own demon? Where, I ask! Dang it! Now I have a crush on not one, but ALL FOUR of the Black Magic men! It all started with Griffin, a tiger shifter. Of course, I had to love Logan, a werewolf. Then I got my pants charmed off my Max, my very first shark shifter. And now I am smitten with Samael, a beyond hawt demon with a conscience. *fans self* And I am seriously considering reading the whole series again simply because I love them so! *nods* (Side note – I actually just did practically read all of That Voodoo You Do as I was going back over Sam’s first appearances. Ironically right after saying I was going to re-read the series. As in just. right. now. Man do I need me a Bengal tiger shifter familiar!)

So we briefly met Sam in book 1of That Old Black Magic series, That Voodoo You Do. Sam was the instrumental “soul” who kept popping up unexpectedly and giving Jemma little hints here and there, ultimately aiding in her victory; and squelching the approaching zombie apocalypse. Yay, Sam! We also had mention of Marabella in book 1 and then met her briefly in book 2, The Seven Year Witch. I believe she was mentioned in book 3, Maximum Witch, though her part was insignificant to the main characters of that story. And finally, in Getting Familiar With Your Demon, Marabella gets to divest herself of that dang curse of virginity with the help of the hunky demon Samael.

Sam helps save the day – and the world from, you know, Zombies eating everyone’s brains and stuff. Cut to … a bit of time has lapsed; about six months. Sam has been punished, tortured, and made completely miserable by whips and blaring off-key disco music no less. The poor, poor demon! And then this sneaky little spiotch, Priscilla, secretary to the Demon King, prances in holding his contract. You see, she is up to no good and Sam is the key to carrying out her warped plans. But Sam has a plan of his own. He’s going to break his soul collector seal and he is going to use Marabella to get it done. In a pleasurable way of course. Easy peasy, right? Whatevs! Nothing ever goes off exactly as planned. Pfft! What kind of book would that be? So Sam-O ends up with a conscience, feelings toward Marabella he has zero wish to dig into, and – oh, yeah – despite breaking his seal, he is probably going to end up bonded to someone else again anyway. Way to get that monkey off your back, Sam.

Marabella, on the other hand, falls fast for the forbidden demon. Hey! Don’t we all go for the forbidden ones? Mark ‘em with forbidden and we gravitate straight to ‘em. Yes? I know! Well, Samael is no different. Pair her overwhelming lust with this frickin curse that dooms her to virginity for life and Sam becomes more and more tempting as the minutes tick by. One word. Devastating! Because Sam has the potential to completely devastate Marabella in every conceivable way; both good and bad. But Marabella knows her restrictions and limitations. Much of what Sam is asking of her is going against the very fiber of her existence. She has to make a decision – take a stand, or lose Sam, and do nothing to save humanity from imminent demise at Priscilla’s whakado clutches. No matter that Sam doesn’t want her in the same way. He could come around … maybe.

I. Lurved. This. Book! Ms. Redford just keeps getting better. The sex is amazing between the characters, their struggles to get to an HEA are exciting and entertaining, and her writing style is infectious. Infectious in a way that makes me want to find the next book, like, yesterday. Her voice is consistent in this series and I never fail to enjoy my time spent with the characters. I absolutely love her humor as well. Some of the lines in the book are phenomenal! One of my favorites is “waxing poetic”. Come to think of it, I may have used that a few times since I first read it. The other that I loved was after Sam and Marabella hook up, Sam notices that she’s altered the d├ęcor somewhat. It goes like this:

Ooh, he was so damn irritating. Which only made it all the more frustrating when she caught herself ogling his ass as he sauntered toward the bathroom. Her grumble leaking free, she turned and stormed down to the store.
She managed to distract herself from Sam’s presence for a whopping ten minutes while she finished unpacking and pricing the remaining suncatchers. Her composure slipped when he strode into the small room where their illicit rendezvous had occurred. His gaze immediately trekked to the brass daybed. “You changed the pillows.”
“And the sheets and comforter. I couldn’t exactly leave it after…”
His hot, smoldering scrutiny returned to her. “After we burned the sheets fantastic?”
She blushed. “I wasn’t going to phrase it that way, but yes.”
Sam’s focus dipped to her mouth and lingered there for an endless moment. “How were you going to phrase it, sweet Bella?” he asked in that silky-smooth tone that provoked tingles in inappropriate places. “The way I see it, you can’t get more accurate than that.”

I also liked that Ms. Redford veered slightly off track with this book. In the previous novels, the main characters acknowledge their desires and feelings. Maybe not directly to each other, but they seem to place obstacles in front of their possible relationships purposely as an excuse to deny themselves. This time, the obstacles are very much there. And while Marabella knows she has fallen, Sam refuses to acknowledge anything deeper than intoxicating lust. No judgment. He is a demon after all. Happily-ever-after doesn’t exist in his world. The issue this time is not whether they will acknowledge their own imperfections that block the way to happiness as with the previous books; but whether they are willing to buck the system in its entirety, the world they embrace and accept and have never questioned until now, for a chance to be together which could ultimately crumble anyway.

I found this book entertaining, beyond stimulating, and an altogether enjoyable read. Ms. Redford keeps it coming with the fourth installment of the That Old Black Magic series, Getting Familiar With Your Demon. I eagerly await the next installment. And although this is book four in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone. The series is absolutely enhanced reading in order, but not necessary for this particular book. Readers of paranormal romance with inclinations toward snark and sizzling smut are sure to enjoy this book.

(Digital ARC copy provided by author for review.)

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