base instinctsRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Raze is a Seminus demon, a species that can only survive by having frequent sex with women. The only problem is that Raze is attracted to men. With the help of his friend Fayle, he has the sex part covered. Though Fayle isn’t the easiest person to get along with, she has always been there for Raze when he needs her. But although he is surviving, Raze isn’t really happy. He dreams of a life with a male partner, something that is seemingly impossible given his need to be with women.

Slake is an assassin who has been hired to capture Fayle and bring her to his bosses. He doesn’t know why or what they want with her, but he knows that he must do it or risk his soul (thanks to some bad deal making years ago). When he goes to a nightclub looking for Fayle, Slake sees Raze and is immediately attracted to him. The fact that Raze has a connection to Fayle doesn’t hurt either.

As the guys get to know one another, Slake is surprised by the strength of his feelings for Raze. He hates that he has to lie to him, and knows there is no hope for them if he has to capture Fayle. And Raze finds himself falling for Slake and dreaming of a future he knows is impossible. Slake has no choice to kidnap the woman who keeps Raze alive, Raze is facing a life without a man to love, and Fayle has an agenda of her own. Now Raze and Slake must face danger and a host of complications if they have any hope of a future together.

Base Instincts is part of Larissa Ione’s Demonica series, an urban fantasy series featuring demons and other paranormal creatures. The rest of the series so far is all m/f, and I have read the first five (this is roughly the 12th story). So I came into this book with some familiarity with Ione’s world, as well as a few of the characters that show up along the way. Ione does do a nice job of catching readers up with the series and the world building, however. There is a glossary in the front, and she explains things very well throughout the book. I had no problem keeping up, and I don’t think anyone will have trouble jumping in even if this is the first one you have read. That said, I totally loved the books I read, so I was really excited for a chance to get back into the series, this time with a m/m spin.

This story was just a lot of fun. I loved the conflict here. First we have a gay sex demon who needs to have sex with women to survive. Then we combine him with the man who is sent to capture the women who is keeping him alive. We know from the start that things are complicated, that everyone has secrets, and that conflict is inevitable, and I loved being along for the ride. These are tough, aggressive men who also have a sweet, sensitive side. I loved both of them and I was happy to see each man find someone to love and accept him. Each guy has some secrets and some major issues, and neither ever thought he would find love. So it is so much fun to see them get together and find happiness.

The world building is great here and we get to see a lot of the demon world and meet a host of characters. Again, some I knew already, and some I assume have been introduced in other books I haven’t read. Either way, I had no trouble following along. There have also clearly been some major events in the world that I missed, but again I had no trouble following along. Ione has a really creative series here with all kinds of different creatures, each with their own rules and ways of interacting. It is clever and fun and I easily fell right back into things.

So I really enjoyed this one and I am really excited that it sounds like there might be more m/m stories set in this world. According to the author, the official Demonica/Lords of Deliverance story arc has been completed, and she is now writing some additional stories for some of the characters who didn’t get them. These will be mostly m/f, but some will be m/m and I am really looking forward to reading them. In fact, I find myself very tempted to go back and read some of the previous books too, especially the one about Revenant who we meet here and is super delicious! So lots of fun and definitely recommended, both for fans of the series and newcomers.

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