Ian has had enough of rival Jae’s poking, prodding, and teasing. He’s determined to show Jae exactly what kind of magic he can do, and sets out to summon a demon. Of course, he never intends to bring forth the very gorgeous Incubus Alistair. But once he’s got the details worked out with Alistair, and a little blow job later, Ian takes Alistair to meet Jae. Jae, of course, doesn’t believe that Alistair is really a demon, and despite Alistair’s attempt at showing it, Jae demands real proof. When the three of them get back to Jae’s place, Alistair shows exactly how much of a demon he is, and it serves as a catalyst to bring Jae and Ian together at last. With, of course, Alistair joining in.
This short novella is big on the erotic moments, with characters that have great chemistry, but without a lot of backstory. I think the author does a great job setting up the premise of the story, and though I would have wished for a bit more information, I thought that for the most part, this story worked as it was.
We come into the relationship between Ian and Jae after things have been brewing for a year. Their rivalry runs deep, with Ian being painted as a goody-two-shoes and Jae pushing and teasing him to do something bold and daring. Ian came across as a bit reckless for summoning a demon just because he was dared, but he also took every precaution he could so that it wasn’t too big and scary. I thought that showed his character better than anything else in the story, and I kind of thought he was just adorable. I found myself rooting for him, and wanting him to get what he wanted.
It was clear, once he finally got in the same room with Jae, that there was much more at work than just Jae pushing and teasing. At first, in Ian’s mind, it reads like a very mild bullying at times. But seeing them together, it’s clear that Jae is “pulling pigtails” and wanting Ian’s attention. Honestly, though, while it worked well, I had a little issue with it. Jae was a very confident person, and it didn’t feel quite true that Jae would tease and poke instead of just telling Ian outright. There are any number of reason as to why Jae would hold back, and I could make a multitude of guesses, but that’s all they would be. We never know what Jae is truly thinking. I did appreciate that the author included a fairly good portrayal of a non-binary gendered person, but I felt ze was incomplete. Despite the short length of the story, I would have liked to see a bit more from Jae, so that ze could explain what ze was thinking and feeling. As it was, I felt that part was lacking.
Adding Alistair to the mix worked all the way up until the end. found him incredibly charming and likeable, and I thought he was the prefect catalyst to bring Ian and Jae together. I would have liked to see him a bit more fleshed out, but I thought that he was portrayed as more than just your average demon. Together, the threesome was smoking hot, and the story ends with a bit of an HFN. If any three can make it work on sexual chemistry alone, it’s these three.
Because I’m me, I have to make mention of the world building. And for the most part, I thought that the author did a great job of thrusting us into an existing world and filling in the important bits as the story progressed. Did I find it a little lacking? Yes. There were questions about the way things worked that I wanted answers to. But I was willing to let it slide, mostly, because for the length of the story, it had the information we needed.
So, basically, I enjoyed this little novella. It was a quick and engaging read. If you’re into magic, and/or unconventional characters and pairings, then I’d urge to give this one a try.