Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel

 

Living in the mortal plane is enormous fun for Harlow, second son of Lucifer. There is an endless stream of hot men to warm his bed, after all. For years, he has partaken in all the carnal delights, with a new partner every night. When Harlow’s older brother, Cal, gave his eternal mark to a human lover, not even their endless passion for one another was enough to convince Harlow there is any merit to commitment. But all that is before Harlow lays eyes on Bailey. Bailey is big, beefy, and with a submissive streak that drives Harlow’s inner demon wild, and Harlow is suddenly desperate to get his hands on just one man over and over again. And after they share a smoking hot dance and even steamier kiss on the dance floor of a club, Harlow is convinced Bailey is it for him. The only problem? Bailey can’t get away from Harlow fast enough.

Bailey has never felt such an intense attraction. Everything about Harlow calls to him. From his firecracker attitude to his smoky eye and sharp tongue. But if Bailey has learned anything in life, it is that he isn’t worthy of long-term relationships. His first (and last) long-term boyfriend disabused him of that notion. There is no way Bailey is going to even entertain the idea that he will be anything more than a notch in Harlow’s bedpost. So he decides it is better to cut his losses and leave Harlow alone. That proves surprisingly difficult given that Harlow’s brother is Bailey’s best friend’s boyfriend. He knows all three of them get together regularly. So for friendship’s sake, Bailey cautiously extends an olive branch to Harlow. As the days and weeks pass, both Bailey and Harlow know they can only handle so much time in the friendzone before their fiery chemistry ignites. But not all good things can last. First, Bailey has to be able to accept that a relationship between them can work. Not to mention that Harlow might lose Bailey forever when a group of supernaturals seek to open the gates to hell for their own purposes.

Devil May Care is the second book in Lark Taylor’s The Reckless Damned series. It’s set a few months after the events of the first book, Devil’s Mark. While Devil May Care undeniably focuses on Harlow and Bailey’s story, there is a strong showing from Cal and Oscar (MCs from book one) and a lot of potential foreshadowing for what’s in store in future installments. The way Harlow’s story intertwines with the world was a mixed bad for me. Part of me got distracted (and, honestly, a little more interested) in the phenomenal sexual tension between Harlow’s brother, Dagon, and the guy who is surely his unacknowledged mate. Those two have a lot of baggage and it gets trotted out on page in this book pretty often. Part of me didn’t like realizing that it felt like the only time Bailey and Harlow actually got to be together on page was when they were about to have sex. So many major plot developments seem to happen when Harlow is with just his brothers. Likewise, many of Bailey’s character revealing scenes happen when he’s talking with Oscar. For me, the book has big community-centric vibes that intertwines (and sometimes carries) the love story.

As far as development goes, I’ll be honest…Bailey and Harlow’s story feels like it mimics the general shape that Oscar and Cal’s followed. A human and a demon meet, feel an instant and extraordinarily intense attraction, confront and eventually confess their feelings, and encounter some life threatening danger that involves going to literal Hell before everything resolves to everyone’s satisfaction. The particulars are obviously as different as the characters, but there was almost nothing about the structure and organization of the book that distinguishes it from the first one. That said, there was a stunning moment where Bailey gets attacked and the unthinkable happens. I was gobsmacked by the conceit Taylor used to put Bailey in mortal danger. The only real shortcoming here is now neatly that conceit gets dealt with—namely that it took all four demonic brothers to work together to save Bailey.

One small criticism is that this series doesn’t seem to be building any meta threads. Maybe the references to the as-yet unmated brothers are meant to act as overarching themes, but given that both Oscar in book one and Bailey in book two come to harm because some supernatural being is trying to manipulate their demonic lovers, I was hoping that would build into a bigger subplot that spanned multiple books. There’s a possibility of that happening, but in two out of two books so far, the manipulative supernatural beings only seem to be a vehicle for putting mortal characters in danger for true love to come and save them.

Overall, this was a nice follow up to Devil’s Mark. Taylor is delivering a different kind of series than I am used to, but even without a unifying problem to tie the books together, it’s an interesting change to read a series where it’s truly the characters and their interrelationships that provide the continuity between books. If you’re a fan of size difference romances or angsty get togethers where one MC firmly believes sacrificing his happiness will somehow guarantee the other MCs happiness (and vice versa), then I think you’ll enjoy this. I suppose it could be read as a standalone, but I think you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’ve already got book one under your belt.

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