Eryn is a wolf who can’t shift, not without his Alpha’s help. Even then, his wolf is so wild that it doesn’t listen to him, and barely listens to the Alpha. It’s so bad that Eryn’s Alpha is trying to find him a new home in another pack, somewhere where Eryn can start over, make friends, and have a better life than the one he’s living, hiding away in a room. Then the worst thing that Eryn could have ever imagined happens. His wolf, feral and uncontrollable, kills the Alpha! The Beta of the pack offers Eryn a chance to volunteer for a contract at the Flesh Market — maybe a year or two — until the chaos dies down. When Eryn has served his time, he can come back to the pack and maybe they’ll let him back in.
For Levi, the Flesh Market is where he goes to buy a new dinner. Slaves, criminals in all flavors — centaur or siren, human or elf — they’re there for his perusal. Usually they don’t last long, as Levi is rough with his food, and here, picking from the dregs of the market, he doesn’t need to be gentle. These are often beings that have broken their culture’s laws, done something to get themselves sold here, and no one will miss them when they’re gone. And that’s when Levi sees him: the wolf. The boy, just of age, wide eyed and innocent, stripped naked and shoved onto the block to be sold. Levi has to have him. It’s been so long since he’s tasted a wolf …
Eryn is a victim. but that feels like pretty much his whole personality in this story. He goes from being someone locked away from the rest of his pack, with his Alpha trying to trade him away to somewhere, anywhere else; to the victim of the Beta, sold into a flesh market; to the victim of Levi, his new owner who uses him first as food, then as a toy, then as a lover. Eryn presents with no personality beyond wanting to please, not wanting to be hurt, and being afraid of being abandoned. His lack of self identity is also present in the chapter titles from his POV where they go from Eryn … to pet.
Levi, short for Leviathan, is the big, bad bloodwraith who is so old, so powerful, and so rich he’s seen and had everything. But he’s never felt like this before. Something about this boy just tugs at his heartstrings so much that he goes from drinking from him and tossing him aside to fretting over him when he’s cold. Levi goes from jaded and indifferent to obsessive and madly in love so fast that it’s almost unbelievable. (For me, personally, it was utterly unbelievable.)
Levi likes being called Daddy, hence the series name, Demon Daddy, but I didn’t feel a connection between Eryn and Levi. It felt so rote, so predicted and predictable that it was actually somewhat boring. In previous books I’ve read featuring a Daddy/boy dynamic, there’s been a sense of nurturing and caring, a sense of caretaking. Here, it all just feels about sex and power, and Levi getting off on being called Daddy while using Eryn to control and to feed from.
The power dynamic between them is very much master and property, as Levi buys Eryn from a slave market and there is a collar around his neck. Levi feeds from Eryn without asking, but is oh-so-considerate when it comes to keeping Eryn physically content. The disparity between the two, with Eryn as food, Eryn as sex toy, and Eryn as Levi’s one, true heart’s beloved after all these many, many centuries didn’t ever gel together for me. Now, to be fair, this is the first book in the series and it ends on a cliffhanger just as the two of them are exploring their relationship outside of the bed, but given the one-note tone of the book and my personal disinterest in the characters, I’m not certain if I’m interested in moving on to book two. If you choose to give this book a try, I hope you enjoy it!