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Sex, Lies, and Demon Ties (A Dark Desires Series Novel) by C.J. Laurence

This book was intriguing but I’ll be honest when I say it fell a bit short for me. The catch lines all seem like the kind of book I was going to love and there were parts that really had me. Then there were parts that I just couldn’t get over.

The basic premise is that two demon brothers, Balthasar and Azazel, have a yearly vacation from hell and their jobs as some of Lucifer’s right hand men where they pretty much have the run of wherever they decide to hole up for their holiday. On their latest vacation they decide Lancashire is the place to be, for what reason we never find out. While their they stumble across our heroine Kyla Marshall and what ensues should have been a fun bit of romantic literation, but what is really quite a mess reading wise.

From the get go Kyla kind of rubbed me the wrong way, which I chalked up to being due to something about her past. That intuition was correct to put it mildly. After becoming pregnant by her boyfriend the man proceeds to tie her down and give her an at-home abortion complete with wire coat hanger before he runs off with her mother who he then marries. Blessedly, we don’t have to see that part only the emotional aftermath. As the book progressed though Kyla gradually becomes an all-out bloodthirsty crazy who eventually turns murderer. She even wants to go so far as to kill her half-sisters who are the product of her mother and ex-boyfriend’s marriage. This is the woman we’re supposed to be cheering for? By the end of the book, I really kind of hated her. I think if the author worked on her character more and made her much more likeable and less psychotic the book would have been miles better. In the beginning we absolutely can’t stand Azazel. To put it mildly he has no redeeming qualities and appears as psychotic as Kyla turns out to be. They would have been perfect for each other in the villainous way if he hadn’t made a switch for the better gradually through the book. In the end, I liked him loads better than Kyla, although some of his past deeds definitely didn’t make him redeemable enough for me to wish he was sitting next to me in the living room.

Balthasar started out the exact opposite of his brother and I was really thinking he was going to be our main squeeze in the book. Alas I was wrong and while it seems for a while our fickle heroine might end up with the both of them in the end Kyla’s best friend snags him as her man. Where that came from I still can’t figure out, because it was only in the epilogue that we even had Sam and Balthasar in the same room. The author easily could have set up a second book with them as her main couple if she’d desired to do so, but perhaps by the end of the book she hated the plotline as much as we did. In the end he’d done some pretty reprehensible things as well so the psychotic Kyla losing him to the much sweeter Sam wasn’t too hard to swallow.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style I just wish she’d left some of the dark alone. Yes, the guys are demons and we expect them to do some horrible things, particularly in the past but this book really fell short in any romantic capacity and the idea of people, paranormal or not, having many redeeming qualities. I have to say that while I didn’t particularly enjoy the characters themselves I was never bored for a moment. That says something about the flow of the book. I might see what else this author has to offer, although I doubt I’ll be looking into book two of this particular series. **I received a free ARC of this book for my honest feedback and unbiased review.**