Friday, 8 March 2013

#CBR5 Book 25. "Pleasure Unbound" by Larissa Ione

Page count: 338 pages
Rating: 2 stars

Eidolon is a doctor at a secret demon hospital. Recently, there seems to be someone hunting down supernatural creatures and harvesting their organs. Eidolon and his brothers Shade and Wraith would really like to figure out who's behind this.

Tayla Mancuso (yes, all the names in this book are awful, I spent a LOT of time rolling my eyes) is a demon slayer, and a really fierce one at that. At sixteen, she saw her junkie mother repeatedly raped and killed by a demon, so she has absolutely no time for any of them. Of course, the group of demon slayers who trained her has never really figured out that just like there are good and bad people in the world, there are also good and bad supernatural creatures.

When Tay's partner is killed in a fight with a particularly vicious demon, because she has some sort of fit that meant she lost control and couldn't back her up, Tay is left for dead and brought into the demon hospital where Eidolon is Chief of Staff. Most of the staff are extremely pissed at seeing her there, and argue vocally that she needs to be killed, but Eidolon overrules them and patches her up. He discovers that while she may be a slayer, there is something seriously wrong with her insides, and it seems that Tay is slowly turning into the thing she hates the most - a demon.

Pleasure Unbound is this month's (March 2013) alternative pick in Vaginal Fantasy Hangout. It was picked because the main read is Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a YA novel, which is traditionally very light on the graphic smexy times. This was selected because of the high levels of smuttiness, which would balance out the lack in the main book. Sadly, while the sex scenes were plentiful (the first one is in the second chapter, while Tay is still in hospital and pretty much out of it) and graphic, bordering on the straight up porny, the plot and characterisation in this book left a lot to be desired (yeah, see what I did there?)

The large amounts of sex is explained by the fact that Eidolon and his brothers are incubi, sex demons who pretty much screw everything with a pulse. Apparently Eidolon is a lot more controlled than his two brothers and normally not as easily led by his libido. However, the sex demons go through a change when they turn a hundred, where they have to find a mate with whom to bond until death do them part, or lose control and give into the urge to impregnate any female they meet. As Eidolon is on the cusp of said change, he doesn't need much persuading to bonk Tayla, in her fricking hospital room, not caring if anyone walks in on them, even though he hates her and hasn't even made up his mind about whether to let members of the hospital staff dispose of her for the greater good. The fact that he, the mighty sex demon, can't bring her to orgasm because of her deep sexual hangups is an actual plot point.

Tay starts this book pretty much a total bitca, and her stupidity and knee-jerk prejudice pissed me off. Eidolon, who the reader is probably supposed to sympathise with more was pretty much just a sex obsessed jerk. While stories where the couple start out antagonistic can work really well, this one fell down flat for me because I didn't really care whether they ended up together or killed each other. I don't mind graphic sex in my fantasy occasionally, but if there isn't a decent plot and at least some likable characters, it just gets boring. It's one of the main reasons that Laurell K Hamilton never appealed to me  all that much. The book gets a bit better in the second half, which is why it's getting 2 stars. Larissa Ione has written a whole bunch of books, all fairly highly rated on Goodreads - there are four more in this series. I doubt I'll be checking out any more, though.

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