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Book CoverShannon C.’s review of Dancing With the Devil by Laura Drewry
Historical paranormal romance released by Leisure 25 Nov 08

Dear Satan,

…And he should be smart and funny. I don’t care what he looks like as long as he’s good in bed and has a really big…

Oh, wait, that’s my letter to Santa. Oops. I get so confused sometimes.

I’m one of the pickier reviewers on this site, and I’ve joked before that writing bad reviews is like making a sacrifice to you, my Dark Master. Not that this is a bad review. My reaction to the book was actually kind of “meh”, hence my need to spice up a normally bland review in this way. So it’s only fair that I should talk to you about your son, as described in Laura Drewry’s latest novel. I figured you wouldn’t mind, since it takes a lot of hubris to write a letter to you, and I’m thinking those other reviewers who write epistolary reviews aren’t in the habit of being critical of the devil himself. Anyway, now that we’ve established that I do, in fact, have titanium cojones, let’s go on with the review… 

First, I congratulate you on inspiring the blurb, which actually doesn’t bear much resemblance to the plot. And since readers do want to know what a book is about, I guess this means I’ll have to try and summarize the story. Basically, Rhea’s not all that happy when Deacon comes back into town. She was doing fine without him, running her parents’ store, but then he shows up at her door and all the heartache she experienced because of him rushes back and she shoots him. To add insult to injury, she did so in public, and because she’d pretended Deacon was her husband, he has to stay with her until they can figure out a way to end the charade. She’s not expecting love from Deacon. She knows he’s not capable of it. But she still can’t help the way she feels about him.

Deacon, for his part, has returned to Pennance, Texas, with one thing on his mind. He needs to ease the pain in Rhea’s heart, because he feels it in his own. Only then can he return to hell and do whatever it is your kids do in their spare time. What he doesn’t count on is the fact that Rhea pretended they were married, and the fact that once he’s back in her life, he can’t leave her so easily.

To give the devil your due (heh, did you like that, O Father of Lies?) I really liked the first book in this series. The pun on your daughter Lucy Fir’s name was hellish (yeah, kind of like the one I just made), but she was unique and refreshing, and Deacon, your son, was someone I loved to hate. He was vain and evil and soulless and creepy, and he served as a good foil for the actual hero,.

So what happened, O Master? Why did he have to turn into a giant woobie in this book? Not to criticize your mad parenting skills, but, dude, really! You beat the sexiness out of him.

Or maybe you had the last laugh, after all? I mean, Rhea, Deacon’s love interest, is so shrill and impulsive and keen to jump to erroneous conclusions that I wanted to smack her. Oh, and let’s not forget that she’s one of those heroines who conveniently espouses 21st century ideals about how men can’t tell her what to do but still manages to be scandalized that Deacon wants to touch her. Living with her could certainly not be worse than actually hanging out with you in the lake of fire. I couldn’t understand why you were so keen to get Deacon back since a life with Rhea would have certainly kept him sufficiently miserable.

I did like that Ms. Drewry didn’t actually bring you into the story itself. You are, as you should be, a shadowy presence of great menace. Well, except for the fact that this is a romance novel, and you’ve already lost one of your kids, so… yeah… You’re shadowy and abusive but not terribly menacing. Much as I imagine you are in all those other books where your kids run amok on Earth.

I didn’t hate this book. There were parts I really liked. I liked that there was some moral ambiguity, and it was nice to read that Rhea’s tragically dead parents weren’t saints. The secondary romance between Rhea’s helper at the store and a local girl was cute, and said store employee was a great character. I also liked the introduction of your other daughter, Kit. Sadly, though, for you, I’m sure Kit gets her own book, and then where will you be? Alone and unloved, with only the screams of the damned to comfort you in your time of need. Ah, well, you’ll always have this letter.

Will I continue to read the series? I would be interested in reading Kit’s story, but I’m a little worried that these books could get predictable very easily, and I would hate to see that, as paranormal westerns are still a very awesome and rare thing.

Until next we meet,
Your Faithful Servant

ShannonCGrade: C


Hell Hath No Fury. . .

Deacon knew Rhea wouldn’t exactly be happy to see him again. But he didn’t think she’d shoot him. Right in the shoulder, no less. He’d experienced worse pain in his life, though. Besides, now Rhea would have to let him stay until she could nurse him back to health. Oh, the hardship.

Like A Woman Scorned

His convalescence would give Deacon a chance to convince Rhea he’d turned over a new leaf, that he was no longer the son-of-a-devil who up and left her all those years ago in a puff of sulphurous smoke. Now he’s a man who knows what he wants. And no matter what kind of trouble Rhea has gotten into while he was away, what he wants more than anything is to win her heart.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series:

Book Cover