Title: Temptation of the Incubus
Author: S.A. Garcia
Publisher: MLR Press
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Paranormal/M/M Romance
Length: 271 pages
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: I wanted to like this story about an incubus and a human much more than I did.
Hybrid incubus, Amando is a true man-eater. Consuming life force to exist makes committing to long-term romance a difficult task.The ancient Amando fears he’s destined to be lonely, until he meets the humble electrician Mads Massimo, a human who innocently bites back.Amando knows he should flee from this consuming human, but something in Mad’s unique, pure soul binds them in true union. Amando is shocked; imagine an ancient demon falling in love with a human! But even as Mads drains Amando’s life force, he cannot deny his love for his pure Mads. Drained and in pain, Amando wonders if he needs to confess his true identity.When a certain scheming entity interferes with their relationship, the decision is taken out of Amando’s hands. Is their love a match made in Heaven or Hell?
I really liked To Save a Shining Soul by this writer (which I reviewed on the site here) therefore when I saw a new story by this writer I requested it right away. Unfortunately the story mostly did not live up to my expectations and it was mostly due to me never warming up to the narrator’s voice. The story is written from Amando’s first person POV and he…how to put it? I guess I would say he rambles a lot — and I mean a lot — and he really likes endearing names — a lot. I stopped counting how many times he called readers “kittens”. I am pretty sure many readers will find it sweet, but unfortunately I found it annoying. I also counted several times when I just wanted to reach through my computer and ask him to please, PLEASE get on with the story. Here is just one of several examples of uninteresting interludes that I just was not happy with.
“How am I doing? You pretty kittens still roam around my ankles. My rambling creates some intrigue, eh? I truly enjoy this storytelling process. Nattering on is a marvelous way to spend these lonely afternoons and suddenly empty evenings. Usually my evenings are too busy in…
Whoops. Quick, clap fingers over my loose lips. Drat, I always did talk too much.”
No kidding Amando, you sure do talk too much sometimes, if you ask me. 🙂 I know I am not supposed to talk to the character directly, but hey, the character talks to the readers directly more than once throughout the story, so I decided I can put in my two cents as well.
Do not get me wrong, Amando, when he actually gets around to telling his story, is a pretty likeable character, especially for an incubus. But again, I was not able to warm up to the way he talks, thus the substance of his story lost some points with me due to the way it was told. I do realize that most likely this was a deliberate artistic choice to make Amando tell his story in such rambling way; if I remember correctly, the writing style in To Save a Shining Soul and Canes and Scales (another story by this writer that I liked) was quite different. It is just was not the choice that appealed to me.
I always enjoy when an author plays with religious themes in nontraditional ways and I was such a happy reader in To Save a Shining Soul for this reason. Here there were also a few interesting tidbits, but I did not feel that it was as interesting and fresh.
I also had problems with Amando’s love interest, Mads. He is perfect, literally and figuratively, starting from his name and ending with the mythology related to him in the story. The author surely took his perfection up a notch and as a result, I unfortunately did not care for him much. As much as I love characters with flaws, I can certainly enjoy a guy who is just a good person, a sweet, kind man, so I could have certainly liked Mads — and I did like him while he was just himself — but then the author added some mythology to increase his perfection and I just could not deal with it. I do understand why this perfection was needed for the story, but for me it just did not work.
Another thing that I did not care for was the fact that Armando pretty much gives up the ending of the story in its very beginning. While he does not tell us what happened in detail, he refers to himself as somebody different than what he is in the beginning of the story and that pretty much made it lose some of the intrigue for me. I did expect a happy ending, but I wanted to be surprised about what exactly would happen for the guys to get there. It was a disappointment.
Recommended with reservations.