Series: Demons of Elysium #1
Published by Samhain in 2014
Genres: Erotica, Fantasy
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This post is a part of the Release Day Romp (put on by Literati Author Services, Inc.) celebrating the release of Jane Kindred’s newest book, King of Thieves, which is the second book in the Demons of Elysium series. Due to some issues going on in real life that I don’t want to get into here, I behind and haven’t read King of Thieves yet. However, I did finish the first book in the series just in time for the festivities!
The Demons of Elysium are M/M erotica prequels to Kindred’s earlier House of Arkhangel’sk series, which is about angels and demons who fall from heaven into modern-day Russia. Heaven is very much like revolutionary Russia, and angel who is the lead character is based on the legend of Anastasia. As you may know, I have a thing for Russia, and the blend of a paranormal/fantasy story with Russian history makes me incredibly happy.
Prince of Tricks introduces Belphagor and Vasily, the demonic couple who become Anazakia’s protectors as she escapes from Heaven after her family is murdered. In this book, Belphagor and Vasily are in the early stages of their relationship. Belphagor is very dominant and used to getting his way. He’s a bit of a tough guy, having spent time in the Russian prison system during his first visits to Earth. Vasily is a prostitute, and he’s got a rebellious temper even as he craves Belphagor’s discipline. Neither of the two have truly fallen in love before, and so neither one knows how to act or how to move from casual hookups to a real relationship.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that Vasily gets kidnapped and tossed into the middle of an assassination plot by a treacherous angelic duke. It’ll take all of Belphagor’s luck to rescue Vasily, clear his name, and set things right.
In terms of the relationship itself, Belphagor and Vasily were my favorite characters when reading the House of Arkhangel’sk trilogy, so it was great to get to see them again. They’re so awkward right now, and it’s interesting to see how much they’ve changed and also stayed the same over time. I wish that Vasily would realize how much Belphagor cares about him. You see him taking desperate measures to save him from harm, and yet Vasily continues to doubt his love because he needs a bit more reassurance. Belphagor needs to learn how to make Vasily feel cherished even while continuing to play a dominant role. Vasily’s insecurities tend to get played out in bursts of temper that can be self-destructive, and that tends to get both of them into trouble. Communication is the key to any healthy relationship, and I don’t think that the two demons have mastered it quite yet.
I’m relatively new to reading erotica, and the heat level in Prince of Tricks was a bit more than I’m comfortable with. That’s not a bad thing. One of the reasons why I love reading is because it lets me step outside my comfort zone and experience different ways of life. There were just a lot more orgies here than I expected, and apparently orgies aren’t my thing. I don’t know about you, but if I were on the run and staying with friends, group sex would probably be the last thing on my mind. I’m also immature and think that almost any word for ejaculatory fluid is hilarious, which meant that I had a rough time taking certain scenes seriously. The word “jism” in particular… just try saying it out loud without laughing. It’s impossible. And yet, even where there were times when the sex scenes got to be a bit much for me, there were kidnappings, revolutionary plots, and other forms of intrigue to keep me reading.
Oh, and the best part of Prince of Tricks? I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that there’s a part where someone cross-dresses as part of a disguise. The thing that made me so happy is that Kindred explores the fact that there is a difference between the way that society perceives the two genders, and the cross-dressing character is shocked at the subtle ways in which his/her gender becomes a problem. Take, for example, prostitution. The demon in question had been a prostitute before but didn’t really feel exploited, but then while cross-dressing he had to deal with patrons who thought they were entitled to *anything* because they had paid by the hour. And a lot of what the demon in question experienced was very subtle and started to get to him/her more and more as time went on. Such an ingenious way of making the case for gender equality!
And now, for some information about the sequel, which I should hopefully be getting to soon…
About King of Thieves:
“There are worse things to lose than one’s good name. ”
Belphagor can seduce demons with a look and bring angels to their knees with a single motion, but when it comes to being in love, the Prince of Tricks is out of his element.
At every turn, Vasily rebels against the discipline he claims to want, even refusing to use his safe word. But when Belphagor uses a scheme to shut down an underage brothel to test Vasily’s limits, he loses Vasily s trust along with the boys he intended to set free.
Uncovering a smuggling ring that spans two worlds, Belphagor calls on a team of Nephilim mercenaries to rescue the Lost Boys from earthly gangsters. But his relationship seems beyond repair and a heartbroken Vasily beyond his reach in the arms of a sensual demon named Silk.
Belphagor has more than enough grand schemes up his sleeve to bring down the smuggling ring for good. But when it comes to putting things right with Vasily, his bag of tricks is empty. Except for trust and a plan to teach his boy a lesson neither will soon forget.
Warning: Contains two strong-willed lovers who will test the theory that without air, there can be no fire. Expect plenty of smoke, more than a few mirrors, and an old-fashioned Russian duel. You may need a shot of vodka when you re done reading this one!
About Jane Kindred:
Jane Kindred is the author of The House of Arkhangel’sk trilogy, the Demons of Elysium series, and The Devil’s Garden. Born in Billings, Montana, she spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.