Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sexy As Hell: A More Than Men Novella by Andrea Laurence

Strong, sexy and powerful... the kind of man every woman wants in her life and in her bed. But these men are more. Oh, so much more.

Seth gave up everything to circumvent death, including his freedom. Now he's an immortal warrior serving the Archangel Michael. But Seth has been compromised and he may finally earn his life back. He's just got to send one sexy, stubborn succubus back to hell.

Camille always thought her neighbor was mysterious and handsome, but she never imagined what kind of work really kept him up so late. The succubus Isra has targeted Seth and she has taken Camille as her host as a surefire way to get to him. Isra has twenty-four hours to seduce Seth and steal his immortal life-force.

The clock is ticking...

Where to Buy

A unique short story that manages to contain quite a bit of depth despite it's limited length. The characters come alive, and though we don't necessarily get to know all of them well as individuals, still the author manages to make you care about them and what happens to them. Even the Succubus becomes fairly human-seeming and someone that the reader can sympathize with and feel some pity for perhaps.

In a somewhat unusual twist, the man is the focus character of this story, and is the character we get to know the best. While his characterization doesn't give many insights into his personality, we do get to learn a fair bit about what his rather long life has been like, and the weariness that he feels is entirely palpable. What would it be like to have spent 1500+ years battling demons with hardly ever a break in the action? Exhausting is only the first of many words that comes to mind I think, and that exhaustion of mind and body that Seth is feeling comes through clearly despite his level of resolve in dealing with the succubus. It doesn't take long to start hoping he'll eventually earn the respite he's somewhat promised will come once this "assignment" is over.

Camille, Seth's human neighbor, object of his desires, and host for Isra, the succubus, is never really well defined for us as an individual. She's a sweet, proper, Southern woman who does her best to act like a lady and, in her own words, be the kind of woman a man would want to take home to momma and to marry. Does this sweet, relatively chaste demeanor survive being possessed by the succubus? Well, you'll have to read the story to find out the answer to that question. The most I'll say here is that she does learn a few things during her ordeal I think.

I had expected this story to be a lot steamier than it actually is. While it does open up with a fairly hot dream sequence, the rest of the story is relatively tame with very little action aside from the succubus' various attempts to seduce Seth. There is sexy/dirty talk and suggestive/seductive behavior aplenty, but very little actual contact between them. But then, the main point of the bulk of the story is that Seth has to avoid contact with Camille/Isra for the 24 hours that Isra will be in possession of Camille's body. While I think there could have been a lot more steam involved while staying within that premise, the tactics that the author has Seth adopt make a lot more sense really and end up being a lot more believable.

Overall this is a good little story, well written, and with a satisfying amount of depth to the characters and events given the limitations of the length. My main quibble here would be with the ending, which comes a bit abruptly. A little more resolution to the whole situation would have been nice, as a few issues are left unresolved at the end. Perhaps they are things that will be addressed in other books of the series, or perhaps we're simply meant to fill in the blanks on our own. Whatever the case, this story is worth a read. It probably won't change your worldview or anything terribly important or momentous like that, but it will entertain you for an hour or so I think.

Note: I received a free copy of this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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