When I begin reading a book, one thought goes through me mind: “Please don’t let this be a DNF!”
A DNF (Do Not Finish) is the kiss of death for authors, even worse than receiving an F Grade. Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione came very close to being a DNF for me in the first 80 pages or so. But since I have been reading rave reviews about Pleasure Unbound, I decided to stick with it. If things did not look up by page one-hundred, this would be placed in the DNF pile.
Larissa really turned things around for me. This almost DNF does a complete 180, where I was glued to the story. That, in itself, is quite an accomplishment. I can admit I was so very wrong, and can really see great things for Larissa and her new Demonica Series. Not only is Pleasure Unbound perfect for any paranormal fan, but the sex oozes off the pages. This is one sex filled book where, if the characters are not having sex, they are thinking about sex. Everyone gets down and dirty, or at the very least they do so in their minds. The path to love for our demons is very much a dirty and physical one, where pain and pleasure are blurred together. Also, the outcome of some important characters are not certain. Those you think will be alive and well towards the end, are not, and the HEA (happily ever after) we are so used to is somewhat unknown. This isn’t a fairy tale where everything comes up smelling like roses and that white picket fence with 2.5 kids is a sure thing. There is death, pain and suffering. Actually, there is a whole lot of suffering.
Take Tayla, our demon slayer heroine for example. Tayla is that typical hard nosed, “I don’t need anybody to love” character. She has the crap beaten out of her more than any other character in this book, and will still stand up and take another hit if need be. Tayla is first introduced as an unconscious patient brought to a hospital that caters to all types of non-humans. Tayla isn't a welcomed sight because she kills demons. She works for The Aegis, a group of humans who have vowed to exterminate any demons, vampires, werewolves, or any other nasty creature. Tayla has a particular dislike for demons in particular because her drug-addicted mother was tortured and finally killed by one.
The demon doctor who comes to take care of her is Eidolon. Ediolon is a sex on a stick demon surgeon who patches up his fellow demons and other creatures. Eidolon is having some issues himself because he is going through his s’genesis. He is having a really hard time, very much so in the literal sense. Eidolon is hard all the time due to the s’genesis, which is a rite of passage for his kind. He has reached the age where his lust is about to overpower him and he will feel the constant need to rape and impregnate any female he comes in contact with. So far Eidolon has been successful at keeping those urges bay, but when Tayla is brought to the Underworld General Hospital, also known as UGH (ha ha funny), Ediolon can barely hold back. Of course he is disgusted over his lust for this demon slayer. And things become even more complicated when he finds out that Tayla is half demon.
Not only does Eidolon have to hold back ravishing Tayla every chance he can get, but he has to figure out which one of the Aegis are killing demons and stealing their internal organs. And since Tayla is not too keen on Eidolon, he has his work cut out for him. See, Tayla has a really bad sexual hang up because she witnessed something so horrible as a teenager; and it deals with her mother. She can’t get this memory out of her head and because of it, Tayla cannot enjoy sex the way a woman should be able to.
When Eidolon is not trying to get down Tayla’s pants, or trying not to turn into a raging demon of unbridled lust, he has to keep tabs on his two brothers. His brother Wraith, who is half vampire, is addicted to drinking the blood of drug addicts to get his high. Wraith also has the power to manipulate people with his mind. Whenever Wraith messes up, Eidolon is there to pick up the pieces and take the consequences. There is also Shade, who is the more easy going of the brothers and will sleep with any woman, human or otherwise. Shade has the gift to cure anyone with a simple touch. There are some other interesting secondary characters, both human and demon that are bound to have their own future stories in this on-going series that I wouldn’t want to miss. (Shade’s book, Shadow Lover comes out in March 2009)
Pleasure Unbound reads like a paranormal soap opera, much like the Dynasty or Dallas of the eighties. This was such a guilty pleasure read with the amount of sex, violence and secret siblings popping up. There are also many others who stradde both sides of the fence between good and evil. Trying to figure out which side they are on is part of the fun. I felt the beginning dragged a bit, mainly because Larissa needed to set up the story and the action. But as soon as things were set into motion, Pleasure Unbound didn’t let up for a moment.
And for those who weren’t aware, Larissa Ione also writes under the pseudonym, Sydney Croft (along with author Stephanie Tyler) who pens erotic paranormal action/ adventure romance. If you are a fan of her Croft books, I have no doubt you will enjoy Larissa Ione and her new Demonica Series with Pleasure Unbound. (Published by Grand Central Publishing)
3 out of 5 stars