Friday, February 5, 2010

[Review] 'Gentlemen Prefer Succubi' by Jill Myles

Title: ‘Gentlemen Prefer Succubi’
Author: Jill Myles
Pages: 368
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Standalone/Series: First in the Succubus Diaries
Publisher: Pocket Books

Jackie Brighton woke up in a Dumpster this morning, and her day has only gotten weirder. Her familiar B-cups have somehow become double Ds, her sex drive is insatiable, and apparently she had her first one-night stand ever...with a fallen angel. All she remembers is gorgeous Noah's oddly hypnotic blue eyes...and then a dark stranger whose bite transformed her into an immortal siren with a sexy Itch. With help from Noah, Jackie begins to adapt to her new lifestyle -- until she accidentally sends Noah into the deadly clutches of the vampire queen and lands herself in a fierce battle for an ancient halo with the queen's wickedly hot righthand man. Who just happens to be the vampire who originally bit her. How's a girl supposed to save the world when the enemy's so hard to resist?

Vampires? Been there, done that. Succubi? They are not so exotic either? Angels? Well, they have been on a steady invasion and sooner rather than later, I gather, people would be rolling their eyes, when encountering them in a book. However, a good cocktail by definition is about bringing the known to a new form of delight. So, people, Jill Myles is your bartender for this ride and boy, does she have some recipes with sultry sex appeal.

Infused with humor and seasoned with sex ‘Gentlemen Prefer Succubi’ offers you the reader a raunchy tour through a paranormal underworld, threaded with agendas and ambition. Jackie Brighton’s your tour guide and she’ll give you one hell of a time, while adjusting to her D-cup succubus body after being a dull B-cup museum chick. Jill Myles shows great promise in her debut after constructing a likable, yet needy protagonist in Jackie Brighton. Jackie’s narrative is enjoyable for the contradictions between the urges her succubus hot body demands – sex in industrial quantities with no regards to time, situation or partner – and Jackie’s steady, hacked in her heart moral codes and standards. It’s exactly shock of transition, which prompts her to make a deal with the angel Uriel, which grows to a deal with the vampire queen Nitocris and leads to a trip to Egypt, where most likely the fate of the heavens and hell will be determined.

‘Gentlemen Prefer Succubi’ is a light and tongue-in-cheek Paranormal Romance, which apart from global threats delights in silly antics without heavy dramatics, which is a common theme in a number of series. Myles has a knack for interactions between characters. I admit there are certain archetypical tropes such as the stoic and trustworthy male suitor [Noah] and the bad boy with a good heart [Zane], but the cast won my adoration with the sitcom spirit, imbued in the writing. I was especially taken with Remy, who is an experienced succubus, who knows how to work her strut. While being materialistic, vanity obsessed and with a successful career in the adult industry, she has a potentially golden heart and is deceptively loyal despite her shallow behavior at times.

I have also seen many authors struggle with love triangles, but Myles covers all bases with relative ease. Zane and Noah are prototypes of male perfection embodied and opposed to each other in a contest to win Jackie’s heart. Readers will root both for Zane, the bad boy vampire, and Noah, the steady reliable fallen angel. Jackie’s uncertainty and dilemma between the two is realistic and endearing, but also mixed with flattery, because the change from being solitary to being desired is confusing.

It is customary for PNR to have warring factions locked in mortal combat for domination and ‘Gentlemen Prefer Succubi’ does not stray from the flock in this regard, however, it is worth to mention that the warring communities share one origin species. Both Serim and vampires have once been angels, but share two different curses. The first crave the carnal pleasures and the latter thirst for blood. What is even better is that the succubi as species are created from a passionate night with a Serim and then a bit of a vampire, which is an original idea, meaning I haven’t read about it anywhere else. High props form me on that point.

I have shared high praise so far, but I had a few gripes as well. Although the sex is innovative and daring, the love triangle justifiable and the dialogues chuckle-inducing, characterization is a bit lacking in the sense that I saw the surface, the obvious and the typical in these characters, while the essence has yet to be revealed. Example here would be Jackie’s passion for her job and how she yearns to have excelled in her career, but her passion for history and the mindset of a museum curator miss in her overall behavior. Perhaps this is a result of the actual prose, which is straightforward and quite serviceable, but not showing the reader enough. Otherwise, Jill Myles possesses and authentic manner of expression and is bound to have you exercise some muscles in laughing out loud.

Verdict: [A+] You want to brighten up your day? Perhaps heat up the bed sheets late at night? ‘Gentlemen Prefer Succubi’ is the book that will whisk you away from that boring reality and give you that good time. Ultimately, literature needs those guilty endorphin-only books, we can forgive almost every fault and what Jill Myles offers is precisely that.

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