Series: Fairwick Chronicles #1
Author: Juliet Dary
Reading level: Adult
Size: 448 pages
Release Date: December 27th 2011
Publisher: Ballantine/Random House
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | BN | The Book Depository
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.
"Best keep your door locked, Miss."
"This is where all stories start, I thought, on the edge of a dark wood."
This book was everything I expected and more. After reading a spate of Young Adult books I was ready to delve back into an adult read and this Gothic Paranormal Romance ticked all the boxes for me. Juliet Dark's writing was amazingly lyrical and lent itself perfectly to the Gothic feel she was building throughout the novel. All the lush descriptives, all the ambiguous conversations, all the questionable emotions left one feeling as dreamily confused and muddled as Callie must have felt.
Speaking of Callie...she is a remarkably likable yet untrustworthy narrator as we soon learn. What is dream? What is real? And why on earth does Callie not ask more questions? Well, this is a Gothic Romance after all...is it not? Add in a delightful paranormal aspect and I have no trouble "believing" in Callie though I still can't "trust" her. All of the supporting characters are intriguing and mysterious as befitting a true Gothic...I still don't feel confident that I "know " any of them!
I loved the collegiate setting, how many of us readers find it very easy to identify with a professor as a protagonist! And a scholar of folklore and fairy tales who lives in the home previously owned by a best selling Gothic novelist who just happened to leave much of her work behind in the attic. What a perfect set up for a research project...and as Callie delves in...she discovers that love of the written word is by far not the only thing to connect the two women.
The world building in this one is slow and unhurried...The prose lyrical and poetic. Dark leads us slowly along the path in the woods and unveils the plot and characters as she goes....there's no rushing this one along. But we are rewarded with an amazingly beautiful setting, characters one won't soon forget, and fairy tales come to life.
I would not hesitate to recommend this to readers of Gothic Romance who won't mind a large helping of Paranormal on the side. You'll expect a slow build to the story, a smoldering romance, some steamy scenes, and a wonderful magical ambiance. I plan to scope out Juliet's other books and I can't wait to read the second installment in this series!
Cover Love: I also can't help but point out the gorgeousness that is that cover!!! Definitely one of my favorites of all my 2012 reads!!! I just can't stop looking at it!