Blood, Pain, and Pleasure

Nadine Mutas
Blood, Pain, and Pleasure
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Nadine Mutas
Release Date
May 2015
Book 1 of Tales of Blood and Magic
Paranormal Romance

When seduction weaves a spell more powerful than magic...

Desperate to save her demon-abducted sister, witch Merle MacKenna breaks the law of her Elders. As a last resort to track down the kidnapper, she unleashes another demon, Rhun, from the magical prison of the Shadows. Determined to bind him again after he helps her, Merle vows to keep him tightly controlled. Easier said than done when her own personal demon is hellbent on charming his way into her pants – and her heart.

After twenty years in the Shadows, bound for a crime he didn't commit, Rhun is past caring about anyone but himself. The plan: Seduce the sexy witch, steal her powers, break the magical leash to her, and then be on his merry way. But when a heinous betrayal in the ranks of the witches forces Merle and Rhun to work even closer together, Rhun's plan backfires – and the witch he meant to play gets under his skin. With his unbidden feelings for Merle vying with his need for freedom, he struggles with a bitter realization: Being a selfish bastard is a lot harder when love is involved.

Warning: Includes lots of witty banter and snarky humor, as well as a charmingly disrespectful demon hero who's hot enough to melt panties with a look.

Book Review by LiaL (reviewer)
Sep 09, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
120 people found the following review helpful
Imagine your sister has been taken by a demon and the people who could help her turn their back on you. They refuse to help. You know one way to get her back but it involves going against everything you were raised to believe in and could involve severe punishment for you, or death if it doesn't go right. Would you do it to save someone you love?

This is the question Merle MacKenna faces. As a witch and the head of her family, she has the ability to retrieve a demon her grandmother sent to the Shadows. This demon can locate the one that took her sister. It is against the law of her Elders but she has already lost her mother and older sister and she is going to do everything she can to avoid another loss. This demon, Rhun, requires blood, pain and pleasure to feed him. She will have to agree to provide them in order to give him the power to save her sister.

Merle is a really intriguing character. She is strong in many ways but has low self-esteem and is not confident in her abilities. Freeing Rhun so he can assist goes against everything she believes but she is willing to do it for love. She intends to send him back to the Shadows once his work is done. Merle doesn't know how to deal with the real feelings she develops for Rhun and worries about the consequences of falling in love with him. She worries for him once she realizes that he should be free but she may not have the power to keep him from the Shadows.

Rhun is not your average demon. First of all, he is gorgeous. There are no ugly horns or tails or other things you expect from a demon. He also has a great sense of humor and loves to tease and torment Merle with sexual innuendos. He cherishes each and every blush. He was banished to the Shadows for twenty years due to a setup and has no intent to go back once he is freed. He plans on manipulating Merle so that he can absorb her powers and be free. He doesn't count on falling in love with her and wanting her for his mate. He is willing to sacrifice himself for her. I want a demon like him, too.

That first interaction is so important for setting the tone of the story and building the relationship. Merle was not expecting to be so attracted to him and he senses that attraction and intends to use it to his advantage. The first blood feeding occurs and the first pleasure feeding follows shortly. She asks for certain stipulations to apply to their sexual encounter and it makes it even more intense in many ways. It builds the attraction for each of them. It makes them want more and I did too.

I really enjoyed the author's descriptions of their encounters and the dialogue between them. It made me feel very connected to them. Their relationship felt real and you could see the attraction build. It wasn't forced or rushed. The humor really added a lot to that connection. They didn't seem like supernatural characters but more like two regular people learning about each other while dealing with a very different kind of situation. He supports her when she is in pain and they both share their painful pasts. Her best friend and her friend's brother added to the feeling of connection and led to some interesting interactions as everyone realized that Merle and Rhun had a real relationship developing. Rhun's best friend is an Incubus and they have a great fun dynamic to their relationship as well.

This is a story that is easy to get immersed in from the beginning and includes fun banter between the characters. The humor and buildup of the chemistry between Merle and Rhun makes this an excellent read. I appreciate it when an author takes time to make the characters feel real, especially when you are dealing with paranormal elements in the story that push the boundaries of a normal romance. I felt the connection and believed in their love. I enjoyed spending time with them and would love to read more stories featuring the characters. Her sister in particular is someone I would like to learn more about. This is a really good read for those who enjoy a well-crafted romance with characters that feel like they could become your friends too.
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