The Demon's Bargain (Demons Unleashed)

Lisa Alder
The Demon's Bargain (Demons Unleashed)
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Publisher
Smashwords
Release Date
March 2011
Genre
Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance

SUMMARY
When the Demon bargains for one night of her pleasure...no one loses.

Vetis, the Demon of Corruption, is bored. It's too easy to tempt humans into committing horrible acts and the appeal has worn thin. He's restless and seeking distraction...until a gambler offers to settle a debt by submitting his wife for Vetis's use.

One tiny glimpse of the rage in Amara and the absolutely sexless way she endures his sensual touch, and Vetis has his challenge. He'll make this woman enjoy the carnal pleasures of sex.

The bargain is struck. One night. Of HER pleasure. And the debt will be paid.

Ill-used by her husband, Amara believes she is doomed, for she has no pleasure within her, her innocence forfeit long ago. But as Amara's body awakens with sinful desires and carnal longings, hope begins to blossom that pleasure is within her reach.

Demons never fail and the challenge is on. Vetis knows with the right sensual persuasion the debt will be paid in pleasure, however he doesn't bargain on falling in love.

Warning: this erotic romance novella contains m/f/m sex, light bondage, and smokin' hot demon sex

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Apr 27, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
193 people found the following review helpful
Dark, haunting and sexy, DEMON'S BARGAIN is one treat of a tale. I've really grown to like shorter works to get me through my daily commute, as I can usually savor them over the course of a day. This story not only made the time pass—it made me wish the ride was longer so I could keep reading! Full of passion, secret desires and a nifty sort of open ending, leading to a promised sequel, this is a story that will grab you and refuse to let you go.

The world building of this series is fascinating. Ages ago, the fae and demons shared the world, one the day and one the night. Both gained their power and magic from human emotions. However, no longer willing to share with the demons, the fae tricked and trapped them, locking the demons away in an eternally dark prison beneath the surface of the earth.

The story opens ten years after a huge earthquake broke open their prison, releasing the demons back into the world. When humans attempted to attack, the demons retaliated, corrupting all electronics, including lights, cars and the Internet with their power. Having vanquished humanity and left the world in a chaotic, pre-electronic state, the only thing left is to face down the fae. Our story opens near the eve of battle.

Vetis, the demon of corruption, has been spending all his time collecting energy from humans to use against the fae. The promise of a diversion comes when a notorious gambler visits in the hopes of bartering his way out of the debts he owes to Vetis. Instead of payment, he offers his wife, Amara.

But from his first glance at her, Vetis knows there something is very wrong. Amara seems to be emotionless, trapped under so many layers of suffering and hatred of her husband that her own feelings and needs are lost. Sensing a challenge, Vetis agrees to take Amara for one night of pleasure—her pleasure.

It is only after her husband has been sent to languish in the dungeon that the trick in the bargain becomes clear—how can a woman who has never known pleasure come to experience it? Enlisting his friend Zepar, the demon of seduction, seems like a perfectly logical plan, but Amara remains unmoved. Vetis realizes that if he is going to triumph, he has to learn more about this lovely woman and the experiences she has survived. And in so doing, he realizes that he can understand Amara better than any human ever could—and suddenly, one night doesn't seem nearly long enough…

There was so much going on here that by the end, I felt as if I had spent far more time in the world of the story. Vetis and Amara are both fully drawn characters with tortured pasts and dark memories that continue to haunt them. Though the physical connection they share is scorching and unforgettable, I thought the emotional bond they developed was truly touching—both characters could understand the other, because both had suffered imprisonment, both emotionally and physically. They didn't try to make the other forget their pasts, but they both try to make the memories bearable for the other, and to help each other learn how to truly feel. The idea of ‘corruption' was also fascinating, especially when Vetis explains that it's sometimes the best thing that can happen to a person…

This isn't always an easy read. Vetis and especially Amara have suffered a great deal, and hearing them talk about what was done to them was painful at times to handle. That having been said, it makes their connection that much deeper and made me that much more grateful that fate had thrown them together. Because of the length of the work, it did seem like Amara's transformation happened rather quickly, but it was still a believable change. In the end, her ‘pleasure' is not merely physical, but comes from the trust and comfort she finds in Vetis, a demon she always believed to be heartless.

One of the other high points of this story for me was the strength of Vetis' character. I'm always a little put off by alpha males who get all soft and mushy over their ladies—while Vetis certainly changed for the better with Amara in his life, he is a hedonist and a warrior, and proud of being both.

Ultimately, this story was about two very forceful characters losing their pain and finding themselves in the other. The world-building throughout the book was sensational, and the level of detail that went into establishing this series was very impressive. Steamy, sharp and thought provoking, I'm already hooked on Lisa Alder's writing and can't wait for the promised sequel to arrive!
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