Gentlemen Prefer Succubi
Published 2010 332 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Who knew an angel could get a girl in so much devilish trouble?
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 right-hand 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?
Gentlemen Prefer Succubi is the first book in The Succubus Diaries paranormal romance series by Jill Myles. The story gets the series off to a good start as it follows the (mis)adventures of Jackie, a nerdy museum worker, who gets bitten by a vampire and shagged by a fallen angel – an unfortunate combination that leaves her undead and transformed into a sex-hungry succubus.
The vampire mythology in The Succubus Diaries is richly imagined mixture of traditional angel and demon myth with vampires being fallen angels who did a deal with Lucifer to regain their wings – only to have to pay for the wings with a hunger for blood. Ancient Egyptian history is also woven into the story via Nitocris, the vampire queen, who was once the queen of a long dead Pharaoh.
Succubi are always difficult characters to place as protagonists in a romance novel. Romance novels follow general conventions, usually the two lead characters meet, followed by the development of their monogamous relationship (forsaking all others etc) leading to a happy ever after (HEA) ending. Romance fans know the constraints and conventions of the genre and can be quite rigid about they expect and want from a novel that is marketed as romance. For obvious reasons, like the overwhelming hunger for sex, succubi usually have love lives that are too chaotic for romance novels. Jackie Brighton, newly turned succubus, is no exception and her insatiable sexual drive may be a turn off for dedicated romance fans – although the less prescriptive reader may be pleasantly surprised…
Gentlemen Prefer Succubi exists at a crossroads of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotica and flimsy chick-lit. It isn’t really any of these things. Jackie’s sex life is too chaotic for a romance but she doesn’t kick enough ass for it to be urban fantasy. Although there are sex scenes aplenty there is too much plot (and not enough sex) for erotica, while the lightweight humour relies on the story’s heroine Jackie doing stupid things rather than readers laughing at her quick wit. However the blending of all these aspects turns the resulting book into an altogether sexy and fun piece of fantasy fiction.
Jackie’s struggle to come to terms with her new nature stems from the fact that she’s not comfortable with casual sex. The author gives her a couple of studly paranormal men to help her with her new found needs – Noah a fallen angel and Zane a vampire. From a romance perspective there isn’t much to Jackie and Noah’s relationship. Noah is supposed to care for her deeply and vice versa but the development of this relationship isn’t evident in the story content. Zane on the other hand has that whole bad-boy vampire thing going for him. Jackie can’t trust him but the time they spend together, hunting for a lost artefact in the Egyptian desert, actually makes a basis for their relationship.
However, by far my favourite character in Gentlemen Prefer Succubi is Remy. Remy is the 400 year-old succubus who takes newbie Jackie under her wing and teaches her how to adjust to her new undead status. Irrepressible and unrepentantly sexy, Remy is an inspired addition to the storyline.
Gentlemen Prefer Succubi is a featherweight piece of fun reading. It’s the perfect antidote to a bad day or the winter blues. Pick-up book, sit back, slip brain into neutral and enjoy. I know I did!
LoveVampires Review Rating:
Read the first chapter of this book and find out more about the Succubus Diaries series at the author’s website. Visit Jill Myles’s website.