Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Succubus on Top" by Richelle Mead

Our favorite succubus, Georgina Kincaid, is back! I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series ("Succubus Blues") and was thrilled when I got my hands on this, the second book. It's not quite as good as the first, but it's still a great read.

Georgina is still working at the local bookstore, still dating her author-boyfriend Seth Mortensen, and still trying to do her job as a succubus. Actually, she's just earned herself a "most-improved" award from the higher-ups - regarding her evil profession, that is. Of course, when you've pretty much been trying not to do your job, let alone do it well, it doesn't take much to improve.

Out of the blue, her long-time friend (and incubus) Bastien shows up. Seems he's got a big project in the works and he needs her help. He's going to seduce a right-wing, ultra-conservative, talk radio star and get proof of the seduction; he's in a bit of hot water with his boss and this is the only thing that will keep him from getting assigned to some back-water hole. Georgina is skeptical; Bastien is one of the best, so she can't understand why he needs her help. Once she meets the woman, though, it's clear; she's not going to be easily swayed. In fact, she doesn't seem interested in Bastien at all - an incubus's worst-case-scenario.

Things aren't going well at the bookstore, either. Her best friend and co-manager, Doug, is acting really weird. His band is doing great, better than great, but he's swinging from highs to lows on a scary basis. In fact, at one point, he tries to kill himself. Georgina knows there's something really wrong, and has her suspicions about the band's new drummer. She gets involved in a fairly major way, one I can't go into any more without giving away some plot points.

It's a good book, a great read, and I really like these characters. It is so refreshing to have a romance where the two parties can't have sex! See, in case you're not entirely familiar with how this sort of thing works, a succubus's job is to seduce good, upstanding, moral men. When she has sex with them (when they fall, basically), she absorbs some of their life force; thus the old stories about dying after having sex with a succubus (or incubus, as the case may be). Well, Georgina loves Seth and isn't about to take any years off his life, no matter how much she may physically want him. And yes, Seth does know about her "true" self - he found out in the first book. Thus, you have a romance based on feelings and - GASP - talking! It's very interesting that in this genre of paranormal romance (which I'd probably put this in, for lack of a better place), that Ms. Mead has chosen to write the "no sex" rule into her books. I, for one, love it, and can't wait to read the third book in the series.

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