Friday, August 15, 2008

"My Immortal" by Erin McCarthy

I've never been all that interest in Ms. McCarthy's works - the Vegas vampire books just have that "too cute to live" look that turns me off. When one of her Seven Deadly Sins books kept showing up on my recommendations from Amazon, I finally decided to take a look at that series since we had the first book in the library system. Well, durn! It's a pretty good love story - who'd a thunk? LOL!

The story is an old one, how the love of a "good" woman can redeem a sinful man. In this case, Marley Turner really is a good woman - she's a God-fearing Christian who's actually on sabbatical at a convent when she receives a mysterious e-mail from her sister Lizzie. Seems darling baby sis has run off to Louisiana and fallen in love with a handsome stranger. No big deal, except the e-mail is 2 months old and no one has seen or heard from Lizzie since. All the more worrisome is that Lizzie has once again left her young son in the care of a cousin, an all-too-frequent arrangement for Marley's taste. Big sis decides to run to the rescue yet again, leaving the convent and heading down to the Big Easy, hoping to find her sister alive and well.

Enter Damien du Bourg, owner of Rosa de Montana, a somewhat shabby plantation estate. Seems the last time anyone saw or heard from Lizzie, she was at one of Damien's infamous parties, the sort that would cause any normal person to blush, let alone the extremely repressed Marley. Of course, once Marley meets Damien, she becomes completely flustered and enamored, and then must rely on the strange man for help in locating her wayward sister. Damien is about to open up a whole new world to Marley, one she might not be entirely ready for...

Sounds pretty hot, right? Well, it is - and it's not. Damien is no ordinary man; he's the slave of a Grigori demon, having literally made a deal with a devil's daughter back in 1790. He's not aged a bit since then, but must also inspire lust in those he encounters. If he fails in his duties, not only is he punished, but so is the daughter he made the deal with. Having become remorseful about said deal, Damien has been inspiring lust all right - but he refuses to take any pleasure for himself. Yep, that's right - he will only pleasure the women he's with! WOW! Yeah, totally unrealistic, in my opinion, but a nice touch. Makes him much more likable and way less sleazy. And, this being a romance and all, he's immediately drawn to Marley in a way he hasn't felt in ages. He might actually be falling in love, unthinkable in his current condition, as he doesn't age. What's a lust demon to do?

McCarthy has a fairly good writing style, not overly dramatic, not overly romantic, either. I think she struck just about the right note on this book - it comes across as a true love story. It could've very easily run over into preachy territory, which it doesn't. Also, I thought she kept it fairly realistic, too. No, there are no real lust demons or 200 year old men running about, but there are ungrateful siblings and two sides to every story. Not everything wraps up in a nice, neat package for our two characters, something I appreciated. I enjoyed this book enough to want to read more, and lucky me, there's at least one more book in the Seven Deadly Sins series. My bet? There'll be a total of seven books, hopefully all as good as this one.

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