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Book Review: Desire Aforethought series, by Kyra Alessy

I picked up a copy of Kyra Alessy‘s Demons and Debts as an Amazon freebie and then purchased Debts and Darkness and Darkness and Debauchery.

desire aforethought covers

An Autistic woman being hunted. An Incubi MC who can help. But will their price be more than she can pay?

When I was fourteen, a woman I called mom was murdered … and it was my fault.

I’ve been on the run ever since, but someone’s chasing me. I don’t know who they are or what they want. The only thing I’m sure of is that I need to keep moving or more people will die.

They’re going to find me again. They always do.

The human authorities are useless. The supernatural cops, even worse. My only hope is the Iron Incubi MC, the biggest, baddest, meanest supes around. I’m sick of running and I’m desperate enough to make a deal even if it costs me everything I have left.

Oh, and I’m neurodivergent. Autism means my brain works differently. I can keep it together in the day-to-day and mask my hundreds of quirks when I’m around others for short times, but now the five human-hating Incubi who I went to for help have me prisoner at their ‘clubhouse’, i.e., mansion in the middle of nowhere.

So, what happens when five hot as sin s€x demons lock up a human girl who sucks at all the bedroom stuff, doesn’t cope well with change, and definitely can’t mask her ASD 24/7?

I’m Jane Mercy and I have no f**king clue, but I don’t think it’s going to go well for those gorgeous-enough-to-be-underwear-model SOBs … especially when my stalkers come for me …

my review

I’m just going to review the whole series together since that’s how I read it…or binged it, rather. I really liked the first book, liked the second book OK, and was fairly meh on the third one. This left me finishing the series feeling disappointed. But on the whole, it averages out pretty well.

The two things I appreciated most about this series were the tone of the writing (which was well-edited and easy to read) and the heroine. I adored Jane. She’s snarky and self-contained. I mean, I liked the heroes well enough, too, but Jane was my shining star. And it was largely her sense of humor and inner dialogue that made the tone of the book work so well.

The reason my enjoyment of the series diminished the farther along I went, however, was that I felt like it lost some of the spark that kept the first one so interesting. The men were true alpha a-holes in the beginning. There’s no pushing her away for her own good or cruel to be kind, etc. These men did not care about her. And Jane was forced to navigate that, which created a delicious tension. (There’s not a sex scene until past 75% either.)

By book two and certain book three, the men had changed. They’d come to love and simp for Jane, which is fine, but the books lost a lot of the tension as a result. Plus (and these and big ones for me), by book three—where I would have expected to finally see the romance develop between the characters—Jane spent almost all of with one of the men, and the rest were separate. The plot also devolves into cliched SA territory that I did not enjoy reading even a little bit. I just too often find such plotlines overused and lacking in creative thought. I call them the low-hanging fruit of plotlines. Meh.

Lastly, I was disappointed with the spicy scenes. There was very little in the vein of foreplay or emotional connection. It’s all very focused on what went in where and when. So, it didn’t particularly light me up.

All in all, however, I’d happily read more of Alessy’s writing. I enjoyed more than I didn’t.

desire aforethought photos

Other Reviews:


Book Review: Heartbreak Incorporated, by Alex de Campi

While I didn’t officially sign up to review Alex De Campi‘s Heartbreak Incorporated, it was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight. I liked the look of it, and since everyone who participated in the tour received a copy of the book, I gave it a read.


Heartbreak Incorporated
by Alex de Campi
Published: June 22, 2021 by Rebellion Publishing / Solaris
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Pages: 300

Evie Cross had big dreams of becoming an investigative journalist but at 25 and struggling to make it in New York City, she’s finally starting to admit that her dream is her side hustle and her day job is actually… her job. That is, until she signs on as a temp for a small consultancy whose principal, Misha Meserov, specializes in breaking up relationships. Misha is tall, infuriatingly handsome, and effortlessly charismatic—he can make almost anyone, man or woman, fall into bed with him. And he often does.

But the more Evie is exposed to Misha’s scandalous world, the more she becomes convinced that he’s hiding something… when a wealthy San Francisco tech CEO with a dissolving marriage starts delving into the occult and turns up dead, Evie has to decide between her journalistic desire for the truth and her growing desire for Misha.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this. We have a smart heroine, who may be struggling to find success and her place in the world, but is self-reliant and witty. We have a non-binary, bi-sexual hero who is badass, but not an alpha-asshole. He shows a remarkable amount of vulnerability, and like Evie, I adored him for it. The villains are suitably evil, the writing sharp, and the plot moves along at a good clip. But mostly I just had fun with it all.

I did think there was a bit of sag in the middle, when some otherwise important characters seemed to just get dropped for a while. And I found the descriptions of Misha inconsistent. Sometimes he’s sleek and slender, but also sometimes (especially with hands) he’s notably big. Maybe it’s just supposed to be that he’s bigger than Evie. Regardless, it’s a tiny complaint. All in all, I’ll be looking for more in this series (if there are to be any) and of de Campi’s work.

heartbreaker incorporated

Author Info

Alex de Campi’s mostly-indie career stretches from her Eisner-nominated debut Smoke (Dark Horse) through recent Eisner nominees Bad Girls (Gallery 13) and Twisted Romance (Image). Plus company work: she’s killed off most of Riverdale, twice, in Archie vs Predator I & II. Her next projects are YA adventure The Backups (Imprint / MacMillan, 2020) and a thriller with director Duncan Jones. Catch her YA adventure Reversal on her Patreon, and action-thriller Bad Karma on Panel Syndicate. She also writes for TV and film (the Blade Runner anime & more). She is on social media as @alexdecampi. She lives in Manhattan.

alex-de-campi author

Rebellion Publishing Info


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The Black Garden

Book Review of The Black Garden, by John S. McFarland

I bought a paperback copy of John S. McFarland’s The Black Garden. He’s a Saint Louis author and I try to support them whenever I can, with a review if nothing else.

Description from Goodreads:

The year is 1882, and Perdita Badon-Reed, a sheltered Boston esthete, has just made the most momentous decision of her life. Having spurned a respectable suitor, she finds herself on a riverboat on the Mississippi River, steaming toward the strange French Colonial village of Ste. Odile to accept a teaching position at a girls’ academy and pursue her dream of becoming a stone sculptor. Of the many hardships that await her, the one she least expects looms in the form of Orien Bastide, an incubus who has conducted his seductive and parasitic existence for two millennia. Perdita soon realizes the full horror of Bastide’s intentions, and that she alone has the will to stop him. In order to defeat the treacherous Bastide and save future generations from his advances, Perdita must abandon her personal ambitions and, perhaps, her life.


Sooo, this is a book I’ve now read. I’ve finished it and that’s kind of the only feeling I have about it. It’s 470 pages long. The protagonist doesn’t meet the antagonist until ~page 300, doesn’t understand his nature until about page 400 and ALL of the action happens in the last few pages (and ends in tragedy) The writing is actually lovely, but there really needs to be a lot less of it. The book is too long by half. 

Beyond that, my only real complaint is how well-spoken EVERYONE is and how absurdly perfect Perdita is. At one point the antagonist says of/to her, “Hardly a new month arrives without some report of your exploits, of your compassion, heroism, even.” And it’s true. She’s far too perfect, even performing a rudimentary tracheostomy with a spinning bobbin at one point!

I won’t call this a bad book, and I’m glad to have read a local author’s book, but I’m kind of glad to be done with it. On a side note: despite the cover, this is gothic horror, not romance of any sort.