Tag Archives: incubus

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.


Book Review of R.C. Murphy’s Enslaved


I grabbed R.C. Murphy‘s book Enslaved and it’s sexy cover (yum) off of the Amazon KDP list.

Description from Goodreads:
The gods are flawed . . . and they make awful parents.

Deryck knows first-hand the cruelty of the gods. Three thousand years after his birth, he is still trapped, forced to service humans as an Incubus—unable to choose whom he sleeps with, and living a life completely devoid of love. There is no out for him. No hope. Or so he thought.

Shayla McIntire spent five years getting her life back on track after the accident claiming her husband’s life. She is content to a nice, boring, subdued life free of the abuse she suffered before. Her friends are worried. They want her to find the man of her dreams and move on.

Little do they know, the Powers That Be have decided the man of Shayla’s dreams for her. There’s just one hitch, he’s enslaved to the gods and it will take power she doesn’t know she has to free him. Deryck isn’t the only one hoping Shayla will free him, though.

Well, this wasn’t anything like I expected. I really thought it was going to be hot erotica. Let me just clear that misconception right up, in case anyone else thinks a book about incubi would involve sex…apparently not. It wasn’t what I expected but it was still a decent read. Deryck was very sweet. Shayla was witty and her friends were fabulously supportive. If I had to reduce my review of Enslaved to one word it would be Sweet…maybe awkward, but sweet. I don’t mean the writing or anything. The characters were shy and sweetly awkward with one another.

I liked that Shayla was said to be beautiful, but was shown to be something other than a stick. I don’t think her dress size was actually ever given, but she had size D breasts and it was at least suggested that she’s in the double digits size-wise, maybe a ten or twelve. I do wish she hadn’t been so concerned about it, always calling herself a cow and such. But at least it was often countered by her friends. I also liked that she was a woman who ate. There didn’t appear to be anything that a jelly donut and coffee wouldn’t fix. That is a woman I can relate to!

I did think Deryck seemed a little clueless for a 3,000 year old incubus. Surely in a few of those calls to service women in their dreams at least one had wished for the perfect date before all that sex he was having but the reader didn’t see. In fact, it’s apparent Deryck had at least been in restaurants with the women he serviced. So how had he remained so innocent?

The book was a little slow, dragging in the middle a bit and I really would have like a little more back story to flesh the characters and their histories out. But it read well and wrapped up with a syrupy sweet ending. All in all, not what I was expecting but not bad either.