*I received a free copy of Base Instincts from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
As a Seminus demon, Raze’s life literally depends on having sex with females. The problem is that he doesn’t desire females, and it’s physically impossible for him to be with males. Thankfully, he and his best friend, Fayle, have an arrangement that keeps him alive . . . if lonely. He finds some solace in his work as a medic at Thirst, a vampire club known for its rough clientele. But his carefully structured world turns upside down when he meets a mysterious male who makes him want what he can never have.
Slake is an assassin used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Raze. But he also wants to earn back the soul he sold when he was a much different demon. All he has to do is capture a runaway succubus named Fayle and hand her over to her family. What he doesn’t count on is being caught himself by a web of lies—and his attraction to Raze.
Raze and Slake must navigate a dangerous world to be together. But as Fayle’s jealousy of their relationship turns deadly, they find themselves embroiled in a battle not only for their love, but their lives and souls.
In Base Instincts, love proved to be stronger than species, laws of nature, evil demons and soul-stealing scum!
My Base Instincts review:
It is always a treat to enter Ione’s Demonica world, and the fact that Base Instincts finally explored some of the different sexual preferences of the characters, even those male demons who actually need sex with a female in order to survive, made it even better! When a story manages to have the characters push the boundaries of the universe in which they evolve, that story has the ability to also help readers think about things in a different way in my opinion. Getting to know Slake and Raze and see what Fayle meant to their possible relationship was part of what made this story so good.
Of course, I’m already a big fan of the Demonica series, and of Ms. Ione’s writing. Reading Base Instincts made me realize, once more, just why I’m such a big fan, though. The writing is tight, well done and grabs me into the story so I can experience the characters and what happens to them in an amazing way. And I have to say it was definitely a very nice surprise to find a great fantasy series that includes an LGBT couple as the main characters in one of the installments. While it does happen, it doesn’t happen very often. And I found the story to be very well thought out, and that the way it, and the main plot unfolded was well done.
Because they had to deal with more than the stigma of being a demon, in Raze’s case one who wanted to heal, Slake and Raze also had to deal with hiding the fact that they were attracted to men, rather than women. In Slake’s case, being gay gave him a death sentence with his breed, and in Raze’s it would kill him to not have sex with a female. Saying these to males had their work cut out for them doesn’t even begin to explain things. And there were quite a few other things going on in Base Instincts as well, tying in with the series as a whole and the characters who inhabit this complex universe where angels, humans, demons, vampires and other paranormal creature have to at least try to get along for the world to still exist.
Written in past tense, third person perspective, the narrator allowed for me to follow several characters, even as the main focus was on Slake and Raze. I would recommend to read Base Instincts in order when it comes to both Demonica and Lords of Deliverance, as there might be some spoilers here if you have skipped prior installments. Apart from that, I think you should just delve in, enjoy the story and the thought-provoking questions that may stay with you after you finish reading.
Some of my favorite Base Instincts quotes:
His latest prey had been cunning, maybe his most clever adversary yet, but he’d finally tracked her here. The wily succubus had covered her tracks well, but Slake had a knack for ferreting out secrets, and as good as Fayle was at hiding, Slake was better at finding.
That male was something special. Even his coloring was perfect. Not too tan, but not pale. And given the guy’s reddish hair, shorter in the back than in the front, Slake would bet that close up, he’d have some freckles waiting for the caress of a tongue.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: