The Kiss of Death (Book 1)
The “angels are bad, demons are good” trope is not unfamiliar in paranormal romance, but this series puts a different spin on things by including a unique magic system, multiple dimensions, and a new way to look at how angels and demons affected religion on Earth. The heroine’s power as a Muse is also a creative use of how powerful individuality can be against a stagnant society.
Though the series is advertised as a reverse harem, this first book focuses on a single relationship between Sia and Nick. I love how Sia bucks the trend of being horrified when she learns Nick’s true identity, and the arc of their love story is both adorable and sexy. I also appreciate how the author seeds the reverse harem construct within the worldbuilding so that it has a structural basis beyond “multiple guys think this girl is hot” hand-waviness that other paranormal romances seem to employ.
I couldn’t put this book down, but I did regularly find moments where I wanted events to speed up a bit. The author could have done with a bit more editorial assistance to condense unnecessarily long, angst-laden conversations. Events occasionally seemed repetitive, both in regards to relationships and when the main character is being told about how magic works rather than experiencing it for herself. On the plus side, however, I had plenty of room to fall in love with this world and these characters. I’ve already started the next book in the series, and there’s no higher praise than that.
Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
For Love of Evil (Book 2)
The Sins of Desire (Book 3)
The Lure of the Devil (Book 4)
This review collects spoiler-free thoughts about the second, third, and fourth books in the Demons’ Muse series.
I devoured the next available three books in the Demons’ Muse series in less than a week, after thoroughly enjoying the first story, The Kiss of Death. Hadley has created the sort of urban fantasy I love, with heroic characters, intriguing multiverse conflicts, and unique takes on familiar tropes.
She also puts the “epic” in this epic series with the length of the installments. The page count is great, but only about 90 percent of the time: When Sia and her legion are learning more about her abilities, political scheming throughout five worlds, and during epic rescues and battles. The other 10 percent of the time, Sia still has so much angst about the multiple relationships in her life. Hadley already did all the work of presenting the reverse harem element of this world as a realistic way in which her non-human characters understand relationships. It takes forever for Sia to get with the program (but when she does, it’s worth it).
I adore Hadley’s twisty take on religion and the role that “angels” and “demons” have played throughout Earth’s history. This series presents a fascinating take on the differences between good and evil, then brings it to the next love with the differences between creation and destruction. As a bonus, some extra surprises had me reaching for the next book without my usual pause in between for individual reviews.
I look forward to the conclusion of this series, and I’ve already picked out some other works by this prolific author to enjoy meanwhile. Urban fantasy and reverse harem fans shouldn’t miss out on this binge-worthy series.
- For Love of Evil (Demons’ Muse #2): 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
- The Sins of Desire (Demons’ Muse #3): 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
- The Lure of the Devil (Demons’ Muse #4): 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
The Wrath of Angels (Book 5)
In terms of scope, action, and sheer sexiness, the final book to the Demons’ Muse series is a riveting capstone to an overall exciting adventure. Sia and the rest of the First Legion wormed their way into my heart. The length of these books, and the use of different points of view chapters, meant that each man and his relationships within the First Legion (even those that did not revolve around Sia) was as fleshed out and engrossing as those of the heroine.
I wasn’t able to put this book down while reading, but that doesn’t mean I was unaware of a few faults. In Hadley’s efforts to make Sia, and her legion mates by extension, uber-powerful enough to withstand anything the angels could throw at them, the conflict lost a bit of tension. When things looked at their worst for a particular character, I knew that he’d get home safe and be good to go shortly after. It was also difficult for me to take a tease of pure doom seriously during the grand finale.
But it’s not a bad thing that this series was so obviously set up for everyone to have a happily ever after. It’s still a romance, after all, and I was happy that the entire First Legion found their groove in this final installment. (Yes, I was also tired of Sia’s constant freak-outs in previous books; there are none here, and it’s a lovely change of pace to see her embrace her confidence and power, in bed and out.)
I highly recommend this series as an excellent first taste for anyone interested in experiencing the “reverse harem” trope. Hadley layers that romance element into a fantastic epic with solid world-building, intriguing characters, and terrifying villains, with happy endings to satisfy any romance or fantasy reader.
Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.