Today I’m hosting Michelle Valentine’s Blog Tour for her latest book, Demon At My Door. If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m kind of picky about the blog tours I commit to. I’m just so freaking far behind on everything, why pile more on, huh? So I like to always share why I’m participating; what interested me about the book, the author, or the tour.
Michelle Valentine lives in Central Ohio, my beloved old stomping grounds. This story is actually set in Columbus, Ohio. I’m an Ohio State alum (currently living in enemy territory, no less) and I freaking wish I had the time to go back and visit. I have a ton of family there so we wouldn’t be lacking for lodging. I could spend a week just hopping around from neighborhood to neighborhood…. memories… *le sigh*
I’ve got to say, I loved this book! It was such a unique, entirely different spin on demons that I’ve never read before. But before I start talking story, I’ve got an excerpt to share with you. I think you’ll like to see this cute side of the story. Remember, these are college students so use of the term “booger” IS allowed 😉
Relieved, I follow him to the middle of the row and take my seat next to him. I grab a handful of popcorn and stuff a couple pieces in my mouth. When he doesn’t immediately dig in with me, I stop and look at him. Steele gray eyes watch me intently, almost studying me. The popcorn scrapes my throat as I swallow. “What?”
He looks away and runs his fingers through his long hair as he realizes I’ve caught him gawking at me.
“Rick? If I have a booger or something, you can tell me.” In the dim light of the theater, the hearty laugh that comes from him causes me to frantically search in my purse for a mirror. “Seriously. Do I have something on me?” My face heats up. Oh my God, how embarrassing.
He rests his hand on my arm. “Nat, calm down. I’m laughing because you’re cute when you’re nervous.”
My eyes narrow. “I’m not nervous. I—” I what? I couldn’t finish that sentence because I am nervous. There’s so much pressure for me to work out my feelings about moving on. I can’t let something stupid make me feel silly and self-conscious the rest of the night.
“Really, there’s no need to be nervous around me. I like you, Nat. And I’d still like you even if you had the biggest booger in the world.
I bite my lip. This is not good because those three little words make my stomach do a flip. “You like me?”
His lips turn upward and then he licks them before he shoots me a stunning smile. “Of course I like you. Would I be here if I didn’t?”
My brain panics a bit. I don’t think I’m ready for this. It’s too soon to have this conversation with a guy, but I can’t resist the nagging question on my mind. “Well…um…why?”
His brow rises up. “Why?”
The word sounds like the answer should be obvious to me. But I’m still clueless as to why Rick has all this interest in me. It wasn’t like I was a prize in the eyes of the rest of guys on campus or anything. I nod. “Yeah, I mean, you’re practically the only guy who even talks to me.” The only human guy that is.
He shakes his head like he’s disgusted. “That’s everyone else’s loss, isn’t it? Just means you have more time for me.”
My eyes meet his. “But, why?”
He sighs as he gently touches my cheek. “Because you’re special and I see that.”
My heart flops around erratically in my chest. I swallow deeply as I gaze into his gray eyes. The words flowing from his lips sound sincere. He’s answered the doubting voice in my mind and it scares me to think that I might actually like him back. Should I stop questioning a good thing and just go with it? Before we can dive any further into the topic, I panic, not ready to deal with such a heavy issue. I look down and stuff my face with a handful of popcorn. “Want some?” I offer around a mouthful of kernels.
A faint smile flirts across his face, like he knows I’m running away from this conversation—running away from him, but he doesn’t say a word. He reaches in and takes a handful. “Sure.”
Demon At My Door
By Michelle A. Valentine
Published February 12th, 2013
New Adult | Paranormal Romance
About the book (from Goodreads):
Gothic outcast Natalie Sugarman bartered her soul for her dying mother’s life sixteen years ago to a boy demon that could stop time. Now, days before her twenty-first birthday, the lifelines on her palms are slowly vanishing, and she knows it’s just a matter of time before Satan’s little helper collects.
Natalie’s tried numerous times to kill the demon and regain control of her soul’s destiny, but she always falls short. When she decides to try and gain the element of surprise for her next attempt, Natalie seeks answers about his location from a freaky, glowing-eyed fortuneteller. Creeped out by the psychic’s methods, she bolts from the reading and misses the warning that the demon who stole her soul is always closer than she thinks.
After some strange incidents with her new boyfriend, including a hot, levitating sex session, she realizes he’s the grown-up version of her little nightmare and he’s returned to collect on their deal. Natalie must figure out how to win her soul back from the demon before her lifeline completely disappears and she becomes his forever—even if that means making a deal to damn three other souls to take her place.
*Demon At My Door is a New Adult Paranormal Romance with very mature scenes*
Michelle Valentine is mostly known for her hot-and-heavy, rock and roll erotica series Black Falcon. Now she enters the new adult genre with a paranormal romance that is really unlike anything I’ve read before. You have a heroine, Natalie, in an impossible situation of having sold her soul at the age of five to save her mother’s life. Sixteen years later, time is slowly running out on what’s left of her messed up life. You have the boy next door who she’s falling in love with and at the same time, a completely off-the-charts hot guy shows up and does his best to sweep Natalie off her feet and win her heart…. and soul?
Story / Tempo
See, I hadn’t read the little blurb about the book since I first agreed to review this book so I pretty much went into this story blind. I suggest you do the same if you haven’t already read the blurb and studied it word for word. I prefer my blurbs to only cover the first quarter to a third of the book. I think this blurb may have given a bit too much of the story away, but that’s just my humble opinion.
Oh, don’t worry, though!! There are still plenty of “what the heck?” surprises left in the story. I think that’s why I enjoyed the uniqueness of this engaging story; you never knew what was going to be thrown your way next. There were some reveals that came out of nowhere. Some reveals were building up the entire book but when it came time to learn the truth, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I thought Ms. Valentine did a great job of surprising me.
I have to warn you “love triangle” haters: there is a love triangle in this story. No, I’m not a big fan of those. Frankly, they drive me batty. But this one is resolved/answered pretty early on in the story. What I mean to say is that you kind of know which way the story is headed. Did I blow it for you? Hardly… at least I hope so. *looks at floor and shuffles feet*
Setting / World Building
As I mentioned earlier, the story is set in Columbus, Ohio. There IS a Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, a very cool suburb just outside of downtown Columbus. Easton Mall is an outdoor mall with an indoor portion that was referred to; I was actually married not far from there. Basically, I give Ms. Valentine props on keeping close to the Columbus landscape. She didn’t have to, but I thoroughly enjoyed the drive out to the farmlands 🙂 Thanks!
As far as building her demon world, details were very limited this time around as we didn’t learn too much about demon powers. We only saw what demons did through Natalie’s eyes and she had the tendency to cover her eyes when they did the cooler stuff. Hopefully next time around we get to see a ton more cool powers.
Natalie, despite covering her eyes when she didn’t want to see souls sucked up into vials (who doesn’t want to see that?!), was written very well. I thought her personality fit a second year college student to a tee. She is in between being mature and still wanting the comfort of home life and her mom and dad. But unfortunately she’s had to grow up pretty fast so I ended up empathizing with her and hoping she finally got a break.
Enter Rick, her break in the form of a hot guy with a tattoo sleeve, a fast black sports car, and a very devoted interest in getting to know Natalie. Still after finishing the book, I still can’t quite peg Rick. I haven’t figured out if he’s good or bad. If you ever figure it out, let me know. I’m dying to know.
Overall, the story had some awesome original “demon” elements and the tempo/consistency worked for me. This was a quick, two night read for me… and I read slow. All the characters were fleshed out enough for the current story but I hope to see more of a few of them in later books in the series. It looks like Ms. Valentine is planning a book two in this series for sometime in October 2013. Yay!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://myparahangover.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Michelle-Valentine.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned author of erotic and New Adult romance of novels. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos and sexy musicians inspires her sexy novels.