Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

The Highwayman

by Michele Hauf

Max Fitzroy, the legendary Highwayman, had slain scores of demons with a razorlike whip and a burning need for revenge. Now, to rid himself of the demon inside him—who'd cursed him with immortality and stolen all sensual pleasures—Max needed a witch's familiar, the one creature he'd made a career of killing.

But the Highwayman wasn't prepared for the familiar named Aby. The sleek and sexy conduit to the demon world saw past his swirling shadow as easily as he scaled the walls she'd erected to protect herself. Max needed Aby to grant him his freedom, and then he needed to slay her. But how could he destroy the only creature he'd desired in centuries?

Overview: This is a nice light read with a veil of sexual heat. Won't cause you to blush in public (except maybe the dream walking) but will cause you to jump your significant other ASAP! The heroine is slighty ditzy but learning about her inner strength. The hero/enemy is in constant angst and sexy at the same time! Enjoy this read while you're nude sunbathing with a mojito.

Cover Art*: First glance brought thoughts of firemen, or fire demons, or cowboys. We lose the suggestion of a magic aura applied to the whip because of the overwhelming red palate. I question the overuse of haloing & tribal embellishments. The graphic elements compete against each other (3 logos + the title & author). The balance is good considering. The model is clothed true to character and I really appreciate that. So many covers can be misleading, suggesting plot twists that never arise!

Paranormality: Demons, Familiars, Werewolves, Witches, Vampires & Ghosts. Sigils, wards & spells.

Sexuality: MMF, MF & Self-stimulation. The best kissing scenes I have ever read! Nice sex scenes, not erotic or kinky or anywhere near vulgar. Mostly respectful.

The Review*: Some paranormal knowledge was assumed which left me kinda in the dark for a while. The history of familiars along with the relationship between Severo & Aby were not fleshed out enough for me to understand some of the tension. Abrupt changes of heart within the main characters were too dramatic & unbelievable. The frequent jaunts down memory lane (backflashes) are superbly done! Nice integration of enticing details. There are a few unresolved plot lines that suggest at least a sequel.

* I'm a graphic artist. We are trained to be vicious bloodsucking weapons of truth, hence the "rough" critiques/reviews. It's not that I don't like this novel. Simply, everything can be better. And examining what could be polished allows me to learn and better MY skills.


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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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