• Characters
  • Plot
  • Writing Style
  • Heat

THE SUMMONER
By Alisha Steele
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: Sept 2009
Length: 77,000 words

The enemy may be his only hope…

Fallen angel Kasdeya hates all mortals. They’re little more than playthings, as far as he’s concerned. But when he finds himself facing a thousand-year prison sentence, he has no choice but to call on the one woman who might set him free: the Summoner.

His plan is simple…seduce her for his own purposes, then throw her away. If only she weren’t so argumentative, so intelligent. If only she weren’t so damned sexy!

This is the story of a demon, aka Fallen named Kasdeya, jaw-droppingly sexy, who is seeking to escape the prison his boss, Satan, otherwise known as Shaitan, has put him into as punishment for sleeping with his concubine. The demon, er, I mean Fallen, has discovered a Summoner, Alex, who can help him escape this prison. All she has to do is speak an incantation and he will be free. Unfortunately for him, her, and the rest of us, once he is free, he falls sappily in love with said Summoner and does not want to leave her. Though I liked the writing style in general and there were some hot sex scenes (the ménage in particular just about melted my panties), I had a lot of “Hmmm…” moments that ultimately ruined it for me.

Hmmm #1 – The story opens with Alex looking in the mirror bemoaning her age ravaged visage at the ripe old age of 27. Yep, 27. Huh? I gleaned from that opening sequence that our heroine would have serious self esteem issues but no, not really (In reality, her face was fine). That was pretty much it as far as this line of thought went. This left me confused as I was thinking we were getting our first insight into her thought processes and what made her tick.

Hmmm #2 – There was an overabundance of secondary characters, many of which did not even get the most basic background information given, that I found myself confused and kept having to flip back and forth trying to figure out who these people were (which let me tell you is hard to do with a Kindle). I don’t need deep secondary storylines per se, but having some of these people pop up towards the end was annoying to the extreme. These included people she worked with, Josh, her brother, Melynda who is a practicing witch and also the one who clued her in to her role as a Summoner. Melynda in particular could have been particularly fun but alas, it was not to be.

Hmmm #3 – Satan’s come and go Cockney accent. WTH? One of my hard and fast rules in reading about characters from different regions – if you’re going to start with an accent, keep on with the accent! In general, I’m not big on authors using strong accents or obscure colloquialisms in their writing mainly because I spend all my time translating and can’t enjoy just reading. But even more important – don’t have a character start with an accent then not use it. Having Satan yell, “Oy!” once in a while is annoying and confusing.

Hmmm #4 – Alex’s come and go integrity and work ethic. Supposedly the reason Alex moved to this location was to run Dovescot, a woman’s shelter. Of course she would actually have to be at work to work. Between lounging around in bed with Kasdeya and calling in sick she didn’t show up on any type of regular basis. As she ends up deciding to go on the run with Kasdeya to avoid retribution by God’s archangels, I thought this aspect of the plot was a total waste of time. Also, an honorable mention to the killing of an abusive husband and hiding the body. I personally thought he had it coming but honestly, she could have been a little more broken up about being responsible for a man’s death. Just sayin’…

Let me just say that I have read several paranormal books with demons and angels as the main characters and in the right author’s hands, it can become a great love story and even humorous to a point. Here, it just didn’t work and in the end I didn’t care if they stayed on earth or went to hell. All in all, what could have been a fun and sexy story had too much going on and not enough streamlining of some main points.

Reviewed By: Shelley