Series: FAIRWICK CHRONICLES
Plot Type: Romantic Fantasy
Ratings: V3; S4; H2-3
Publisher and Titles: Ballantine
The Demon Lover (12/2011)
The Water Witch (2/2013)
The Hallow Door (TBA)
The heroine, Cailleach (Callie) McFay, is an literary scholar specializing in Gothic novels and folklore. She wrote a doctoral dissertation entitled "The Demon Lover in Gothic Literature: Vampires, Beasts, and Incubi" and then achieved minor fame when a major publishing house retitled it The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers and marketed it as popular nonfiction. All her life, Callie has listened to and loved folk and fairy tales. In her younger years, she heard them from her parents (both archaeologists), and after her parents died (when she was quite young), she heard them from a handsome man who came to her in her dreams. Now, with college behind her, she takes a position at Fairwick College, a small school in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York that is renowned for its folklore department. Callie's long-time boyfriend, Paul, is currently in California finishing his doctoral thesis. They agreed early on in their relationship that their careers were more important than their relationship, and, consequently, they have spent much of their time apart.
The series opener begins with a steamy three-page excerpt from the unpublished manuscript of a novel written by Dahlia LaMotte, one of Fairwick's most famous citizens, and that excerpt introduces us to the titular character. Dahlia was a prolific writer of Gothic novels, and she was a former owner of the Victorian house that Callie falls in love with and purchases early on in the story. I must warn you that the first third of this book moves at a glacial pace. Although the reader quickly understands that Fairwick is teeming with supernatural entities, Callie is extremely slow on the uptake—to the point of obtuseness. Callie keeps having lurid, lustful dreams about a dream man who makes passionate love to her in a flood of moonlight. Even though she keeps waking up with the graphic physical evidence of his reality, she keeps playing ostrich, telling herself that these are just dreams. This goes on and on until you want to take Callie aside and explain the facts of life to her. If you can make it past the first 14 chapters, I promise you that the pace begins to accelerate.