Why did I get it: I keep hearing about Larissa Ione and decided to see what all the fuss was about.
How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars – The fuss seems perfectly justified to me!
She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.
Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul…
Review: I get that the point of romance isn’t to reinvent the wheel, but it’s pretty sweet when one is centered around a hospital run by demons and has some world-building going on. This isn’t to say that I haven’t read romances with really well-crafted world-building prior to Pleasure Unbound, but as a reader I think that having some depth to a fictional world makes a real difference regardless of the genre said fictional world exists in.
So the world was very cool and solid, the setting was unique, and the characters were just plain fun over all since most of them were demons. There were even aspects of this book that were creepy, which was a nice change of pace and another perk for me as I prefer my demons wild and dangerous. I also liked that there were a lot of minor characters and other subplots going on in addition to everything. Sometimes it feels like a lot of books take place in a shoebox world consisting of maybe ten characters tops, but Ione’s world had a lot going on and that was really exciting for me.
I’m a sucker for brothers with a sob story so I loved Eidolon, Wraith, and Slade right away. Then I sort of soured on Slade and Wraith for a bit, but since this really book really seemed to be about messed-up people doing the best they can in spite of their twisted upbringings, I was able to cut them some slack after awhile. Same thing with Tayla who definitely grew on me. It’s hard not to like someone who loves a pet ferret in the same way that I love my pet hamster and mouse.
I still ended up caring for Eidolon significantly more than Tayla, but that tends to happen to me a lot so I don’t think this will be a problem for most readers. Personally, I think it’s the whole woman gives man a hard time for 200 pages because he tells her things she doesn’t want to hear subplot that really makes me appreciate the man for putting up with that kind of BS. Eidolon did have the irritating tendency to put his girlfriend first and everything else last, but he was sort of out of his mind at the time so I won’t hold it against him too much.
Over all the romantic dynamics and tensions were enjoyable in spite of not liking Tayla as much as Eidolon, it did get hot and heavy quickly. So did everything else for that matter. Emotions were constantly running on high octane fuel and the results were a bit scrambled at times. Problems and moral dilemmas often seemed to be overturned in a matter of minutes, and while that made sense with some characters, I don’t think it worked for every single one of them. Plot twists tended to act in the same way particularly towards the second half of the book where they seemed to spring out of nowhere to tackle and beat the crap out of characters. I am all for startling revelations, but I just wish the characters could have been kinder to one another or that there had been more showing instead of telling leading up to these changes.
To her credit, Ione actually had the characters deal with a significant number of problems and since this is a series, I expected some of the loose ends to be left over for other books to contend with. And there was a lot of humor, good dialogue, and a wide range of conversations so over all Pleasure Unbound worked out for me.
In conclusion, really, really good and I will be reading a lot of Larissa Ione in the weeks to come. Once I’m done with the Demonica books, I’ll definitely be starting on her Lords of Deliverance series.