Pros: Sizzling hot kinky sex; fantastic characters; interesting plot
Cons: Severe drop in pacing for most of the first half of the book
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Raina is half-human and half-succubus—and all witch. She uses her skills with witchcraft to prevent her from needing to kill in order to feed her succubus side. She also takes in other succubi and incubi who aren’t so fond of having to kill. She runs a bordello in which a combination of their abilities with sex and her facilities with magic enable them to get what they need, and give their clients what they need, without harm to anyone. It’s a delicate balance, however, and a hard push in the wrong direction could send it all toppling down.
That hard push could come in the form of Isaac, a rogue incubus who stole something from Lucifer. Mikhael, a Dark Guardian, is right on his trail, and determined to drag him back to where he belongs. Raina wants to give Isaac a chance to do the right thing, while Mikhael is certain Isaac is incapable of that. So Raina and Mikhael enter into a sort of truce. Isaac has the protection of Raina’s bordello for a time, but Mikhael isn’t going anywhere until things are solved one way or the other. Which gives him plenty of time to realize just how unusual Raina is, and how much he could come to care about her…
I was looking forward to In the Company of Witches after enjoying Joey W. Hill’s Something About Witches so much. Particularly since Mikhael, a side character in that book, struck me as far more interesting than many of the other characters. I wanted to see more of what he was about.
In the Company of Witches starts out strong, with a tense, dangerous scene of conflict. Unfortunately from there it drops straight into half a book of relationship development with almost no touch of the main plot. Don’t get me wrong; the relationship development is hot and sexy, and Raina and Mikhael definitely have chemistry. However, it derailed the pacing of the book and left me wondering what had happened to this all-so-important and supposedly deadly plot that was going on. The pacing really needed to be much more even-handed.
On the other hand, when the Big Plot ™ did pick up again toward the end of the book, it was everything I could have hoped for. There was plenty of action, danger, and heartfelt emotion. Up until the big plot picked up again my rating was headed for a 3 out of 5, and the final sequence easily bumped it back up a number to 4.
So, while I was mildly disappointed in how the book was carried out, ultimately I was very pleased by the outcome. I certainly hope to read more about this collection of characters in later books.