A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters and room for expansion.

The Passion Season

From the The Covalent Series series , Vol. 1

An ancient warrior on Earth for centuries falls in love with a human woman, which may make him vulnerable to his evil, demon-controlling father in this debut paranormal romance.

It seems Barakiel, the spawn of Lucifer, is paying for his father’s sins. He’s a Covalent, beings that long ago bonded the Creative and Destruction Realms and have since maintained Balance. When Lucifer challenges the Council Forces with a demon horde and the Corrupted (rebellious Covalent warriors), the Council, fearing Barakiel may join his dad’s side, banishes him to the Earthly Realm. After 12 centuries, give or take, on Earth, occasionally battling Lucifer’s minions, Barakiel is far from content. But this changes when he meets FBI Special Agent Alexandra “Zan” O’Gara, at his door for his expertise on antique knives related to a murder case. A mutual attraction is instantaneous, and torrid physical encounters are soon complemented by an emotional connection. Barakiel’s “minder,” Pellus, with him for the entirety of his exile, is understandably concerned, as a relationship with a human defies Covalent Law. The couple’s romance hits a snag once Zan finally tires of Barakiel’s secretive, out-of-town business trips, and Pellus is convinced a fed’s background check will expose a bogus history. Lucifer, meanwhile, has something in play to provoke Barakiel into losing Balance, his primary source of power and strength. The author’s amalgamation of genres is impressive, mixing romance, erotica, and supernatural elements with an ongoing FBI investigation. There’s an eventual shift, somewhat disappointingly, to the couple’s relationship, though subplots stick around until the end. Explicit sex scenes and violent, demon-slicing clashes make the narrative decidedly adult. But Doyle excels at the dramatic, surprisingly realistic romance. Smitten Zan, for one, willingly overlooks Barakiel’s increasingly erratic behavior, like constant ambivalence (should he tell the Council about Zan?), that’s reminiscent of depression. Barakiel, too, is impetuously passionate, even if his tender words are cliché: “You don’t have to make yourself beautiful, Zan. You just are beautiful.” The father-son dynamic has potential for pure epicness in later books, while Zan’s more sensible FBI partner, Mel, who recognizes Barakiel as “the strangest fucking guy,” will hopefully earn more of a spotlight.

A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters and room for expansion.

Pub Date: March 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9972985-2-9

Page Count: 426

Publisher: Fairhill Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2016

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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