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Her Soul to Take

by Harley Laroux

Series: Souls Trilogy (1/2)

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This is my first book by this author and I HAVE NO WORDS. I loved this story so much with the cult, the demons and all of it!! For once I actually loved the female lead but LEON has my heart ❤️ ( )
  ALYSSAALBANESE | Jan 18, 2023 |
"Blood has been spilled in Its name. It is awake." Harley Laroux knows how to start a novel. This sentence is the perfect introduction to the world of Her Soul To Take, the first installment of the Souls Trilogy. It opens with the riotous inner monologue of Leon the demon, affectionately known as The Killer. He's been diminished into a glorified errand boy for a... small-town historical society? What? No way. That can't be right. Why would they need a pet demon? Anywho... one of his errands lands him in the crosshairs of paranormal investigator Rae, who has spent her life searching for the things that go bump in the night. Curious about a gruesome murder and the haunted history of her hometown, Abelaum, her pursuit brings those horrors right to her front door. Unfortunately for her, one of those horrors is a green-eyed, heavily tattooed demon, hell-bent (see what I did there?) on halting her investigations by any means necessary.

The imagery used to elicit horror is so vivid it's equal parts haunting and beautiful. The creatures that haunt the forest surrounding Abelaum are both terrifying and intriguing. Readers will find themselves wishing to see them, only to remember it probably wouldn't end well. Even the forest itself knows something horrible dwells there, with the trees themselves uprooting "as if they could walk away from the thing below that felt so wrong." But it's not only the details in the sights, sounds, and smells that make it feel so real. It's the depiction of that visceral, intangible feeling of wrongness that Harley conveys so well.

She seamlessly builds fear and anticipation while also building tension between Rae and Leon. "Au revoir, petit jouet. I'm sure you'll suffer beautifully for me." This line perfectly encapsulates the taunting and flirtatious nature of Leon. His character manages to traverse the thin line between seductive and scary. He's everything readers could ever want in a (fictitious demon) man.

Like most paranormal romance novels, it does fall victim to overdone tropes, especially in Rae's character. She's clumsy, uses glasses (that she has to push up her nose constantly), wears creepy clothes, runs headfirst into danger again and again, and has "not like other girls" energy. In my experience, this is almost unavoidable in this genre. What makes Her Soul To Take different is that the writing style comes across as very self-aware. It takes the tropes and presents them in a way that makes it a fun read. Rae's lack of self-preservation is almost a running joke throughout the novel and has significant importance to the plot.

I rated this book five out of five stars. The spice, the story, the horror, the humor, and the setup for the rest of the trilogy were perfect. There were only a handful of spelling/ grammatical errors as well.

Lastly, since it's erotic horror, readers will need to take possible triggers into account. The content warning straight from the author's page lists graphic sexual scenes, violence, hard kink/fetish content, horror elements, and drug use. If none of this is an issue for you, I highly recommend picking up this book. Although, maybe don't start it at midnight like I did because you won't be able to put it down. ( )
  KarleeB | Sep 28, 2021 |
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