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  • Sexy, funny and sensitive

    Disclaimer: I know the author. This review nonetheless contains my honest opinion. A Scent of Longing is shorter than the first novella in this series. It was still very enjoyable, though it perhaps dug a little less deep into the characters and their relationship than the first one. As is traditional, the main characters from A Taste of Magic are not featured here, and the story focuses instead on an intriguing minor character, healer snake demon Asc (yes, he's got a snake tongue, but I'll let you figure out what he does with it all by yourselves). The other main character's identity is a fun reveal, though I won't spoil the plot. This story is a bit less focused on kink than the first one, which was nice; I really enjoyed how, in these two books, the way the characters interacted sexually told something about who they were. I tend to get tired of romance where sexual encounters follow the same old patterns, even when they're decently written, because at times it feels like erotic scenes are just parts where the plot is put on hold while a generic porn film starts playing. This wasn't the case here; the relationship between the characters evolves during their encounters, and I never ended up feeling that you could have swapped any character and got the same result. That was very nice, even though, admittedly, there was little time to dig into their psychology, and their love story ended up feeling a bit straightforward as a result. Same warnings apply as for the first book: there IS some kink involved, with dubiously consensual scenes. However, it was handled sensitively, and I loved that the question of abuse was addressed frankly. I also loved the brief, matter-of-fact mention of abortion; it's relaxing to read books where ending a pregnancy is just a normal option for the characters, not something inherently devilish and traumatising. It was very nice to see such a variety of situations and relationships in such a short book. Oh, and also there's a leather-clad, whip-wielding succubus who managed to be both super hot and hilarious at the same time (yes, this is a largely tongue-in-cheek story, even though there are serious bits in it). I'd definitely read a story about here. Just putting it out there in case the author hears me :) On the whole, this was a lot of fun. A worthwhile pick if confinement is starting to get on your nerves.

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