by Chace Verity
Publication Date: November 25, 2021
I received an advance review copy of this book from BookSprout. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Mollie Bennett plans every detail of her life, but somewhere along the way, life stopped following her plans. Recently divorced and left to raise her young son alone, nothing about her forties is the way she thought it would be. And her unplanned life becomes more unpredictable when she discovers the hot, single dad next door is actually a demon.
Nuit is blunt with a bad habit of talking over people and lets his son running around without a coat in subzero temperatures. Total opposite of Mollie’s type. But maybe he has some good qualities—he uses his magic to keep her driveway free of snow, he’s devoted to learning how to be a good father, and he’s quick to help her own family when they’re in need.
When Nuit keeps showing up every time Mollie’s plans go awry, it turns out she might enjoy losing control of her life as long as she has someone she can rely on. Someone like the demon next door.
I was unaware that cozy paranormal demon romances were a thing I needed until I read and absolutely fell in love with Deal with the Demon last year during the pandemic. It was a warm hug right when I needed it, so I was extremely excited to find out the author had written another book in the same vein. If you’re looking for some domestically demonic fluff, this will be completely up your alley.
“Giving up had never been Mollie’s style, even though the world constantly gave up on her. If she could get a bounce house in December, she could probably do anything.”
Newly divorced, Mollie’s doing her best to take care of her son Jackson, even if that means figuring out how to get a bouncy house for his birthday party in the middle of December. He’s the best thing in her life, but being a single parent is hard. Managing his problems at school and her never-ending pile of work is exhausting, not to mention the fact that she’s lonely. She doesn’t think much about a new family moving in to the rundown (and frankly creepy) house next door until Jackson befriends the new kid. Mollie’s initially concerned to see Jackson’s new friend Ty playing outside without a coat or scarf, and then even more so when she sees he’s wearing some sort of horns and red contacts. But when she goes to confront his parent, she gets an unexpected surprise: his father, Nuit, is a demon, and so is Ty.
Mollie, of course, initially refuses to believe the (very handsome) evidence in front of her eyes. For whatever reason, she and her son can see through their human-seeming glamours. But after enough proof piles up, she accepts it and then mostly just settles in to helping him acclimate to human life (while secretly lusting after him). The romance is very slow-burn, full of lots of “was he flirting with me???” while also slowly opening up to each other. Yes, he’s a four-armed judgement demon who’s constantly surrounded by shadows, but he’s also a caring parent to Ty and he’s not shy about helping out Mollie, as well.
“You can just call me, but if you insist, I will have my contact assess why my phone doesn’t respond to my touch. Elements of electricity and aluminum alloys are not foes I have often battled in the various hellscapes I have traversed, nor have I had a need to seek them as my allies. Judgment demons do not require fancy devices to render observations.”
This novella is very low angst and pure domestic fluff: pizza parties, snow shoveling, and kid playdates. Mollie’s biggest concerns are how Jackson is adjusting to life without his dad in it and how it brings up feelings from her childhood in foster care. It’s also pretty humorous, from Nuit’s exceedingly formal speech to his well-meaning attempts at adjusting to human life, whether that’s crashing a meeting with the school principal or attempting to hang laundry in zero degree weather. The kid interactions are also quite sweet, from the friendship that immediately blossoms between Jackson and Ty to the obvious love both parents feel for their kids.
Overall, this is charming and oh-so-cozy, and while it’s not specifically holiday-themed, it’s snowy enough to be a good winter read. It is set in Canada, after all! Highly recommended if you’re looking for some cozy, domestic demon romance!