Demon's Fall is a wonderful little novella that begins with an interesting premise: an incubus purchases a caged and collared angel to add to his collection. As you can imagine, there is a great deal of potential contained within that premise, sexually, romantically, and even theologically. A less daring author likely would have used the concept to feed a steamy bit of BDSM erotica, populated with stock angels and demons, but even as Karalynn acknowledges that potential, she carefully steers the story in some surprising (and refreshing) directions.
At its heart, this is a story of romance, of a love that crosses all boundaries – mental, physical, emotional, and psychological. Kenan is a sexual demon, an incubus who seduces mortal women and captures their souls for his collection. He could easily have been presented as a sexual sadist or an absolute rake, but there is a tenderness and honesty to him that rounds out his character. Jahel, on the other hand, is an angel who looks after the innocent and shepherds their souls to safety. Again, she could easily have been presented as a radiant being of pure innocence, but there is a fire and a passion within her that makes her both endearing and genuinely attractive.
Theirs is a slow and gradual courtship, marked more by personal sacrifice than sexual conquest. Both Kenan and Jahel push (and ultimately cross) the boundaries of their established celestial roles in proving their love for one another. Along the way they become embroiled in a fairy tale plot involving evil queens and magic mirrors, as well as a theological storyline involving the horsemen of the Apocalypse and the demoness Lilith.
While this is a serious story, marked with moments of humour and passion, it never gets bogged down in the mythology. Both the fairy tale and religious elements are handled very matter-of-factly, without being granted any special significance or added weight. Karalynn strides boldly through the literary landscape to tell her tale, but the focus is always on the characters and what they’ll do for love.
A little gentler and a little more personal than the cover blurb suggests, this is a lovely story worth picking up.