Review: Damned If You Do: The Complete Collection by J.L. Merrow

Damned If You Do: The Complete Collection by J.L. Merrow

Title: Damned If You Do: The Complete Collection
Series: Damned If You Do #1-4
Author: J.L. Merrow
Published: Published June 24th 2013 by Riptide Publishing
Genre: Adult M/M Romance
Source: Netgalley

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Sexy male succubus Rael has an insatiable appetite for men that gets him into all kinds of trouble. And he’s just found his favorite flavor: hunky blond detective Lars Thornsson. When those cool Nordic looks combine with Rael’s smoldering dark charms, all Hell could break loose.

Lars’s job at the Paranormal Enforcement Agency means he’s supposed to be policing demons, not falling in lust—or love—with them. But there’s something about this feisty little sex demon that hits all his buttons.

With no shortage of deadly sinners in his city, from serial-killing succubi to drug-dealing demons, all Lars can do is try to keep his private life from interfering with his work. But Rael has a knack for getting mixed up in cases that threaten both their domestic harmony and their lives.

M/M romances are my guilty pleasure, though I hadn’t exactly planned on reviewing them on this blog. Then I saw this title on Netgalley and couldn’t not request it. Look at that cover! Naughty demon with a prehensile tail, you guys. It takes a stronger person than me to resist that. And a pretty book it was too, Riptide Publishing did a real good job on the design, with little horns and pitchforks throughout.

I found the premise incredibly intriguing. Male succubus? Interesting. There is a very clear distinction made that he is in fact a succubus, and not an incubus. Oh man, how happy I was that they used succubi as the plural. The word succubusses (or incubusses for that matter) make me want to weep. What kind of bus, you say?

There are a lot of similes used, but they are all so unusual and downright amusing that it keeps it from getting old. Amusing is a good word for the story. It’s funny in parts and cute in parts. Sadly, it also reminded me why I don’t like short stories much, it gives rise to too much insta-attraction and insta-love. I’m a slow burn kinda girl.

I liked Rael, he’s the adorable kind of demon. Who just wants help out and cook the man in his life a good meal. And perhaps own a pet or two that kind burn down the house.

The way the characters speak grated a little for me. It tries to be too authentically… southern, I think. And the use of the endearment “honey” could have been cut by 50%. Perhaps if you read these stories as standalones it’s not as noticible, but when you read all of them back to back, the “honey” gets a little cringe-worthy.

Overall, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It was a fast, fun read.


JL Merrow is a very English writer of (mainly) m/m fiction who finds writing the only way to stay sane, except of course when a plot is driving her crazy. Having grown up on an island, she can’t remember a time before she could swim and prefers to remain close to water at all times. Luckily, the weather in her native land being as it generally is, this is not difficult.

She enjoys reading, martial arts, and surprising people who judge a book by its cover.

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