Prince of Tricks
Title : Prince of Tricks
Series : Demons of Elysium, Book #1
Author : Jane Kindred
Publisher : Samhain (BUY IT HERE)
Genre : M/M, Paranormal, BDSM/kink
Length : 375 pages
Published : January 7, 2014
Rating : ★★★★
B L U R B :
When desire rises, angels will fall. One, by one, by one…
Demons of Elysium, Book 1
Over the past century, Belphagor has made a name for himself in Heaven’s Demon District as a cardsharp, thief, and charming rogue.
Though the airspirit is content with his own company, he enjoys applying the sweet sting of discipline to a willing backside. Angel, demon, even the occasional human. He’s not particular. Until a hotheaded young firespirit steals his purse—and his heart. Now he’s not sure who owns whom.
A former rent boy and cutpurse from the streets of Raqia, Vasily has never felt safer than in the arms—and at the feet—of the Prince of Tricks. He’s just not sure if Belphagor returns those feelings. There’s only one way to find out, but using a handsome, angelic duke to stir Belphagor’s jealousy backfires on them both.
When the duke frames Vasily for an attempted assassination as part of a revolutionary conspiracy, Belphagor will do whatever it takes to clear his boy’s name and expose the real traitor. Because for the first time in his life, the Prince of Tricks has something to lose.
Product Warnings : Contains erotic sex: m/m, m/m/m, m/m/m/m…oh hell. Let’s just say “mmmmmm!” and be done with it. Also one m/f scene. Smart discipline meted out with a great deal of love and charm. Erotic sex acts requiring copious amounts of elbow grease.
R E V I E W :
Vasily and Belphagor have finally managed to settle into a relationship after Belphagor denies one to Vasily because of his age. Vasily simply wants to belong to Belphagor. Unfortunately, both men have had fairly disastrous lives and they’re not particularly adept at communicating their feelings. They’re both jealous and irrational. They live in Elysium, which is ruled by angels. As demons both Vasily and Belphagor are second class citizens. That Vasily works as a prostitute and Belphagor as a cardsharp just compounds the difficulties they have. When Vasily attempts to deal with a former client he finds himself unwittingly cast as the central figure in an angelic revolution. Belphagor immediately realizes something is wrong when Vasily isn’t in their rooms the morning after they finally take the step into couplehood. After asking around town, Belphagor is able to learn fairly quickly just who has Vasily and why. He finds himself coercing his friends and other demons into stopping a revolution. Whereas the revolution does get thwarted, Belphagor was not early enough to prevent Vasily from taking the blame for all the action. Belphagor and Vasily have to “fall” to escape authorities. They find themselves in modern day Russia, a country that bears a striking resemblance to Elysium. They make their way to a safe house in Moscow and stay with friends of Belphagor.
When another demon shows up in Russia with bad news, Belphagor knows he must go back to Raqia and clear Vasily’s name. He’s not sure how he’s going to do that, but he practically breaks Vasily’s heart to make him stay safe in Russia. Belphagor manages to get himself deep undercover in a whorehouse that caters to angels. Very deep undercover. He’s taken on the form of a woman. Belphagor is stunned at the depravity with which women are treated. He knew being a demon was bad, but he had no concept of what life as a demon woman was like. He also had no concept what dealing with females hormones was like. Of course, Vasily decides to come back home despite Belphagor’s wishes. Vasily finds himself arrested. Belphagor finds himself under pressure to expose the real revolutionaries and save Vasily from possible torture and execution.
I honestly did not expect to get as wrapped up in this book as I did. I have a not at all secret love of demons and shifters. I knew I would enjoy the world building as most anything demonic and or angelic is fascinating to me. What really pulled me in was the character of Belphagor. He’s so messed up in the most interesting way. So many of Belphagor’s actions are motivated by an unwillingness to ever allow himself to be at the mercy of another or to allow an innocent to fall into the traps he has managed to survive. He has great trouble admitting his love for Vasily as it gives Vasily the power to hurt him. It’s obvious to the reader Belphagor is at this point in his life his own greatest problem.
Belphagor’s realization of the plight of women was significant and important. In segregated societies women are still below men, regardless of how low the men are. Having said that, I do feel Belphagor’s realization was a touch strong, and I felt a bit like the choir being preached at. Yes, I understand this is asking authors to walk a ridiculously fine line, and it’s not fair. Despite that I felt Belphagor’s time as a women was one of the most interesting part’s of the book. He was less able to force a situation and had to think his way out of things. All in all, the book was certainly compelling.
Rated 4 stars by Faye