TITLE: Her Soul to Take
AUTHOR: Harley Laroux
AGE RANGE: New adult
I earned my reputation among magicians for a reason: one wrong move and you’re dead. Killer, they called me, and killing is what I’m best at.
The one I was supposed to take, the one I should have killed – I didn’t.
The cult that once controlled me wants her, and I’m not about to lose my new toy to them.
I’ve always believed in the supernatural. Hunting for ghosts is my passion, but summoning a demon was never part of the plan. Monsters are roaming the woods, and something ancient – something evil – is waking up and calling my name.
I don’t know who I can trust, or how deep this darkness goes.
All I know is my one shot at survival is the demon stalking me, and he doesn’t just want my body – he wants my soul.
In French, there’s a phrase for the random urge to jump from high places, the irrational desire to swerve into traffic despite imminent destruction: l’appel du vide, the call of the void. Those sudden feral impulses tend to be shoved away immediately, but humans still experience them. What if you jumped? What if you touched the fire? What if? What if?
When I looked at him, staring at me, the void called.
This was incredible. I’m not even sure how I’m going to formulate a review that isn’t just incoherent gushing and rambling. I loved these characters and this world so much, and I adored the genuine blend of romance AND horror. Too many books that claim to mesh another genre with horror don’t actually carry many horror elements, but Her Soul to Take does a good job of relaying this cosmic horror, dark fantasy aesthetic with a legitimately violent demon love interest and some very creepy monster descriptions.
I was a killer. A hunter. Not a protector. Not even for tiny mortal girls with no sense of self-preservation.
Beyond how much I loved the writing and the world itself, there are the characters, so many of whom I was immediately drawn to. Even Rae, for all her clumsiness and bad decisions, was incredibly enjoyable to spend time with. Leon was even better, with his angst and dark, long history. I feel that most demonic characters in romance books are practically basic humans with a few mildly different traits, and that’s it, but Leon never quite lets you forget that he’s a murderous, vicious demon with a mean streak a mile long and a lot of revenge to seek out — and I loved it. He won’t be the love interest for everyone, but he was one of my favorites I’ve seen in a romance book in a very long time. I also can’t complain about the fact that both leading characters were casually queer, and we even got to meet one of Leon’s former lovers: another demon named Zane, who I adored and can’t wait to spend more time with in book 2!
Every path I’d taken, every seemingly inconsequential decision, had led to this moment. The choice between two eternities, a choice that was mine alone. I’d chosen. I knew to whom my soul belonged, and it wasn’t to a merciless God.
Again, I can absolutely see how this book won’t work for everyone, and I think it’s very important to check the content warnings before going into it. Not only is there BDSM and heavy dom/sub talk, but part of being a demon involves a carnal need to “own” souls, so any reader who is triggered by possessive speech probably won’t love this one. That said, there is a lot of talk about consent, a lot of softness and comfort added in, and the communication between the two of them when it comes to ensuring they’re on the same page and that Rae doesn’t feel forced into anything is phenomenal. I consider myself extremely picky about dom/sub pairings, but this one checked all my boxes and left me so excited to continue the series!
Buddy read with the ever-so-lovely Malli! 💞
BDSM, consensual non-consent, breath play, bloodplay, body mods, violence, gore, murder, possession, self-harm for magical purposes
Rae, Leon, and Zane are all casually queer; multiple BIPOC side characters
— destiny ♥