Book Review: Damned if He Does by Marcella Burnard

Damned if He Does by Marcella Burnard is an urban fantasy romance. Though damned for his earthly sins, Darsorin Incarri likes being an incubus. Prowling women’s dreams to siphon off their sexual energy for Satan's consumption has its perks: an array of infernal power and a modicum of freedom. All he has to do is hold up his end of his damnation contract – five women seduced, satisfied and siphoned per night for eternity. So when he encounters gorgeous, bright, and funny Fiona Renee, it’s business as usual. Deploy the infernal charm and rack up another score. Except it doesn’t work. She’s immune. He has to find out what’s gone wrong or face Lucifer's wrath. Fiona Renee has the life she’d always wanted: a career, a home, a cat with a bad attitude, and peace. When a man shows up in her bedroom in the middle of the night demanding to know why her dreams turn to nightmares every time he tries to seduce her from within them, Fiona winds up negotiating a contract with a demon that allows him access to her life. She never anticipated that it would also give him access to her heart. If she's going to fall in love at all, something she never thought would happen, shouldn’t it be with someone who’s alive? If Fiona wants to hang on to Darsorin, she has to find his true name, the one he’d been given at his birth over a thousand years ago. But Satan, himself, stands in her way. Even if Fiona can dodge Lucifer, she and Darsorin have to face the question neither of them can answer: What happens to a dead man if you manage to wrest his soul from the Devil?

Damned if He Does is an urban fantasy with a strong theme of redemption. Darsonin is an incubus that is fairly content with his lot, until he sees Fiona. Her personality and his inability to seduce her have him obsessed. I love the slow development of friendship between the pair, and how connected they are. Particularly since Dar is all about sex- literally- and Fiona is asexual with no desire to partake. Add in a nosy landlady,  interfering sister, Old Scratch and the hellish contract binding Dar, and so many issues about the past and present that the odds were not in our couple's favor. I really like the conversation and deeper connection between our couple, and while I am not a prude when it comes to love scenes in romance, I love that they actually build a solid connection and sex was not the focus. I really liked that Fiona's sexuality is presented as real, not a gimmick or something to be cured. Dar respects her feelings and desires (or lack there of) even though he craves sex. He appreciates her and the things that bring her joy, rather than seeking his own. This made me very happy.

Damned if He Does is a nice story about love and redemption, with a paranormal twist. I like that Fiona's sexuality was handled candidly and seriously rather than as a gimmick.
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