Rachel finally meets Althea and learns that everything that has been happening of late is because Althea took needed refuge within Rachel to survive. The reality they are both in comes into focus and Rachel learns just what it means to be a succubus. There are trials for both, needs of many, and along the way some discoveries are made. People change, some more than others, but when it is one’s own desires unleashed and true, is that really a bad thing?
The most interesting part of this work is, by far, the interaction between Althea and Rachel that finally comes into full bloom. There isn’t a clash of personalities so much as it is a merging, a reflection, a meeting of two souls that each have their own needs and desires, but also their own points of view and mindsets. Some of the funniest moments are when Althea makes offhanded remarks to Rachel here and there, sometimes in the midst of passion and they are simply hilariously funny.
Beyond that, there is a good deal of time spent explaining just what it means to be a succubus, about some of Althea’s past and what has happened to Rachel. The author has a particular view of the succubi that I cherish and the simple statement of their purpose, of where they come from and why there are on Earth is perfect. The author spent a good deal of time in consideration of just how things work, why they do, and more importantly, takes succubi in a direction within this series that is bright and promising.
Really that isn’t a surprise, all things considered about what we have seen Althea think and consider overall and finding that this is simply how all succubi are is perfect. The discussion leaves many questions answered, but as well, so many questions made anew. The series going forwards has something really interesting to play off of and that is what makes things so promising overall. There’s thought in what’s coming, it isn’t all just the erotica and that makes for the better tale to tell.
Rachel having a focus makes her that much more interesting because she isn’t acting now for her needs, she’s acting, playing, loving, for something more now. She understands what she’s been given, what it means, and even if she now has a little voice that she can hear in her mind now, it’s more of a sister, a friend, than anything else. The story isn’t about conflict between Althea and Rachel, though there are some moments of uncertainty. It’s about Rachel seeing the possibilities and accepting them, whatever they are.
In the same way, the rest of Rachel’s family undergoes a similar transformation. Josh comes to terms with his desires and in doing so rediscovers the woman he loved and she him. There’s a moment when there might be some conflict, but it’s handled well and when the focus turns to Sarah, the story pushed her character development a long way. She makes the most inspired comment to her brother at one point, and it was in its own way really funny, but sad as well. Sarah’s frustration is palatable, and here’s where a conflict comes in the closing moments of the story.
Next to Rachel’s enlightenment, the other focal point of this work is that of Alex, his hidden sexual desires and linked to them that of Maria. This is a lovely well told erotic scene that had a wonderful mix of a D/s relationship, the need for love and hope, and as well a focus upon sexual discovery. It is a love scene, in the best possible way, and it respects both sides of the D/s relationship. There’s no abuse, no foulness. There’s acceptance, understanding and, most of all, the connection which few can find, accept, and be worthy of.
The erotica melds well, as it has in the prior works in the series, into the story, not reading like something that is pasted in for the sake of being there. It pushes things onwards, there is both a reason for it to happen, and some kind of aftermath, or purpose when the moment passes and life for the characters continues onwards.
The core plot moves a little further onwards, there is a needed answer for Althea, but questions for Rachel, desires for Alex and Sarah they need to understand. The entire family is discovering things about themselves hidden away from themselves and that brings growth to them all. That is what makes this work sing. It’s that the characters are becoming more.
There is some conflict revolving around Sarah and where that goes does make me wonder, especially from the ending. She’s held in a situation where Rachel knows, her father knows, and it’s unsure of what she will do now that another has entered the picture. At the same time, what happens to Althea and Rachel now that what was lost has been found makes for a problem to solve and it doesn’t seem to be one that’s simple. Complexity is a wonderful thing and all of their lives are going to be very much that from now on.
Four and a half out of five pitchforks.
The series continues to build deliciously, the characters transform a little more each page. Answers are coming, as are they, and within that is a tale that I find I cannot wait for the next work in the series to appear. I continue to highly recommend the series and I await Rachel’s first real encounter with Althea.
Not all answers are found in one’s mind, so many of them come from without as well. The next work in the series ''Bright Shadows'' is next and with the knowledge of the succubi comes the question of who else is out there.
We shall see.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)